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Thursday, November 29, 2012

Comment to Gort's posting, re: the lottery

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 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 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.

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