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STATESIDE


Stateside


Sharon Harris shoots from the hip… or is it lip?


S


ince August 2015, Hamilton has been Broadway’s hottest ticket, luring theater goers to often pay several hundred dollars apiece. Not me…I saw “Hamilton” in 2017 for under $200. Bucking the hype and accolades, I didn’t love


Hamilton’s constant rap music style because the story is good enough to stand on its own without slick music. The show’s eye-opening look at late 19th century Colonial America reveals how the Founding Fathers struggled to cooperate and compromise. Alexander Hamilton, the smart, savvy Caribbean immigrant, became the protégé of General/President George Washington. He philosophically battled Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence in July 1776 and future third president of the young United States. They despised each other. In the 1790s, Hamilton’s Federalist party promoted a


larger, more centralized government to advance the economy. The unpopular Hamilton never won elected office, but still influenced the nation’s future. He secured congressional legislation for the Bank of the United States and a national mint to standardize currency. Conversely, Thomas Jefferson’s Republicans emphasized agricultural interests and self-sufficient values. They viewed a powerful central government as a potential oppressor. Jefferson once said, “I am not a friend to a very energetic government.” I agree with Hamilton about a centralized currency,


military and issues like food/drug standards, but support Jefferson on life, societal and business issues. Obviously, centralizing specific government activities is necessary, but Jefferson’s states’ rights mantra appeals to me. Because each state’s cultures, experiences and needs


differ, why relinquish major power to the bureaucrats in faraway Washington? What qualifies these people – many there too long – to institute such life and death decisions? I say numerous politicians lack the skill, vision, personal integrity and knowledge to pass permanent legislation for 330-million-plus people. With the 2020 presidential election looming next year, several Democrats, including my own New Jersey Senator


8 MARCH 2019


Cory Booker, have entered the race. More are expected, so their positions on key issues become critical. Like Booker, some candidates have aligned themselves with newly-elected New York City Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, 29. I recently reported on her taking Washington by storm with her nouveau celebrity status and outspoken proposals. AOC’s (her nickname) abundance of “chutzpah” often


overshadows her lack of relevant political or economic experience. She has even called herself the “boss” when developing policy. She believes climate change and eliminating fossil fuels by


2030 overshadows every other issue facing humanity. AOC compared this issue to World War II’s battles to destroy the Nazis. That alone highlights her historical “knowledge” and qualifications. AOC predicts the world’s end within 12 years without drastic changes. By every estimate, her massive “New Green Deal” proposals will cost tens of trillions. What does the Green


Deal want? Consider these key elements:  Overhauling transportation/high-speed rail to ultimately


decrease or eliminate air travel.  Retrofit millions of U.S. buildings to meet aggressive


energy-efficient standards.  Offer national Medicare for all. That would eliminate private health insurance offered to tens of millions by their


companies, including most gaming organizations.  Guarantee jobs, wages, vacations, paid medical leave and retirement security to those working, unable to work and


even “unwilling to work.”  Wean the public away from cows to conserve energy and decrease beef consumption.


The stunning public blowback forced supporters to tweak the program’s components and delete the “unwilling to work” phrase. Too late…the purpose is clear. How would this affect gaming? Imagine Las Vegas – or other American gaming jurisdictions – without air travel. In California, Governor Gavin Newsom is already downsizing its planned 500-mile high-speed Los Angeles to San Francisco route to just 170 miles in central California.


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