Wednesday, April 09, 2008
(9:00 AM) | Adam Kotsko:
Increasing State RevenueRevenues from Illinois casinos are apparently down 10%, leading them to ask to be allowed to stay open for 24 hours instead of their current 22 -- which would of course have the unfortunate downside of being bad for compulsive gamblers, but would presumably increase casino revenue and therefore the state's share thereof.
Keeping casinos open all night in order to extract more money from addicts is a good idea. What I'm wondering is why we aren't doing more. For instance, many states have a liquor monopoly. Applying a similar model, why couldn't Illinois have a state meth monopoly? If the state legalized meth, it would presumably lose some federal matching funds for fighting the war on drugs, but I'm sure the profits would far outbalance that. If state university chemists' contracts were renegotiated to include a monthly meth quota, not only would labor costs be taken care of, but we'd probably be getting some really good shit. The state wouldn't even know what to do with all the money.
This plan would have two other benefits. First, the downstaters would finally wind up contributing their fair share of revenue -- in fact, they might even provide disproportionate revenue, making up for all those years of Chicago subsidizing the sticks. Second, I could purchase medicine that includes pseudo-ephedrin without being treated like a criminal. Everybody wins! In light of Illinois's success, I'm sure the model would spread to other states -- Indiana, for instance, could probably sock away enough money to run the state for the next hundred years.