Thursday, July 14, 2005

I-OWE-A Nebraskan for my Education

by Kyle Michaelis
These are BOOM times for Iowa Casinos. In the last fiscal year, the four casinos on the Nebraska border took in a whopping $486 million in gross revenues. That's almost half-a-BILLION dollars.

I hate to guess how much of that is out of Nebraska pockets, but - as anyone who's looked at the license plates of the cars parked in the casinos' lots can tell you - it's A LOT!!!

The three Council Bluffs casinos certainly seem to have the most bang for the buck among Iowa's quarter-munching monstrosities. As only three of 13 total state-licensed casinos, they accounted for 39% of all wagering. The Bluffs Ameristar alone had gross revenue of $180 million - tops in the state.

Meanwhile, the recently remodeled Sioux City casino was the fastest growing in Iowa, taking in 24.2% more of Northeast Nebraska's money than in the previous year.

Doesn't it seem about time that Iowa's school children start sending thank you notes for their education to the citizens of Omaha and the surrounding area who so generously open their pocket books for others' benefit? Thanks are also in order to Nebraska voters for keeping this gravy train running by rejecting ballot measures last year that would have allowed their own state to take on some of the benefits that go along with the addictions and bankruptcies that are already costing Nebraska so dearly.

At least our moral superiority is still intact...so long as we can afford it - which may not be long with our last in the nation economic growth, as opposed to Iowa's best in the nation growth just across the river. That's some sort of inequity.

When are people going to put 2 and 2 together and realize what's happening here? These are not isolated statistics. Iowa is creating jobs and building industry with Nebraska money. We want to be competitive with neighboring states in handing out enormous benefits to companies, but we refuse to make the changes necessary to pay for them. So, our schools suffer, our social services are slashed, our public properties sit in disarray...the most legendary steakhouse in the state shuts down with barely even a whisper.

We're living on borrowed time, with borrowed money - because money that should be being spent or saved or sucked up by the state in Nebraska is being shipped by the truck-load to Iowa. We get to be holier than thou, sure, but "judge not, lest ye' be judged."

Today, simple economics judge us a bunch of damn fools.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Chad W said...

Don't be so quick to judge the casino's for our education.

Iowa's graduation rate is at its worse in over a decade. And Council Bluff's graduation rate is at its lowest in almost 20 years.

So while Democrats like throwing money at anything, and think it will solve anything. - Sure is not working over here.

7/17/2005  

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