Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Why Our Government Should Stop Exploiting the Poor

"Challenge" is a lateral thinking tool developed by Edward de Bono that can be used to eliminate wasteful programs. Wouldn't it be great if our elected officials learned how to use it?

One thing I wish I had heard during the election season is what government programs the candidates would kill. Out government is rife with antiquated wasteful programs that suck up resources and benefit no one except the bureaucrats that live on the government dole.

One program that has no beneficial purpose is the lottery. Think about it. Isn't the lottery state-sponsored gambling? Is sponsoring gambling really a necessary function of government?

What does the lottery produce? False hopes and losing lottery tickets.

But the lottery is more than just a frivolous wasteful program. It's a program that is designed to exploit the poor and uneducated. Very few people with math doctorates buy lottery tickets. The people who do have very poor understanding of probability theory. And studies show that they are mainly poor.

We have a county that spends billions of dollars to provide a safety net to protect the poor, so why should we also sponsor a program designed to exploit desperate and uneducated people who do not understand math?

But the money goes to the schools some say and the schools need it. So why don't we legalize prostitution and crack cocaine and give that money to the schools? We can get what we need for the schools by killing wasteful programs (stay tuned to the blog, I am going to name some of them).

"But the money goes to the schools."

We don't do this because prostitution and crack cocaine undermine the fabric of our society. And so does gambling. I have been in poor neighborhoods and seen people who look like they really need a good meal buy 20, 50, sometimes 100 lottery tickets at a time. These are not the recreational players who live in the suburbs that the lottery wants you to believe they are. These are hard core addicts being exploited by a pusher, which unfortunately is our government.

But the lottery creates jobs and we need jobs, but these are government jobs administering a program that produces no goods or services. If the lottery went away tomorrow, many lottery employees would find useful jobs in the private sector creating goods and services that people wanted to buy. Those are the types of jobs we need that make our economy grow. Jobs that produce millions of losing lottery tickets do not stimulate our economy.

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