Missing the Point and Loving It
In response to John J. Miller’s article “Friends of the Lorax” (March 19), I must say enthusiastically that I love The Lorax. Now, I don’t give a flying rip about the Truffula Trees. As someone once asked, what kind of wimpy tree is it that you can take down with a single whack of an axe?
No, I love The Lorax for the Super-Axe-Hacker. This marvelous machine bears a striking resemblance to a road grader. And for a country-raised boy, watching the huge and noisy road grader go by about once a month was a treat. A grader (often in response to an angry call to the county judge) mainly served to raise clouds of dust and spread ten times as many rocks across the road as there were before. On the other hand, it also served as a reminder that governmental incompetence is not reserved solely for the federal level.
Just looking at the machined, functional elegance of the Super-Axe-Hacker made The Lorax far and away my favorite Dr. Seuss book.
Dayton L. Kitchens
Viva il Casino
In the recent article “Play to Extinction” (March 19), Kevin D. Williamson caricatures casinos and their patrons with hackneyed stereotypes and disparaging language. Moreover, he dramatically mischaracterizes the gaming industry and completely ignores the substantial economic benefits that casinos confer on surrounding communities.
A study of 2010 economic data that was prepared for my organization found that nearly 350,000 jobs are generated directly by the industry. These are satisfying careers with an average compensation (salary and benefits) of $43,500, and our industry further benefits the economy through the vendors and suppliers we use. Taking all these effects into account, the casino industry supported approximately $125 billion in spending and nearly 820,000 jobs in the U.S. in 2010.
With regard to the negative comments about our patrons, the majority of casino visitors are college-educated. Seventy-two percent of casino visitors in 2010 were under the age of 65. Most people who frequent casinos play responsibly, and many do so using a predetermined, limited budget.
I implore you to give readers all the facts when looking at the impact of casinos.
Frank J. Fahrenkopf Jr.
President and CEO
American Gaming Association
Kevin D. Williamson replies: I suppose Mr. Fahrenkopf has a professional obligation to write adjective-heavy letters of this sort, but the economic ugliness — and plain ugliness — of the industry is obvious to anybody who visits a casino. I do not begrudge the industry its profits — consenting adults, etc. — but I do begrudge it the political favoritism it receives, to say nothing of public money in the case of New Jersey.