My reflections were in part prompted by an excellent piece by Martin Regg Cohn in today's Toronto Star about the Ontario government's addiction to gambling, or, more accurately, the putative profits that arise from it. Says Cohn,
We’ve lost our moral compass in recent years — not by embracing gambling, but eschewing taxes. We have been contaminated by the anti-tax compulsions of American political culture that prevent governments from maintaining a progressive taxation system. This pathological aversion to taxation has driven the explosion of casinos everywhere, as governments rely on gambling to take money from the poor while sparing the rich.