Saturday, January 22, 2005

Bad idea jeans

From the AP, "Nevada Democrats Are Betting on Lottery":

Nevada Democrats are betting the time is right for the nation's No. 1 gambling state to create a lottery, despite a prohibition in the state constitution dating back to 1864.

Assembly Speaker Richard Perkins said Friday that the money is needed to fund education.

The article mentions dissent from the Nevada Resort Association on grounds that it would hurt casino business, but never mentions any other reasons to oppose a state lottery.

Maybe it's a lost cause since 39 states already have lotteries, but I don't see any redeeming qualities in state-sponsored gambling. Of course the lotteries make money like nobody's business, and maybe I shouldn't complain since it's that much more money the governments don't have to raise through taxes (which is a boon to me, since I don't play, but do pay taxes).

Still, I find it odd that the democrats (supposedly the party of the poor and downtrodden) are pushing the Nevada lottery, which will doubtlessly prey on those who cannot afford to play.

Of course, I am an advocate of personal responsibility, and it would seem to follow that I would place all the blame for gambling addiction and the resultant poverty and broken homes on the gamblers. However, I have no patience for government programs designed only to increase revenue, with no redeeming social value, especially programs that will disproportionately take advantage of the poor and uneducated.

Maybe the silver lining in this story is that the lottery is supposedly intended to raise money for education - if any of that cash goes toward high school statistics classes, maybe Nevadans will get wise and invest that $2 a day instead of wasting it on a long-shot jackpot.