Friday, December 13, 2013
It is hard to argue for a state lottery. It is self-taxation that the poor and less educated inflict on themselves in pursuit of an empty dream. Yes, they should know their odds are slim, but as advertising says, "You never know." So they buy tickets and governments raise funds rather than imposing new tax revenues. Everybody should be happy. The poor have an outlet for their dreams of entering high society. The state can pay bills. But, not so fast. States feed the dream to the poor and amplify it time and again to boost ticket sales. That runs on the edge of ethics. If a state were honest, it would publicize the chances of winning -- e.g. 1 in 300 million, or the population of the United States. But, they aren't honest, and they clothe games in cash, jewelry, houses and expensive cars. All this could be yours if you hit the jackpot. One would hope governments would be more honest with citizens than commercial entities with customers, but that isn't the case. States hype and they are proud of it.