Protectionism or Principle?

Sen. Harry Reid has an interesting stance on the recently passed anti-gambling bill, as the gambling lobby prepares to reverse its fortunes with one of Nevada’s senators as Senate Majority Leader:

“I have said on many occasions that I don’t believe in Internet gambling,” Reid said in a meeting with reporters, adding he’d be open to looking at the results of a study on it.

“I know that people say it can be controlled, I just have extreme doubts that it can be. But I’ll be happy to look at the study. I’m not going to turn my head and say never, never.”

We could get to the underlying principle of liberty, in which consenting adults spend their money as they see fit, in a way that harms only themselves, if even that. Since Senator Reid doesn’t believe in Internet gambling, the unprincipled moral position is correct. Wonderful, but rather than asking for studies that suggest Internet gambling isn’t bad, Senator Reid should produce the studies that convinced him that it is bad. Perhaps something a little more compelling than extreme doubts.

I don’t expect a fruitful two years ahead for liberty.