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Sat Oct 15, 2016, 12:33 PM

 

Is it ethical for me to have made this bet?

An acquaintance of mine is quite steeped in right wing conspiracy theories.

We don't normally discuss politics. He is something of a gambler, and poker is one of his hobbies.

After having discussed the business at hand, I asked him "I don't want to get into an argument about who either of us supports in this election, but since you are a gambling man then who, in your estimation is likely to win?"

"There's not going to be an election..." and he went off to the races about how there will be a state of emergency and Obama will declare martial law and all that stuff.

I couldn't help laughing, but I did say "Okay, okay, fine, yes, I understand you believe that, but assuming that an election does take place...."

"I'd say there's about 30% of that happening...."

"...yes, I get that, but if the election does happen, then who do you think will win it?"

"Oh, I'd put a $1000 on Trump."

Now, I should back up and explain that another Trumper I know has already conceded Hillary will win, but he was still willing to bet me $50 that the popular margin will be less than 5%. I took that bet.

But I said, "Okay, you'll put up $1000 on a Trump win outright?"

"Yes. Because if he wins, that's great, I get the money. But if he loses, then Hillary's going to take all my money away, so it won't matter to me."

I checked with my wife, and she said, "Go ahead, bet him the $1000."

Now, both of these guys are pretty much insulated from opposing information and facts, and tend to get all of their information from "interesting" websites.

I took the $1000 bet.

My wife said that I should consider whether I'm taking advantage of someone who really just doesn't know any better. It would be like him sitting me down for a poker game. He'd clean me out, no problem. Then again, I wouldn't sit down to play poker with him either, so there's that.

I'm somewhat ambivalent about it. On the one hand, taking bets from suckers is sort of the Trump business model - whether they are lenders, investors, employees, contractors, partners, etc.. On the other hand, these are rational adults capable of making their own decisions.

So what says the collective Magic 8-Ball here?

What are the ethical considerations of seeking out low information Trumpers and proposing bets with them?

(on edit: I forgot to mention, just because I'm a nice guy, I offered to pay double if the election is cancelled)

33 replies, 1375 views

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Arrow 33 replies Author Time Post
Reply Is it ethical for me to have made this bet? (Original post)
jberryhill Oct 2016 OP
TeamPooka Oct 2016 #1
jberryhill Oct 2016 #4
vlyons Oct 2016 #2
jberryhill Oct 2016 #5
vlyons Oct 2016 #11
TreasonousBastard Oct 2016 #3
jberryhill Oct 2016 #8
petronius Oct 2016 #6
jberryhill Oct 2016 #9
True Dough Oct 2016 #7
pinboy3niner Oct 2016 #10
jberryhill Oct 2016 #12
True Dough Oct 2016 #14
jberryhill Oct 2016 #21
True Dough Oct 2016 #23
ColemanMaskell Oct 2016 #29
Journeyman Oct 2016 #13
ColemanMaskell Oct 2016 #30
rufus dog Oct 2016 #15
canetoad Oct 2016 #16
jberryhill Oct 2016 #19
-Steph- Oct 2016 #17
rug Oct 2016 #18
jberryhill Oct 2016 #20
rug Oct 2016 #22
former9thward Oct 2016 #28
rug Oct 2016 #33
panader0 Oct 2016 #24
jberryhill Oct 2016 #25
beachbum bob Oct 2016 #26
narnian60 Oct 2016 #27
rock Oct 2016 #31
Liberty Belle Oct 2016 #32

Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 12:36 PM

1. If he's anything like his candidate you'll need to get the money upfront or held by a neutral party

if you plan on collecting.
They love deadbeast donny because he stiffs people, they way they want to do.

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Response to TeamPooka (Reply #1)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 12:41 PM

4. They are both good for it, and we have reduced it to writing

 


Neither of them are deadbeats.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 12:36 PM

2. easiest $1000 you ever earned

Go back and raise the bet to $2000

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Response to vlyons (Reply #2)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 12:42 PM

5. Something about that line next to the Dalai Lama avatar....

 


Now there's a study in cognitive dissonance.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #5)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 12:48 PM

11. The Dalai Lama has all seeing eyes of wisdom

He would know an easy bet. Besides he doesn't care about acquiring money. So winning or losing a bet is all the same to him. Appearance and emptiness.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 12:39 PM

3. It goes against my grain as taking candy from a baby...

and it wouldn't "teach him a lesson" because he wouldn't learn from the lesson.

The "point spread" guy, though-- that's cool.

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Response to TreasonousBastard (Reply #3)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 12:44 PM

8. That's the queasiness I have about it

 


Now, mind you, a $1000 loss is not a big deal to this guy.

On the point-spread bet, we was willing to go lower than 5%, but that was my first bet and I wanted it to be at least somewhat fair.

He also said, "You probably know this is a bad bet for me, but okay."

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 12:42 PM

6. I think you're in the clear here

It doesn't sound like you sought him out; he proposed the bet. And if you had time to consult your wife, it seems that there was a 'cooling off' period. Plus, he expressed confidence (albeit on irrational grounds) that losing the bet would not harm him.

I think it would be unethical to prey on idiots, and it would be wrong to engage in bets knowing that the other bettor can't afford to lose. But accepting a bet from a person who really thinks he'll win it is legitimate...

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Response to petronius (Reply #6)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 12:46 PM

9. Well, I was fishing for a bet

 


I just didn't think the $1000 guy would come right out and offer so quick. I was going to propose a point spread, but he just said "$1000 on Trump".

The other bet was my proposition.

Both of them can well afford to lose.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 12:42 PM

7. Personally...

I would be magnanimous in victory and reduce the prize to a steak dinner (or something like that) at his expense. It would be a bonus if you could find a restraurant/pub in your area called "Hillary's".

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Response to True Dough (Reply #7)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 12:48 PM

10. Well, that's rare

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Response to True Dough (Reply #7)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 12:48 PM

12. You might have something there

 

We actually have a - very nice - restaurant on Clinton street in Delaware City.

It is called "Lewinsky's on Clinton":

http://www.lewinskysonclinton.com/




They have a great Sunday Brunch.

Thank you very much for this creative suggestion.

I'll, um, take it under consideration.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #12)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 01:00 PM

14. Kudos to the restaurateur who came up with that clever name

If you want to rub salt in the wounds, you could also tell your friend that in order to save his $1,000, he also has to wear a blue dress to your brunch date.

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Response to True Dough (Reply #14)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 01:12 PM

21. We are widely geographically separated

 


But on the inspiration you have provided, I have found shelter programs for victims of domestic abuse in both of their respective locations.

They will each have to send me a signed receipt for their donations.

You are a marvelous human being.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #21)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 01:30 PM

23. Bravo

I applaud you generosity!

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #21)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 02:00 PM

29. That's what I was going to suggest: Take it and donate it to charity

The 5% is an actual bet. She might not win by 5%. You're being fair within the world view that allows gambling.

But the $1000 bet is as favorable a bet as you're every likely to see. So I can understand your misgivings on that. But here's the thing: The type of person that behaves as you say he has behaved is going to respect you more for taking his money, and that means he is more likely to listen to your opinions in the future. You cannot get anyplace with people like that by indulging them or cutting them slack -- they just get worse. They NEED to lose in order to be able to re-evaluate their own thinking. So, yeah, take the money, if he and his family are not harmed by losing that amount. Donate it to charity to avoid feeling bad about it yourself. I'd give it to Planned Parenthood in his name, but to each their own taste.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 12:53 PM

13. Such paranoia and martial law fantasies were common on DU in 2004 and 2008 . . .

"BushCo won't allow the election to happen."

"BushCo will jimmy up some crisis to justify clamping down on the election and all our rights."

"BushCo is fascist, totalitarian don't you know."


I challenged a few but it was useless. They were convinced we were at the dawn of destruction and nothing would sway them. I imagine your present debate is quite similar.


Rather than wagering $1000, a sum they'll easily weasel out of ("It was rigged, doncha know", make it a lesser amount, say $100 or $200, and instead of payment to you make it a donation to a cause dear to you. Maybe something non-political, like childhood oncology research, or historical, such as the preservation of the Gettysburg National Military Park. That way, when they lose, they'll be less bitter that it also cost them money, as the cash will go to a good cause, something they may support as much as you do.

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Response to Journeyman (Reply #13)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 02:09 PM

30. The answer to avoid them weaseling out of payment is to have a 3rd party hold the money.

Time-honored escrow tradition. You each give $1000 to some mutually agreed third person.

This ensures nobody can weasel out of the bet.

It ensures nobody bets money they don't have or can't afford to be without.

It provides an automatic adjudicator for any disagreements -- such as:

- She won the electoral college, but not the popular vote (unlikely but it's hypothetically grounds for disagreement).

- She didn't really win, it was a coup, hordes of illegal immigrants voted ten times each

etc

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 01:01 PM

15. I vote yes

 

I have a friend who places at least 100 on the repub each cycle. In 2012 I added a requirement to post an embarrassing video on FB. That didn't get him. This year it is 100 on the winner, 100 on 300evs for HRC.

I have no issue taking money from him. Trying to justify it as a learning experience. In 2012 the first 100 bet was placed on the 2016 election the day after the election. I will offer him the same bet again this year, Dem v Rep in 2020, I'll take Dem. He will take the bet as he should, it will be unprecedented in our lifetimes to have 16 years of single party winning the WH. But I am confident I am getting the better odds.

Like I tell him, I can't predict what could happen four years out, but I am confident in predicting Republicans will do something so incredibly ignorant that I will take a bet against them.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 01:02 PM

16. Take the bet

And hold him to the outcome.

The only reservation I would have is if he is a problem gambler and it would leave his family short of money, but you answered that point in Post 8, so go for it!

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Response to canetoad (Reply #16)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 01:09 PM

19. No, no gambling problem

 


He can well afford it.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 01:02 PM

17. Maybe it will give him a wake up call about where he's been getting his news & information from.

Although, it sounds more likely that he'll have a conspiracy to pin Hillary's win on.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 01:09 PM

18. He is presumed competent

 

and is demonstrably annoying.

Take his money.

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Response to rug (Reply #18)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 01:10 PM

20. Lol...

 


Like the Dalai Lama above, there is something fascinating about Karl Marx next to "Take his money."

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #20)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 01:12 PM

22. Stalin's defense to bank robbery was "premature expropriation".

 

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Response to rug (Reply #22)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 01:50 PM

28. Stalin being such a great role model and all...

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Response to former9thward (Reply #28)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 02:36 PM

33. . . . . especially in comparison to the renegade Kautsky.

 

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 01:37 PM

24. I hope you got it in writing.

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Response to panader0 (Reply #24)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 01:38 PM

25. Both, yes

 

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 01:41 PM

26. a fool (your friend) and his money are soon parted still holds true today

 

good luck with collecting

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 01:47 PM

27. My husband bet a friend $100 in the 2012 election that Obama would win.

The guy paid him in ones. My husband has bet him again for this election, and the guy says he will pay up in pennies if Hillary wins. Yep, he's an ass.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 02:25 PM

31. It is ethical

It's Politics! And if either of you is a low information voter, you deserve whatever befalls you for voting (or for betting) on the election. Perfectly fair.

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Response to jberryhill (Original post)

Sat Oct 15, 2016, 02:34 PM

32. Take the money and donate to women's and civil rights groups.

Maybe save out enough to buy the guy the steak dinner too.

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