In the world of poker, there is no sentiment on the frailties of human nature. The whole point of poker is to seek out a person’s weakness and destroy that person, taking all his or her chips away from them. It is a simple concept and does not need much explanation. A brutal form of capitalism it maybe, but, at least it is fair and honest.
In general society there is no fair or honest way of having a capitalist society in which everyone has equal admission to the ‘table of business’. Some may say that it is alright that such a system exist and having any form of state intervention amounts to socialism and therefore it is wrong.
I can see that point of view but if there is no intervention by a legitimate body that allows a fair trading regime and a court of fair judgement then society will be left to robber barons and other such forces which will ultimately validate the use of force to settle arguments. This will lead to the rich and powerful having their own way.
Call me naive but there must be a way of bringing the philosophy of poker into the realm of life. Where everyone can at least have the minimum stake with which to play with. That minimum stake should cover the basic needs of a roof, food and health needs after that may the best person win.
This bring me into conflict with those who take a very extreme libertarian view that nothing should get in the way of ‘market forces’, because market forces are not some benign invisible entity that looks for the best in the market. It can be a destructive malevolent being out to wipe out the competition to replace it with an inferior product or service. Thats why we need regulation. Just as in poker we need regulation for the well being of the game.
There is now one area that the UK government must regulate and regulate urgently and that is ‘payday loans’ which are just a charter for big business to act like two bit loan sharks. Rates of 4000% are not unheard and it is doing great damage to peoples lives. Usually people not bright enough to see that they are being ripped off mercilessly.
The web of debt that pay day loans encourage entangles the vulnerable and silly with ease and it is beginning to get out of hand. The government at the moment are willing to let it go on but sooner or later there will be a price to pay and it will not be pretty.
I have borrowed money in the past to bet on an event or to stake a situation in which I was going to earn. However, some gamblers I know are using pay day loans to bet on fixed odds betting terminal., which is like a crack addict going to a loan shark for a loan so that they can get a hit. It is a recipe for disaster and the morality of the government should not let it happen.