The Difference Between Las Vegas and Washington D.C.
By Wayne Allyn Root, 2008 Libertarian Vice Presidential Nominee
I am probably the only politician in America whose day job is Las Vegas oddsmaker. I’ve learned many valuable lessons from sports and sports betting. On Sunday I made a fortune for thousands of my clients by picking the New Orleans Saints’ Super Bowl upset. Obama, Reid and Pelosi might snicker, but they obviously don’t understand the difference between Vegas and Washington D.C. You know what it is? In Vegas the drunks gamble with their own money. Maybe we need a politician in D.C. who understands the psychology of winning; who understands the motivation of risk versus reward; who has the guts to take gambles; and the courage to back his convictions with his own money, instead of the taxpayers’ money.
Here are the lessons Obama should have learned from yesterday’s Super Bowl:
#1) Stop slandering Las Vegas. Ironically Vegas makes people happy… Obama doesn’t. There is something about taking a risk that makes Americans feel alive. We are a nation of gamblers. We all have gambling in our blood. Afterall, we are descended from the greatest risk-takers in world history- immigrants who risked their lives and futures to travel to a new land called America. Those who chose to play it safe, stayed home in Germany, Ireland, Italy, China, Russia or India. We are the descendants of the gamblers. That is why America leads the world in entrepreneurship and small business creation. Americans love to risk, test their skills versus fate, and win their fortune. That could be why Americans love Las Vegas. Try to remember that Mr. President the next time you start to criticize or denigrate Las Vegas.
#2) Taking risks is central to success. The Saints pulled the huge Super Bowl upset by taking a huge gamble. Their onside kick to start the second half was the key play of the game- and one of the most daring calls in Super Bowl history. Obama doesn’t understand how important risk-taking is to success in life. The New Orleans Saints’ Coach Sean Payton only took that risk because he knew he’d be rewarded if he succeeded. He will make millions of dollars in new and bigger contracts and endorsement deals because of that daring gamble. People don’t take risks without rewards.
Obama doesn’t understand that risk-taking (entrepreneurship) is the only way out of this recession. People that take risks with their own money are the lifeblood of America (and the American Dream). They will not take those risks without the proper incentive- the ability to keep more of their own money. Obama must reward and encourage risk-taking by our small business owners, not punish it.
#3) Sports gambling (and all forms of online gaming) needs to be legalized. Our country is bankrupt. We need to use Nevada as a role model for the nation and legalize, regulate and tax “sin,” like any other business. Legalizing medical marijuana and online gaming has the potential to bring in $300 billion in new tax revenues. That could pay down government debts, or allow us to lower taxes for our hardworking American taxpayers.
#4) Don’t blindly follow the media. Obama loves to listen to the media…and to be loved by the media. Too bad for him. The media is almost always wrong. That’s how I’ve managed to pick so many winners in my 25 year career as a Las Vegas oddsmaker. I listen to the “experts” in the media…and whatever they recommend or predict…I go the opposite way. Virtually every expert in the media predicted a Colts victory in the Super Bowl. These same experts could not see any possibility for the Saints to pull an upset. Knowing how pathetic the gut instincts of the media are…I picked the Saints in the upset. Perhaps Obama should stop listening to the media. To the contrary, Obama should do the exact opposite of anything that the media recommends.
#5) Government wastes our money. During the Super Bowl I witnessed a perfect example of why our government is broke and failing…and why only the private sector can save our economy. I saw a TV ad created by the federal government. It was an advertisement for the U.S. Census Bureau. It was stale, stupid and ineffective. But worse, it wasted $2 million of taxpayer money. Yes, that ad cost $2 MM of your money. For what? This is how government wastes your money every hour of every day. It’s easy to waste a million here…and a million there, when it’s not your money. Remember that joke about the difference between Vegas and D.C. This is a perfect example of government bureaucrats gambling and failing miserably with someone else’s money- YOURS.
During the same Super Bowl, I saw edgy TV ads by Snickers, Doritos and GoDaddy.com (to name a few). I’m betting that those ads will make millions of dollars for those companies. I’m also betting that millions…perhaps tens of millions of men responded by going to the GoDaddy.com web site. That’s the creativity of American business. That’s free markets at work. Government could never create that kind of success (or profit).
If the GoDaddy.com TV ads fail…it costs taxpayers nothing. That’s the beauty and bravery of entrepreneurs in the private sector. They are more creative because they are gambling with their own money. And if they fail, it doesn’t cost taxpayers a dime. Not unless our politicians use our money to bail them out. It’s simply unconstitutional for government to bail out private companies who happen to make contributions to the politicians making the loans.
Isn’t it amazing what you can learn from a Super Bowl?
Oh, and one more revelation came from yesterday’s game: After my picking the Saints in one of the biggest upsets in Super Bowl history, it’s now official that I’m having a better year than Obama.