A little on lotteries.

February 18th, 2006

Fred at RealDebateWisconsin asked these questions in a post about the Powerball lottery:

Do lotteries do more harm than good? Is the tax break worth it? How many tickets do you buy if any? Scratch-off or lotto games? And of course the big question, generic viagra patient what would you do with $360, drugstore 000,000 dollars?

I really never play.

But I remember a conversation I had with a friend once.

He was outraged that states were establishing lotteries (this was quite a while ago).

His contention was it was really just a hidden tax on poor people.

(And he was a guy who never met a tax he didn’t like.)

I just didn’t get it.

If the lottery is basically a tax, who cares? It’s the ONE tax people actually WANT to pay.

In fact, I’d like to see the state and Federal governments extend the chance to win big to other taxes.

How much happier would you be sending in your tax returns if there was a chance that you could win the $300 Million Internal Revenue Sweepstakes?

Entry Filed under: Politics

1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. scott  |  February 19th, 2006 at 6:18 pm

    The problem I have with it is that this kind of gambling – games of pure chance – rely on people’s inability to accurately assess their likelihood of winning. That is to say, without a pretty decent introduction to probability and statistics one usually cannot understand the odds of winning such a game. Aside from that, I worry that it feeds on despair. People without hope spend disproportionately on games like this. It smacks of exploitation.

    With all that said I’m not so sure I’d want to outlaw it. And I’ve played myself a couple of times, too. I just have concerns.

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Being in a wheelchair gives you a unique perspective on the world. This blog features many of my views on politics, art, science, and entertainment. My name is Elliot Stearns. More...

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