Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

22 May 2010

Failure Of NYRA Foreshadows End Of Democracy

We have to feel terrible for the workers and people that rely on New York horse racing to provide their livelihood. If NYRA shuts down on the ninth of June thousands will be out of work. It is a great tragedy that the interests of many were sacrificed at the alter of greed. The source of this failure can be traced directly to the hearts of man. The immorality of politicians is the heart of this tragedy. Plato can rest easy knowing that his political genius is still valid 2400 years later.

Firstly, although freedom is for Plato a true value, democracy involves the danger of excessive freedom, of doing as one likes, which leads to anarchy. Secondly, equality, related to the belief that everyone has the right and equal capacity to rule, brings to politics all kinds of power-seeking individuals, motivated by personal gain rather than public good. Democracy is thus highly corruptible. It opens gates to demagogues, potential dictators, and can thus lead to tyranny

This tale of woe starts with the failures of governor Pataki. He blocked the MGM casino at Aqueduct and likely had a plan to award the casino to friends. This was the start of a nine year saga. NYRA then became a political football. Publications like the NY Times suddenly began to refer to NYRA as the "beleaguered NYRA" or "corruption ridden" It seems that the media was aiding the aims of the corrupt politicians by serving as their ministry of public opinion.

When Pataki faded from view we had the dirty deals of Bruno move to the fore. This is a man how is a great friend of racing at times. He is loved by many. Yet he was convicted for corruption. The there is the hypocrisy of Spitzer, a man who crusaded like he was morally impeccable; but he turned out to be the dirtiest scoundrel of all. This hypocrite went after prostitution while he himself was a frequent john. His crusade against racing was nothing more than a power play to discredit NYRA and hand his campaign donors access to casino gaming. Plato saw Spitzer for what he was 2400 years ago. Perhaps most embarrassing of all is Patterson, whose choice of AEG was a brazen selection of friends and campaign donors to run a casino. Even the backdrop of a state a $10 billion hole could not motivate him to deviate from his personal interest.

This repeated lack of discretion is an illustration of the demoralization of America. While the masses dwell on one red herring issue after another a macro-collapse looms. When it takes a decade to build a casino this is a crisis. If the politicians can not disregard their personal interest for a minor issue the major issues will also be sacrificed for personal gain. The politicians had nine years to make this right but greed has rendered them impotent. Now NYRA will likely close. The trainers, grooms and all the other ancillary workers will feel the pain. If you think this crisis is isolated to just Belmont Park you are wrong. This is a foreshadowing of the pain we will all feel as this crisis of tyranny spreads.


Anonymous said...

Sad but very true, good post. It would be a huge blow not only to American racing but also to the NY economy and breeding if the NYRA has to shut down.

malcer said...

It is crucial to notice that Plato and almost all other well-known political thinkers regarded "philosophy" as the basis of all human conduct. This was by default in the times of Plato and Socrates, later prominent champions of democracy specifically pointed to a high level of social, cultural and scientific education as fundamental to the success of any such system.

It must be said that politicians, the media and voters have all failed miserably in holding each other to even the most basic forms of this standard (in all so-called democracies, not only the US).

RC Turnboat said...

I will be going to Belmont tomorrow (Saturday May 29). If you could provide a play of the day I'd be most appreciative.