Monday, October 17, 2011

Jobs and gambling

That didn't turn out to be a bad weekend at all, especially here in my little piece of the state.  The sun began early Saturday and stayed right through the daytime Sunday, although there were quite a few clouds.  The wind, however, really did a number on the leaves.  Our trees are just about bare.  Fortunately, the sun allowed us to vacuum up most of them Sunday, but the lawn was already getting full again within an hour.  Some wet greeted us early this morning, but the sun will take over for today and Tuesday.  A heavy soaking will begin late Wednesday into Thursday.

I've got a couple questions about the racino question on the November ballot.  Jobs creation has been emphasized in the ads, but some things don't seem to get answers.  I don't have them, either, but it might be interesting to have them explained.  For example, of all the jobs being touted for the Biddeford part of the question, just how many of the 500 (or 800 according to one ad) construction jobs are new jobs, that is, jobs created for people currently unemployed?  Or are these jobs for people currently employed but being moved to that project?  Are these new jobs permanent or just temporary?

Unless the construction jobs are for currently unemployed, the project really isn't creating jobs, is it?

And about the permanent jobs at the race track, doesn't Scarborough Downs already have people employed in the track positions?  When the track moves to Biddeford, are all the current employees going to be at the new track or are they going to be fired and currently unemployed people going to get the Biddeford jobs?  If the answer is the latter, then isn't the project simply exchanging one group of unemployed with another?  If the answer is the first choice, then where is the benefit of all those job creations?

The same question exists for all the peripheral jobs, such as farms, hay, trailors, etc.  Don't they already exist to service Scarborough Downs?

Of course the new track will have other entities such as the slot machines and it will take a few people to maintain them and service the patrons.  But really, just how many?  I haven't been to Scarborough Downs since the 1960s, but I think there is a restaurant there.  Wouldn't those employees be moved to Biddeford thus possibly only a few new hires?

As I listen to the ads touting all the job creations, I can't help but wonder what the truth really is.  I'll probably not know until the new facility is open for business.  Do I think Biddeford Downs will become a reality?  I've never voted "yes" on a gambling question, but there's something about repeating the same story often enough.  And this jobs creation one is certainly being repeated often.  Are we being snookered?  Again?

By the way, the same questions about the construction jobs would apply to both Lewiston's and Calais's proposals, but since both those facilities would be new, I'd have to admit that jobs would be created to man the casino in Lewiston and racino in Calais. 

I'll still be voting "no," however.  And I don't believe we need three gambling facilities in Southern Maine and two in Northern Maine.  If these do get approved, how many more will we be facing in the next couple of years?  Maine already has a facility running in Bangor and one under voter approved construction in Oxford.

Totally non-related, I think, but Biddeford is losing one building supplier.  Reports this morning say the Lowe's story has shuttered its doors permanently.  One report estimated a hundred jobs will be lost in December.

Over the weekend I suggested you join me in taking a good look at the 9-9-9 tax plan being espoused by Republican presidential hopeful Herman Cain.  I suggested that it may not be quite as good as Cain tells us.  I hope you also did some research to either agree with me or refute my findings so far.

I'm still looking and found a link to a possible alternate reason why Cain should get the nod.  Reading through the forum As Maine Goes, I saw a link by a poster on one of the threads in the Public Square that sent me to a reason at least one person's perspective on why Cain should be elected.  According to the author in the link, he may be the only one who can beat President Obama because, says the author, the President can't use a race card against a fellow black.  As I said, the link was a few days ago and may no longer be available, but if you're interested, it was here on

I guess it's no secret I'm a Gator fan.  These are sad times for a great university's football team.  UF seems not to learn lessons I hope it teaches:  Learn from your experiences.  It tried two coaches ago to succeed with a coach that had not been a head coach before.  Ron Zook was a total disaster.  Then it tried to gain success with an experienced head coach.  Urban Meyer brought great fame, championships, and glory to the football program.  Now the school is trying again with a first time coach.  Shades of Zook...Will Muschamp has taken the Gators, a team with extremely good players, back into the shadows.  And his offensive coordinator, former Notre Dame head coach Charlie Weiss, is having about the same success he had with the Irish.  It's a sad time for Gator Football fans.


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