The free-enterprise mirage of Sheldon Adelson


According to the self-aggrandizing mythology of America’s right-wing rich, Sheldon Adelson is one of society’s “producers,” not one of those morally inferior “moochers” who’re always looking for government handouts.

For a reality check on the moral superiority of the rich, however, take a peek at who’s now trying to do some of the most egregious mooching ever from the economically devastated people of Spain. Why it’s Adelson, the multibillionaire casino tycoon from Las Vegas! In addition to trying to buy favors from our own government by throwing as much as $100 million into this year’s presidential and congressional elections, the far-right Republican extremist is making a huge financial play in Madrid, Spain.

Posing as a magnanimous “producer,” Adelson claims he’ll create 250,000 jobs there by erecting a dazzling, neon-bright, $35 billion gambling Mecca to be called: “EuroVegas.” Casinos, hotels, golf courses, four-star restaurants, you-name-it — Sheldon’s corporate development shimmers like a free-enterprise mirage for Spaniards suffering from a housing and banking collapse — and 30 percent unemployment.

But wait — a mirage is nothing but an illusion. And so is Adelson’s free-enterprise “miracle.” In fact, Sheldon the Moocher is demanding that two-thirds of the funding come from the cash-strapped government, which would have to take out bank loans to finance Adelson’s profiteering scheme. He’s also got his hand out for special tax breaks, and — get this — he’s even demanding labor law changes so he can bring in cheap foreign labor to build and staff his Spanish casino-opolis.

What we have here is another example of the ultra-rich’s extraordinary sense of entitlement. The dark secret of so many self-proclaimed “producers” is that, in fact, they’re professional, world-class moochers.


This opinion column does not necessarily reflect the views of Boulder Weekly.