Read Something

*Gambling is not good! Unless you win. Or, unless you are a government looking for a way to tax without a tax.
*House churchesare growing, until someone finds a way to market them. Then we'll have a McStarChurch on every corner.
*Barefoot Jesus Guy It's hard to walk a mile in this guys shoes!
*The New France. Bush may have a new buddy.


Igford said...

Thanks for the reading. That gambling article was especially interesting, but I didn't like the title.

Casinos don't prey on the poor. They prey on the dumb. The fact that many dumb people are also poor comes from the fact that many dumb people think a casino is an investment vehicle and not a form of entertainment.

The lottery is a bit different, but no one is forcing them to play. If you lose your life savings playing the lottery, then you're dumb. And then I'm back to the same argument I brought up with casinos.

Chris Spinks said...

Igford, you make an interesting and supportable point, but I wonder if there is not something a good deal deeper than people's intelligence. Or, at least there is a societal issue left unmentioned when one connects poverty and lack of intelligence. It's far too easy to dismiss the problem because a good majority of gamblers are stupid suckers. This they may be. But I wonder why that is.

Also, what does it say of us as a civilized culture that we make available something like the lottery, but then call people dumb for playing it? I tend to agree with your assessment, but I think the article puts the spotlight not so much on the gamblers but on the government that uses gambling as a tax. These sorts of societal and cultural questions ought to be asked, don't you think?

Igford said...

Well, it isn't so much that people are dumb for playing. I mean, I know plenty of smart people that have bought lottery tickets or spent some time in a casino. I just think it is a personal problem when someone becomes addicted to it and spends "too much" on it to the point that they end up being poor. The government allows this to happen, because it fills their coffers. Is it somewhat repulsive that the government gains off of people's misfortune? Sure it is, but if we set some sort of limit on how much people can gamble, then we're restricting people's freedom.

I think it's similar to cigarettes. We know they kill people. We know that it is addictive. But making it illegal would restrict people's freedom. Of course, we know that's not why the government keeps them around. The real reason is to fill their coffers. Allowing people to get addicted to a known addictive substance and then overtaxing that substance for profit? How's that for a civilized culture?