Ye Olde Swimming Hole

current, insightful, yet nostalgic

Monday, February 20, 2006

Lotto America

I recently heard of a man who was going to drive 150 miles to buy lottery tickets in a state where the jackpot was high. Someone in Nebraska has won $365 million dollars and they don't even know it.

This is plain craziness. Anyone who has the slightest knowledge about statistics and probability and an understanding of the target group of the lottery knows this is nothing more than a regressive tax. When you stop to think about this, it's really the government trying to deceive us (those who are foolish enough to be deceived) into paying more taxes. The argument is that it brings revenue for schools and such, but at what cost?

Shouldn't our focus be on economic development and productivity and not on tricking entire states into thinking everyone is likely to get filthy rich quickly by playing the lottery. It's unhealthy for us to lose the foundations of the American dream, which is that you can succeed if you work hard enough. That's being replaced by the idea that success comes only if your lucky (or corrupt) enough.

The irony of all this is the problems a landslide of money brings to the lives of the winners. Let's replace the "get rich quick" dream with the American dream."


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