Yes, I know that headline could cover just about every action of the political class since the advent of the nation-state, but somehow the crack down on internet gambling strikes me as particularly egregious. If this story is right, the government is pretty well demolishing a vast industry and for no good reason. Producers, consumers, and everyone else involved will all have the quality of their lives diminished. And while you might say that laissez-faire gambling litters up towns with unseemly billboards, attracts unsavory elements, and the like, internet gambling takes place without anything like a negative externality. Those who don’t like it don’t need to bother with it. People who enjoy it do so in the privacy of their own home offices. Even Bill Bennett can avoid expensive trips to Las Vegas.
Why do we put up with this gang of thieves that views its job as diminishing the quality of life for so many people? Well, I suppose that too is a question that has been asked since the advent of the nation-state.