exercises in compound storytelling

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

David Brooks on lottery tickets

The agents of destruction are many. State governments have played a role. They aggressively hawk their lottery products, which some people call a tax on stupidity. Twenty percent of Americans are frequent players, spending about $60 billion a year. The spending is starkly regressive. A household with income under $13,000 spends, on average, $645 a year on lottery tickets, about 9 percent of all income. Aside from the financial toll, the moral toll is comprehensive. Here is the government, the guardian of order, telling people that they don’t have to work to build for the future. They can strike it rich for nothing.

So says David Brooks in the New York Times. Let's see: if there are three hundred million Americans, that works out to a thousand dollars per. If there are three hundred and thirty million that's nine hundred dollars per. That's just staggering.

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