I am not talking about people who were gambling with lots of the money before the crash, or people who didn’t have to go into debt when the crash happened. I am talking about the very wealthy, the very successful, the very wealthy, so that’s who I am talking about here.
Gambling addiction may not seem like a big deal now, but it affects everybody. It’s affecting your family, your friends, your partners if you have partner; it’s affected you on a day to day basis, and this is why it’s bad for you.
So, let me share with you this great quote from Dr Robert Spitzer (I am paraphrasing him) who told me how much he’s had to pay for his addiction, and he said that it is the single most expensive piece of consumer goods one can buy; so, we have to talk about this. He’s a very distinguished doctor. This is him in his office. He’s in his white shirt. He’s sitting right next to his chair. And he told me, “I owe the government, the American people, $2,300.” He’s not really kidding. I couldn’t believe it. In other words I am paying more than the president of the United States of America pays for a pair of sneakers. So, this is a very sad state of affairs.
But we have to start a dialogue about this. As a journalist, we all have this responsibility, we all have a professional responsibility to not only tell our readers what’s going on, but to tell our readers, what needs to be done. And I believe if we were honest with our readers and tell our readers what this addiction was, what was happening before the crash when we were not telling them, they will be much better informed.
MARTIN: So, I will just take a second to clarify that, Dr Robert’s point about the $2,300. He paid $16,000 for two sneakers, and for him, that was $1,200. He had a couple of shoes, but he had a really large collection. So, he’s talking about an entire pair. So, to give you just one additional perspective, Dr Robert, let me turn to the man at the top right-hand corner of this panel. He’s Dr Michael Moore. He’s the actor who gave us the Oscar for “Bowling For Columbine,” and he’s also this guy sitting in the audience with him. He came to us
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