Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Another Break Even Day with Lucky 7


Today was another break even day. I spent $2, I won $2.

The purpose of this exercise is to see WHEN I start losing. How long does it take, and over a course of time, let's say one month, how much money will I lose?

So far, I'm up $2.

Scratch off and Lotto tickets are available at almost every corner in town. Lottery tickets are more available than fresh produce or skim milk.

Why?

My theory is that in towns with so little opportunity, these scratch offs and lottery tickets represent a chance (albeit a slight chance), for change and a better life.

All you need is a dollar and a dream, right?

I view the lottery as a regressive tax, taking, proportionally, more money from people with lower incomes.

Where is the benefit from the lottery?

8 comments:

Trixie said...

A little aside...

for those etymologists, here's the source of the word, 'albeit'.

It's a contraction! Who knew?

albeit
c.1385, a contraction of al be it "al(though) it be."


Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2001 Douglas Harper

Five and Diamond Vintage said...

My burning question is:
Why should I have to stand in line waiting to pay for my gas, while the guy in front of me is reciting off to the cashier a thirty dollar assortment of damn scratch-off tickets he wants to buy?
Then he wants to keep his place at the counter while he scratches them off with his last penny!

Trixie said...

Push him aside!

Hudson said...

The lottery is indeed a "regressive tax," meaning in plain English that it shifts the financial burden of social services from those who can afford to help to those who can't.

But lottery tickets are a powerful lure for the members of the community who neither have any real income now, nor the hope of ever emerging from poverty, because they have never been provided the educational and other opportunities that the rest of society enjoys.

It's deeply frustrating to see people every day, neighbors who have so little discretionary income to spend on themselves and their kids, blow those dollars instad on empty fantasies of getting rich quick and escaping their economic misery. Usually it's not $2, but more like $20 or $40. Add in the cost of beer and cigarettes and the chances of saving money become nil.

The hope of instant, boundless riches is too powerful for most people to let go. Polls have shown that most Americans believe (against all logic and evidence) that they will someday be extremely wealthy. The Lottery presents the only infinitesimally slim hope of that happening, unless you're willing to deal drugs.

You don't need to spend $2 a day as an experiment to see how long it takes to lose money. Go to a math professor at CGCC and they can work out the odds precisely and the average loss rate.

Unfortunately no one brags to their friends about how much money they lose in the Lottery, so you only hear about the very rare person who strikes it rich. That's why they parade winners on TV all the time, to keep up the charade.

It would take someone from within the poorest communities to become a dedicated spokesperson against the evils of the Lottery, someone with real credibility among their peers, to erode these false hopes.

There is also a retired ad guy in Ancram who likes to boast that he wrote one of the more famous Lottery slogans. Maybe someone like that shouold be enlisted to do penance for his role in deceiving poor people, and do a pro-bono campaign against the Lottery and in favor of saving that $10-$50 daily instead.

But if you try to raise these issues locally (just as if you tried to raise the cost of Wal-Mart to the community), those who are being taken the most advantage of will howl the most in protest, that you are an elitist trying to keep them down, when it is in fact the State politicians who back these lotteries who are perpetuating misery.

Diego said...

I know it's called GayHudson but the blog is becoming a little too Hudson-centric. We need more broad fun stuff too, you know. and hot pictures, or at least freaky ones, bizarr-o stuff.

also I propse that Trixie shave her chest next time she comes out.

Trixie said...

When your Brazilian-waxed pussy comes to one of my parties, we'll talk.

That's my response to both comments.

:)

Anonymous said...

trixie left me speechless

Trixie said...

it's about time.