Sunday, September 27, 2015

The editors get it right this time ... for the wrong reasons

This week's Leader Times' editorials get it right.   The first editorial is based on a set of NY Times reports that the US military has been instructing soldiers to look the other way when US-trained Afghan military and police commit sexual abuse of children.  You have to read the Times articles to get a sense of the evidence for the claims.  IMHO it's quite good, which means that the editorial's conclusion is entirely correct:  "The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan proved painfully that the US. cannot change engrained cultures.  But enabling their worst elements, or simply ignoring them, is an abomination."

The second editorial decries recent questions raised by government officials about pay-to-play fantasy football companies such as FanDuel and DraftKings.   The officials are questioning whether this is gambling and/or should be subject to the same laws and tax policies as gambling.  It seems to me that ultimately the editors are right that fantasy football is a relatively-harmless diversion and that charging people money to play and paying the winners part of the proceeds is not gambling.  Well, maybe not so harmless, if you assume that players would find something more constructive to do with the time they spend on fantasy football.  In any event, they may be right that the government officials raising these questions are eyeing FanDuel and DraftKings as an additional revenue source.    Both the companies and the money winners are already subject to taxes. 

My problem is not with these editorials.  My problem is with the larger goals of the editorial board.  They are not raising these particular issues for the same reasons I would.  They raise the issues  because 1.) they object to taxes generally and 2.) the government actors in each case are Democrats, and they are inherently against Democrats because of the policies they represent.  Anything that makes Democrats look bad should be highlighted so that Democratic policies are less likely to get enacted.   We already know that the editorial board has had a long history of Randian libertarianism when it comes to economics and militarism when it comes to foreign policy.  These editorials are simply subtle ways of achieving these skeevy goals.

No comments:

Post a Comment