My comment in response to Gort's lottery posting (link HERE for the original post). I do realize that this is lazy blogging at its best, but so be it. I'm all for recycling to help the environment...or...my blog.
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While I do, for example, strongly support getting the state government out of the liquor business, I can't see any reason to privatize the lottery. One is a business that the state has no business being in...that should be run at a profit by people that know how to run businesses at a profit..the other is basically just another form of taxation. Why?
First, I'll note that I "support" the lottery to the extent that it does a great job of raising money for senior citizens. That's great, noble stuff. Our senior citizens deserve the services the lottery creatively funds.
Second, I do think the lottery basically is a form of taxation...in this case taxing stupid behavior. The vast majority of folks pay far, far more for lottery tickets than they ever win back. I had a relative once claim to me that she "wins back more than she pays in". Then we did the math, and there was the inevitable "oh" moment. Anyway, I say what the heck: if someone "enjoys" handing money over to Apu at the Quick-E-Mart AND it helps senior citizens, then I say it's a good deal all around. No one is forcing me to buy a supermegajumbopowerball ticket.
In the end, why screw this up? What's more, let's not forget that gambling is a bit like bacon fat: unless you have a religious conviction against it, for the most part it's okay in moderation. Too much though is really, really bad for you over the long term.
As for me, I played the lottery once, at work a dozen years or more ago, basically putting money into a pool out of sheer peer pressure. Otherwise I couldn't be bothered.