The Gamble - (soapbox post - skip if needed)

This may touch a sensitive point in some of you. But I watched this the other day + it brought up a wave of different emotions:

You don't really need to watch it. But this man (an Alabama Governor) was wrongfully charged for something he didn't do. At the same time, the issue of the "Education Lottery" was brought up in his case. Now, I'm pretty much against the education lottery in several facets. One, a majority of the money doesn't go to education. Two, the money that does go to education doesn't get to the people that need it the most (the teachers - see Wiki article). And three, most importantly perhaps, the majority of the people that spend the MOST money on lottery tickets don't have the money to spend on lottery tickets. Most proponents to the lottery blamed the state of NC (the last state on the east coast to adopt the lottery) of not being progressive enough with their education reform. To me there is nothing "progressive" about a lottery. If anything, it's pretty damn ancient. Mankind has been "casting lots" since the beginning of time. And in my thinking, it seems to be the least progressive of all reforms. You're actually taking money away from the lowest income tax bracket, the very group that would benefit most from public education. You'd think we'd figure out a better way. As this Duke researcher states (see NYTimes article):

''It's very regressive,'' said Charles T. Clotfelter, a Duke University researcher and author of ''Selling Hope,'' a 1989 book on state lotteries. ''The percentage of a poor person's income that this kind of tax takes is much greater than for middle- and upper-income people.''

The video has nothing to do with this post really. It was interesting, and brought up some serious questions in our justice + legal system.

Wiki article on NC Lottery
60 Minutes
N+O Article on the Powerball - (odds are 1 in 146 million)
State Lottery Comissioner sentenced
Lottery Cost is Heaviest on the Poor - from the NYTimes
Money for Nothing - from Tech by MIT

Off the soapbox. Just had to vent.


1 comment:

Plastic Twig said...

Amen on this one B! A good example of this can be seen in Charleston, SC at any local gas station or so-called convenience mart. Go on a Friday after the 5pm work let-out, or the day before a big pot is drawn for and try to find 1 person inline that should be buying lotto tickets, or have the means to spend EXTRA money on those tickets. These folks can barely get by day to day, but have no problem spending hundreds on lotto tickets with a 1 and 10 million chance in they sure do have the priorities straight!