From Volume 37, Issue 30 of EIR Online, Published Aug. 6, 2010

U.S. Economic/Financial News

Killing New Jersey To Save Atlantic City Gambling

July 25 (EIRNS)—In what he calls a "bold and risky" move, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) is proposing that the state take over the Atlantic City casino district, and turn the seedy gambling town into a "family resort," along the lines of Las Vegas. Christie also plans to privatize the Meadowlands horse-racing track and Izod sports center, and float a bond issue to save the nearby Xanadu mega-mall.

The move to turn Atlantic City into "Las Vegas East" is apparently based upon a McKinsey & Co. report issued in June, on "Revitalizing Atlantic City." McKinsey notes that gambling accounts for 5% of state tax revenues, and that Atlantic City's gross gambling receipts fell by $1.1 billion, from 2006 to 2009. According to McKinsey, Atlantic City needs to target demographic groups ranging from "young entertainment seekers" to "recreation-seeking," "gaming," and "wealthier boomers," to "family vacationers" and "recreation and scenery seekers."

Underneath the slick marketing campaign aimed at presenting this as a way to save jobs and increase tax revenue, is a move to have New Jersey taxpayers bail out one of Dope, Inc.'s premier U.S. money-laundering facilities. The idea of turning Atlantic City into a "family resort" is patently absurd, and Las Vegas has already abandoned the concept, in favor of a return to the more traditional gambling and hookers. "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas," is the new theme. Especially your money.

Schwarzenegger Declares State of Emergency, Orders More Furloughs

July 28 (EIRNS)—In an attempt to pressure state legislators and unions to give in to his austerity demands, California Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger declared a state of emergency today. Arnie ordered three furlough days per month, beginning in August, for 156,000 state employees—equivalent to a 14% wage cut. Schwarzenegger previously tried to slash workers pay to the minimum wage, but that effort has been blocked by State Controller John Chiang and the courts.

Public employee union leaders called Schwarzenegger's order a blatant political stunt. "This is just to put pressure on the unions that haven't agreed with his program. If you agree with him, there are no furloughs," said Professional Engineers in California Government president Bruce Blanning, as quoted in the San Francisco Chronicle. "His people told us on conference call earlier, 'When they pass a budget, the furloughs will end.' So this is clearly aimed at putting pressure on Legislature as well state employees."

"Every decision he's made has been designed to punish working families," Assembly Speaker John Perez said. "It would be a refreshing change if for once he could make a decision that helps the economy rather than hurts it."

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