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Technology & Innovation

Vices Are Good for the Economy

Certain groups of people, such as gamblers, smokers and the obese are portrayed a drain on the economy, but Forbes’ Tim Parker says they are a bottomless money pit.

In 1970, Americans spent about $6 billion on fast food. By 2000, that figure had grown to $110 billion. The nation is also spending a record amount trying to lose weight. Health club and gym revenues topped $19.1 billion in 2008, and the amount spent on weight loss products and services hit an estimated $40 billion. … One study found that in a community where a casino was located, there was a 12% to 17% drop in welfare payments and another study commissioned by the National Research Council found a net economic gain to some of these same communities. This same study found that jobs are created in communities where casinos are built.


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