As I have mentioned in the past, Minnesota, after 8 years of thievery by the Pawlenty administration, has a terrible revenue problem. A deadly combination of a downturn in the economy, thus lower tax revenues as businesses and private citizens are making less money and a lot of tax cuts for business and wealthy individuals. This Governor and his predecessor, Ventura, have cut most of the state budgets to the bone. The state simply needs more income.

How about implementing some aggressive user taxes? The only way a person is taxed on this is if they partake. We already have two “vice taxes”, tobacco and alcohol. If you smoke or use tobacco and if you’re into booze, the state makes money from you. Pretty simple, right? The problem is the state doesn’t make enough from these two sources. Enter three more “vices” to tax, gambling, pot, and prostitution.

If Minnesota wants to get into the big leagues it needs state sanctioned or taxed gambling. I can picture a huge area of the Midway, between Minneapolis and St. Paul, with many casinos and hotels. Casinos will bring in top name entertainers and feature world-class restaurants. With the harsh climate we live in, wouldn’t it be great to have a massive casino-entertainment center connected by skyways and malls? No more having to fly off to Vegas to cure the “itch” and less money going to the Tribal casinos that don’t generate revenue for the state. The Twin Cities is one of the great metropolitan areas in the country. I think a complex of this sort would only be an enhancement.

How about legalizing marijuana? We can already alter our minds by alcohol use. We can already commit slow suicide by smoking cigarettes, so why is pot left off the list? Many states have decriminalized pot usage to the point of minor civil penalties already and many have approved it’s use for medicinal purposes. Let’s just let it be sold over the counter to adults and tax the hell out of it. By making it a legal commodity, a positive side effect would be a decrease in drug related crime.

Hmmm, prostitution? Oh the stigma! People selling the use of their bodies for monetary gain. Wow! I’ve never heard of such nonsense. Actually, prostitution is the oldest profession in the world. It’s stayed around for years. It’s obviously stable. Why not tap into this source of revenue? It’s painfully simple, model after the Nevada model or most of Western Europe. There is always a demand for sex. That’s why pimps are dropping off their prostitutes on the street corners of Minneapolis and St. Paul regularly. The negative sides to our present system are crimes associated with prostitution, physical violence, drug abuse, spread of disease, and no tax revenues. The state also has to fund law enforcement to patrol this situation. So, not only are we not collecting a potentially huge source of tax revenue, we are paying extra to enforce the laws we have in place today.

For any of these revenue generating sources to become a reality, Minnesotans have got to get rid of their out-dated puritanical ideals and move on to the present and future. The whole country has a long history of being puritanical and uptight about such things as sex, gaming, and pot. If these options are all legalized and brought main stream, the stigma will disappear. All of these things are so prevalent in our society already but are deemed bad or sinful. Depending on who you are and what your background is, these are “bad” things. But, the beauty of it is, if you don’t like them, you don’t have to partake in them! Simple?

America needs to get over these “hang-ups” about things of this sort. Take a look at developed countries that have embraced sex, gambling, and pot usage. To a country, they all have much lower crime rates than the U.S. Particularly, lower violent crime rates. Oh, that’s right, most developed countries have very strict gun control laws also. Our society encourages deviant behavior because much of our society won’t confront the issues of sex, gambling, and pot. We seem to just keep sweeping them under the rug and hope they will go away on their own. They won’t! They are all here to stay regardless of how much money we waste trying to stop it. C’mon Minnesota!, let’s get on board with these concepts and capitalize on them.

I can’t wait to see the legislators tremble and run from this one. They have already shown how gutless and unimaginative they can be in reference to increasing the exposure of gambling. Our legislature needs to be populated by pragmatic, fiscally competent atheists. I believe this may be the only way to get major forward thinking and beneficial legislation passed. Anyway, that’s my take on this, I’ll leave the idealistic part to others. Thanks for today’s read and as always, I look forward to hearing from you.
Cam Obert



  1. Tom Nyvold Says:

    You should make all the roads going to Indian casinos toll roads! Would this be screwing the Indians, again? How many millions do they get to make before Minnesota gets some revenue? Those pull tabs are legalized gambling. Plenty of people up there blow their whole welfare check on them. Just because some goes to youth hockey, they look at it differently.

  2. youandmedoweagree Says:


    From time to time I check in to your blog… Don’t always have the time to do so or read through from start to finish, but I do peruse…

    Not that you necessarily care what I think, but I’m surprised at how well you write–I never knew you had this skill. Being opinionated and vocal (as you are) is one thing, articulating these opinions into prose is quite another–it’s not an ability many have.

    I can’t say I always agree with everything you write, but I definitely admire the manner in which you put it out there. And you do this daily? Wow.

    For what it’s worth.


    Submitted by Jim Erickson-NE Mpls.

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