Acton Institute Powerblog Archives

Post Tagged 'lottery'

If the lottery was honest

When it comes to government programs for redistributing income, nothing is quite as malevolently effective as state lotteries. Every year state lotteries redistribute the income of mostly poor Americans (who spend between 4-9 percent of their income on lottery tickets) to a handful of other citizens—and to the state’s coffers. Continue Reading...

The Odds are Never In Our Favor

In this week’s Acton Commentary, I take a look at “The Moral and Economic Poverty of the Lottery.” I take a look at the main parties involved: the winners, the players, and the government, and conclude, “Far from a force for good, lotteries are a danger to society.” The problems with lotteries and gambling more generally are various and sundry. Continue Reading...

Why Everybody Loses With the Powerball

When it comes to government programs for redistributing income, nothing is quite as malevolently effective as state lotteries. Every year state lotteries redistribute the income of mostly poor Americans (who spend between 4-9 percent of their income on lottery tickets) to a handful of other citizens—and to the state’s coffers. Continue Reading...

7 Figures: Lotteries in America

At The Atlantic, Derek Thompson provides some depressing numbers related to lotteries in America. Here are seven figures you should know from his article: 1. Americans spend more on lottery tickets than on sports tickets, books, video games, movie tickets, and recorded music sales combined — $70 billion on lotto games in 2014. Continue Reading...

How Lotteries Can Help the Poor Save Money

People who play the lottery with an income of less than $20,000 annually spent an average of $46 per month on lottery tickets. That comes out to more than $550 per year and it is nearly double the amount spent in any other income bracket. Continue Reading...

Why State Governments Should Issue Lottery Tickets to People on Welfare

In a prime example of how irony is lost on politicians, lawmakers in North Carolina are proposing to prohibit people receiving welfare from playing in the lottery. Perhaps the legislators aren’t aware of what state lotteries are, in effect if not intent, designed to do: redistribute the income of mostly poor Americans to a handful of other citizens—and to the state’s coffers. Continue Reading...

How Powerball Preys on the Poor

When it comes to government programs for redistributing income, nothing is quite as malevolently effective as state lotteries. Every year state lotteries redistribute the income of mostly poor Americans (who spend between 4-9% of their income on lottery tickets) to a handful of other citizens—and to the state’s coffers. Continue Reading...

The Lottery as Aspirational Insurance

Whether the lottery is, as the old adage states, a tax on people who are bad at math, it is most certainly a tax on the poor. Those who have the least spend an inordinate percentage of their income every year on lottery tickets (estimates vary from 4-9%). Continue Reading...

Lotteries and Merit

One of my favorite industries to criticize is the state-run lottery business. Philosopher William F. Vallicella writes the following: “Your chances of a significant win are next-to-nil. But suppose you win, and suppose you manage to not have your life destroyed by your ‘good fortune.’ The winnings are arguably ill-gotten gains. Continue Reading...

Well, Allow Me to Re-tort

Last month the Pacific Research Institute released a report estimating that costs associated with the American tort system exceed $865 billion per year (HT). Check it out for a detailed breakdown and comparison of these costs with other sectors of the economy and government spending. Continue Reading...