How The Outrageously-Rich Play Politics: A Gambling Analogy

For those who remember me ranting about the 99% stuff a year-or-so ago, I wanted to tackle something I see a lot of people talk about.  People tend to fly off the handle about the ultra-rich (the 1% – people who make enough money to give the maximum contribution to candidates) supporting certain candidates.  I’m here to explain how it actually works.

People who are rich enough to want to have a voice in what the elected candidates do rarely support one candidate.  They support all candidates.  In gambling, this is called, “hedging your bets.”  You see, these people are high-rollers.  They want to live large in the casino and they want to pay as little as possible for that luxury   In order to get the penthouse, entertainment, meals, etc. comped – in order to be able to walk around like they own the place, untouchable – they have to bet huge amounts of money.

So, what do you do?  These people didn’t get rich by being dumb.  Well, maybe they did: but that’s not how they stayed rich!  They’re not gamblers – they just want to live large in the most awesome casino available.  To to that, they have to place bets – they have to support The House.  So here’s what they do.

They go to the roulette wheel.  To bet in roulette, one bets on either numbers or on colors.  Of all the games, this one is the one where you can never have a statistical advantage – unlike blackjack (where you can count cards), roulette is a stable system.  An American roulette wheel has 38 pockets where the ball can find its resting place – there are 36 numbers (13 red and 13 black) and two zeroes (both green).

But if you have enough money to place on the tables, you can bet however you want and almost never lose.

If you bet $10,000 on every number, you’d lose $370,000 every spin, but the number you win would pay 35:1 – for every spin, you’d lose $20,000, every time.  That’s a loss of $760,000 every 38 spins.

If you bet $100,000 on the same one color each time, you’ll win 42% of the time, but the payout is only 1:1 when you win – for every 38 spins, while you only lose $200,000, you still lose 18 times.

So what do you do?

You bet $100,000 on both red and black.

Statistically, you’ll lose $400,000 every 38 spins, because the ball will eventually fall in to one of the two green pockets – but since the payout is 1:1, you will only technically lose twice.  The other 36 times, you win by breaking even and continuing your privileged status at the casino.

Now imagine that betting Red and Black is like backing Democrats and Republicans.

Then imagine that you get to live in the casino year-round, like a fat-cat on a discount, but only have to spin the wheel once a year to maintain that lifestyle.

Doing that over 38 years, you would only pay out $400,000 for your ridiculously lush accommodations, which would have a far higher value than that over those 38 years you received their benefits.

In other words, the extremely rich out there don’t give a damn if it lands on Red or Black.  They know one year it’ll land on Green, but it doesn’t matter – the other times it lands on Red or Black will counteract any negative effects of the rare losing spins.

So it doesn’t matter who gets elected, because by financially endorsing all the candidates, it’s worth it to lose money on the losers because all that money that you spent is worth far more in political favors.

That’s Political Roulette.  That’s how the rich maintain political power.

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