Opinion Roundup; End Subsidies for Greyhound Industry

The Florida Times Union, October 30, 2013 | Go to article overview
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Opinion Roundup; End Subsidies for Greyhound Industry


Floridians have been subsidizing the greyhound industry for years. Not the tracks. Usage has been declining among the customers.

What has been subsidized is the industry of providing dogs for the tracks.

A number of humane society groups say that subsidies often are going to out-of-state greyhound facilities.

In most of the nation, greyhound racing is dead. Florida is one of the last strongholds.

And it probably would have been replaced by other forms of gambling long ago if not for a state law that mandates live dog racing in return for adding other games such as poker.

An unusual coalition has supported a change in the law in recent years - humane society groups that oppose much of the greyhound training activities and the tracks themselves that see more profit potential in poker than in dogs.

"This forced union of two unrelated forms of gambling makes no sense and inflicts unnecessary cruelty on greyhounds, who spend their racing lives confined, suffering terrible injuries and may be killed once they are no longer profitable," said Ann Church, vice president of state affairs for the ASPCA.

The Jacksonville Humane Society is one of the 16 animal protection groups that support a change in the law to "decouple" greyhound racing from other forms of gambling.

There is no reason for this subsidy. Florida has much better uses for its taxpayer subsidies - higher education, for instance.

OBAMACARE

The flawed rollout of the Affordable Care Act has received attention in recent weeks. It's a great example of poor management and insufficient testing of a major software system.

But less noted is that the rollout has been successful in a few states, those "laboratories of democracy."

California, Connecticut and Kentucky have spent about two years building their exchanges, apparently out of sight of the federal government.

So while the federal government tries to find someone to actually be accountable for its system and fix all the glitches, it ought to bring in experts from the states who have done it well.

This is not just a story about government bureaucracy. This is affecting the lives of millions of Americans.

WHO ARE THE UNEMPLOYED?

There are more than 90 million Americans available for work but not employed. That is 10 million more than when President Barack Obama took office, reports The Wall Street Journal.

The percentages of employed are the lowest since the 1970s.

Who are these people?

About half of them are boomers who have turned 65 since 2008.

Another large share are young people who have stayed in school.

Many of the boomers are retired and the young are in school in large part because good jobs are so hard to come by.

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Opinion Roundup; End Subsidies for Greyhound Industry
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