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Author Topic: Lottery
branmuffin
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Just out of curiosity...
What does everyone think about lotteries? I bring this up because in the upcoming election, Tennessee is voting on a referendum to install a lottery in the state of Tennessee. So around here it's a hot topic, but what's it like in the rest of the nation and what do you think about it being there if you do have it.

Personally, I have voted already in early voting (you know that saying, vote early, vote often ;-) j/j) and I voted NO to the lottery.

It's late so I can tell why later hehe.

~branmuffin


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TomDavidson
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Well, for one thing, a lottery is essentially a tax on the stupid.

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msquared
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Tom,

And the stupid are the ones least able to afford it. Maybe we should make the rich play the lottery and when they win, give the winnings to the poor.

msquared


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Sohryu Asuka Langley
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Here in ONtraio, the lottery association actually donate a percentage of the money people use to buy the tickets to help other organizations. Many after school clubs for children are funded by these, and most equipment for these classes are donated by the lottery. So of course it's a good thing...why not?

It's a win-win situation no?


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Sohryu Asuka Langley
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I meant Ontario......darn it..
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msquared
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The problem with most lotteries set up to help schools, is that when the money starts to roll in, the state legislature starts reducing existing funding. So the schools end up getting about the same amount.

I would think that most liberals should be against lotteries, since it is a very regressive form of indirect taxation.

msquared( who only plays the lottery when the pot is over 30 million.)


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Locus
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I love state mandated gambling and drugs ...now all we need are strippers and hookers
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BoonDockSaint
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Yeah Hookers!!!
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Sohryu Asuka Langley
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**Pulls Locus and Boon away by their ears**

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maniacal_engineer
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lotteries are a tax on the innumerate. It actually does make sense to buy a ticket when the payout is greater than the odds (if the odds are 20 million:1 then buy a one dollar ticket when the jackpot exceeds 20million). But this is only if you are sure that you will not sahare the ticket. The higher level of information necessary to make lottery-ing rational is that you need to know what numbers people buy, based on what numbers have recently come up. people will irrationally track numbers, and so prior numbers affect what people buy and there what is not bought.

That digression aside, the state should not be encouraging the idea of getting something for nothing - it is corrosive to a productive society. It is -to use a loaded word- immoral to gamble. Gambling ACTUALLY IS a zero sum game, unlike most economic activity. Why is it that people who are hostile to bill gates because he is rich, aren't hostile to lotteries? Dont they see that bill is rich because he has provided value and people voluntarily give him money in exchange for value - all being better off; whereas a lottery takes money from many with a false promise of riches, and pays off just enough to perpetuate the illusion.
The state paying to encourage people to gamble? I would vote against any lottery.


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LetterRip
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I feel that the state should not be envolved in encouraging gambling, or other behaviors that are non productive, and have been shown to be often destructuve.

However, I'm not opposed to the goverment providing a gambling forum.

Thus what I would like is only very passive advertising allowed. Ie no billboards, television, or radio advertisments.

Just a posting of pot sizes where lottery tickets are available and a listing in the yellow pages/

Goverments should not be 'leading into temptation', but I have less problem with the satisfaction of a temptation that already exists.

Of course, I would probably support corporate advertising restrictions for corrosive behaviors such as alcohol, tobacco, pornography, and strip clubs.

The same for (if they are in a area which they are legal) drugs and prostitution.

In short if something is a known, significant, social or health hazard then encouraging the behavior should be illegal for governments and corporations. However, providing the good or service should not be illegal so that it can be regulated and taxed, and avoid encouraging the the growth of the 'criminal element'.

LetterRip


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maniacal_engineer
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LR
the problem is that when the taxes get big, then the government has an interest in encouraging the behavior so that they can maintain revenues. so the government can't run it and encourage the behaviour, can't effectively ban the behaviour (prohibition), and can't not tax it either. So what is the solution?
personally I think that the activities should be not technically legal, but subject to only a fine. kind of like traffic tickets. Of course traffic tickets are seen as a revenue source, at least here in San Diego, where they shortened the yellow light to increase violations and therefore revenue. So there is a case of the state (or the state employed private contractor) setting people up to break the law so they can pay the $271 fine.
what to do.... what to do....

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Sohryu Asuka Langley
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Awww c'mon you guys!! I'm on ly 17 and hey I wouldn't mind paying a little cash to win at least 50 times what I payed for....wouldn't you? (it's tax free where I am!!!!)
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maniacal_engineer
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SAL
I wouldn't mind either, but it aint gonna happen. I have a better chance of getting hit by lightning while being mobbed by supermodels ( ok maybe SLIGHTLY better odds of winning the lottery). You are obviously of a superior intellect, since you speak Japanese and english (goma suri ga umai ne - < my flattery is skilled eh> ) and even you have been infected with the contagious delusion of free-for-nothing wealth.

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Everard
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Lotteries return approximately 96 cents on the dollar, depending where you play. In other words, you come out four cents short for every dollar you play. Bad investment.
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maniacal_engineer
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slots are 96 cents
lotteries are about 30 cents, at least in CA where schools are supposed to get 30%, jackpots are 30% (except they cook the books by using the get it right now or take the annuity scam) and the remaining 40% goes to Bally's
I have actually proposed an idea that i think would be a great business proposition, that I will share with this extremely eryudight group
-LOTTERY INSURANCE-
people bring you their numbers and pay you $1, you advise them whether to buy or not. If you say buy, and they buy and lose, you refund the cost of the insurance. If you tell them not to buy, and they don't, and the numbers would have won, you give them the amount they would have won.
when the jackpot is small, you tell everyone not to buy and take a small risk of paying out. When the jackpot is big you tell everyone to buy, and end up refunding essentially everything. So essentially you end up with the same odds as the state, without that pesky cut for education, or quick-pick machine infrastructure.

WHADDAYATHINK?


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Baldar
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The Lottery is a tax on stupidity. Ironically that tax is used to educate the ignorant (when not being transferred to the general state fund).(though what it will do for the stupid is questionable. The ultimate regressive tax for those with a recessive gene.

[This message has been edited by Baldar (edited October 31, 2002).]


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Sohryu Asuka Langley
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What would you rather have? A chance to win something, (even if it's a VERY small chance of winning it) or a chance to not win anything that could set you for life (aka: retiring at say....40? or sooner?)

P.S: maniacal_engineer wa DAISUKI!!! You're too kind!


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Nathan
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This was also disscussed over at http://www.ornery.org/forums/essays/forum/Forum6/HTML/001080.html
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Grant Morgan
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"What would you rather have? A chance to win something, (even if it's a VERY small chance of winning it) or a chance to not win anything that could set you for life"

The actual choice is more like "a VERY small chance of winning something, or no chance of winning, and a dollar in my wallet."

I'll take the dollar, thanks.


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Locus
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"lotteries ...taxes for idiots...blah blah blah.."

Folks from this board really need to take a break from life and try being poor and downtrodden for oh ..5 years..

For a large number of people in the world trouble missing mortgage payments are nothing ..

It's finding the will to keep breathing day after day when your kids come home in their donated clothing from another rough day in school ... the courage to keep going to work when you've already suffered three chronic injuries working a dangerous job for minimum wage to make sure there is food on the table for those hungry faces that night...

When smoking is just a way of putting a gun to your head and pulling the trigger...

Bah...


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Baldar
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Locus I was very poor for about four years. I lived alone and barely scraped by. More than a few times I had no food and went hungary for a day, sometimes two. I learned to consider electricity and hot water luxuries I could work around. Weekends I would crash parties for extra food. So I know a bit about poverty. It hardened my resolve for success, and not once did I blow my money on lottery quests. They are a tax for the ignorant because only a stupid person would believe that the money spent (and its almost never a dollar, its usually five or whatever they can spare) on nourishment for an ephermeral dream that will not happen.
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Everard
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I agree with Baldar, here, and we all know how remarkable that is.

If you spend money on the lottery, you might as well face the fact you will have even LESS money to pay rent.

Two of the men I work with, make approximately the same wages. One stresses constantly over money, and has had to take numerous loans to pay for his children's college education. The other has money saved for both his children to go to school, a nice house, and no loans to pay off. Guess which one gambles and plays the lottery? I'll give you a hint. Its not the second one.


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Locus
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Quite frankly your experience is a joke compared to what I was talking about.

What you experienced is what typical college students face. It's completely different than facing the prospects of a whole life where things just aren't going to get better and watching your children grow up warped and twisted under the weight of poverty.

Lottery for these people is merely an alternative to suicide.

Stating that you can identify with their plight merely makes a mockery of it. No hot running water? No electricity?..Try living through a northern winter without heat....for the 10th year running ..when waking up to a 10 degree (F) (or below) house for weeks on end is routine.

Your metabolism changes after awhile to allow you to survive ..and that makes it that much harder to interact in society. After awhile you wonder what it's like to not feel sick. Wondering if it's terminal ..or if a doctor could cure it ..if you could actually afford to see one...

The pain ..the unending headaches...the fatigue ..the anger..the constant state of adrenaline appropriate for a caged animal...

These people have three options open to them ..a prison cell, death, or to seek refuge in their dreams. If somehow ...due to a minor miracle they escape ..even then the scars go with them. Invisible bars they can always see out of the corner of their eye but cannot convey to others.

It never ceases to horrify me how our society self inflicts these injuries upon itself ..with the greatest of pride.


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Dan Allen
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quote:
What you experienced is what typical college students face. It's completely different than facing the prospects of a whole life where things just aren't going to get better and watching your children grow up warped and twisted under the weight of poverty.

And this is exactly why lotteries are so wrong. For the government to dangle the false promise of “instant riches” in front of people who are so desperate borders on an evil practice.

quote:
It never ceases to horrify me how our society self inflicts these injuries upon itself ..with the greatest of pride.

And yet you continue to support a program that has the affect of kicking them while they’re down.

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Locus
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"And yet you continue to support a program that has the affect of kicking them while they’re down."

Dan,

Look up the word "hyperbole" and read my posts again...what you see might suprise you.


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Baldar
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Locus:

I wasn't a college student, I was 16. I was an emancipated youth and I didn't live in sunny CA I lived in a four season area where the winters did drop below zero quite often. And I lived on that edge for three years while I worked my way through high school. I can tell from your post you don't know what your talking about. You certainly don't have real life experiences. The description you read sounds like some cheap penny novel for the left wing set.

Do not dismiss what you know nothing about.

quote:
The pain ..the unending headaches...the fatigue ..the anger..the constant state of adrenaline appropriate for a caged animal...

As I said nice for a fiction novel or advocate for some poor group, but hardly what all or even most of the poor experience.

quote:
These people have three options open to them ..a prison cell, death, or to seek refuge in their dreams. If somehow ...due to a minor miracle they escape ..even then the scars go with them. Invisible bars they can always see out of the corner of their eye but cannot convey to others.

Baloney, life is full of options you are never locked in. This is a load of crap. I didn't opt for prison or death. Meanwhile you whole heartedly support the waste of their meager resources, toss away the chance at nutrition for what, a thirty second pipe dream? Spare me, that is the classic view of a limosine liberal.

I suggest you review the word hyperbole also. You seem to use it extensively in your "view of the poor".


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Locus
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"You certainly don't have real life experiences."

The mighty Baldar speaks it ..so it must be so..

The bars surrounding your mind are as obvious as night and day to me.

Do you lash out this mindlessly at everyone you encounter in life or do you confine your habit to this forum?

I sure wish I didn't have any experience ...and my tale was something I got out of a cheap fiction novel. What's more I wish no child should grow up with so much as a glimpse of my memories.


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Baldar
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No just poseurs who don't know what they are talking about and habitually quote dime store novelletes about the poor.

Oh, yeah, sure. Awful memories. Sorry the theatrics don't wash.

"Oh, the pain, the fatigue..." isn't that Doctor Smith in Lost in Space?

The caged animal statement oh God where's the Dramamine.


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Locus
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In quicksand to your neck and sinking fast ...

You resort to your classic strategy of plugging your ears and hurling more nonsense at me.

You yet again have confused your own blind opinion with fact. What's more you're now trying to tell me what my own life experiences were or were not.

Let's put it to a vote on the board ...

Hey everyone ...would a family of 4 ..living off say ..$4000 a year in the US (adjusted for todays dollars no rich dead uncle trickery) without public assistance ..count as poor in your opinions? Would someone raised in that environment be in a suitable position to be able to speak out on what it really feels like to be on the underside of impoverished?


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Kyle French
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It's difficult to imagine living off of $4000 a year. Are you talking about being out of work for 30 weeks a year?

Nevertheless, I have to say that it's hard for me to accept the idea that a person can't get ahead in this country. I've pretty much worked my way up from scratch a couple of times. If a person can't get enough to live on over a period of time, I start to wonder about extenuating circumstances like drug addiction, or chronic depression.


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Everard
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In my experience, Kyle is somewhat correct... most people can make it up to at least a living wage. I do think there is a large difference in earning potential between people based on my factors, but unless there are serious problems, I think most people can make it up to at least 30k a year (adjust for local value of the dollar).
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Kyle French
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Maybe Baldar's right. Maybe I am turning into a liberal. Ev just agreed with me.

Actually, I was pretty happy at $13,000 a year. But then again, I'm single.

KB


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Baldar
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Lets see Locus, there are 2080 work hours in a year (not hours, but work hours), you say 4,000 dollars, which means the breadwinner was working for 1.92 an hour? That would be in May 1974. Of course in May 1974 would be about 15,000 a year for a family of four today, not that, I will grant you is not much, but its not as bad as it sounds. That is if the breadwinner alone was working for 1.92 an hour which was the minimum wage in 1974. Of course food stamps were much more avaliable then (for both cigarettes and alcohol then) and welfare was also available if you made only minimum wage. So I am not sure what you were getting at.

Now if you are saying based on today's dollars you were earning 4,000 a year, and there was not government assistance, I would definately have to question the validity of that. I can only say that you seem bent upon exaggeration given it is illegal to pay less than minimum wage and the assumption that those who raised you were descent but poor and hence worked as much as possible to bring money in.

I made it at around 4800 which is 2080 hours a year (40 hour work weeks no overtime) in the late 70's with a minimum wage of 2.30 to 2.65. I don't know about quicksand, but how about painting yourself in a corner?

Kyle, minimum wage is usually for the single, mostly for the kid living at home, there is no "graduated index" for having children or dependents, if there were, no one would hire them. Minimum wage is not meant to be a goal, its meant to be a starting point and as someone quoted, usually workers go on to better pay at 30% higher than previous.


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Locus
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Painting myself in a corner? Telling me how many work hours there are in a year doesn't change my childhood tax bracket.

The attempts here seem to be to justify how this was possible. I don't have to argue how it's possible or explain WHY it happened. It's none of your business.

So far the suggestions I'm seeing here are implications that the breadwinner was somehow lazy, drug addicted, or worse. Typical stimulus-response reactions ..can you drool when I ring a bell too?

These are not theories..they're not gussied up figures designed to advance my political agenda next election year.

I don't need some self-righteous, concieted twit shuffling numbers in a futile attempt to prove my life an illusion. It's YOUR grasp of reality that's tenuous. You've seen a brief glimpse of my life and you've rejected it as cheap fiction ...you've seen NOTHING. It gets more fantastic not less.

You've had your whole life to figure things out ..and you've failed to get beyond the one stick and one stick makes two sticks level. I doubt anything said on this forum is going to suddenly illuminate your world.

By all means Baldar keep replying to my posts ...but do so when you have something to say that isn't a simple permutation I've already worked through a thousand times in my head. If you have no new content to add then conversation becomes unwarranted as I can have the discussion internally at approximately 20000X the efficiency, without tripping over your apparent pride at having never been toilet trained.


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Baldar
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Thanks for inviting my response Locus.

Numbers are not twits, nor are they self righteous or even evil, they generally just are. When you gave me your numbers I looked at them because I took you seriously. I researched them and I came to one of two of, what I believe, are accurate assumptions, either one of your parents worked the 2080 hours a year, which would make your numbers 1.92 an hour, or neither of them worked the 2080 hours. So I find it difficult to understand that both parents did not at least work part time, or that there was no government assistance involved. The numbers (neither good or bad) don't reflect the reality. Now your response has not been anything even close to reality or even with an explanation to help others understand your position, rather you seem intent of describing my grasp of reality tenuous. I suggest you really really look at what you have written.

You produce a fantastic scenario of your youth and then when someone tests your numbers and finds that scenario wanting in reality, you collapse to some strange weird "who is afraid of Virginia Wolfe" dialogue. Frankly I will put your rather strange nightmare text to the shelf where I keep my fathers "we went to school barefoot in the snow uphill....both ways".


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Everard
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Funny how that can often be true, though... at UW-Madison, if you live in the lakeshore dorms, for example, you have to walk up hill... both ways. There's also down, involved, of course, but the statement as it stands is true.
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Kyle French
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ooh! ooh! look! another flame war! How droll.

The amazing thing is, your mental powers are so great that not only are you capable of having a well-thought debate without any one to disagree with you, but you've managed to lump Baldar, Everard and myself into a single unreasoned position. Considering our diverse viewpoints, this is pretty amazing.

All three of us found the situation that you suggested to be so unbelievable that we all automatically assumed it was a hypothetical and not a real situation in your own life. This is not to say that it didn't happen, but that it is so far beyond our realm of experience or even imagination that we need more data before we can even consider the idea.

Please remember that we are but dust. Of course, it is absolutely impossible to survive on that kind of money with no kind of help whatsoever. This gives my frail mind two options: either the person described was not limited to the scenario described, or that person died.

Please forgive me for prying, but, if the scenario you described really is directly from your own experience, how did you survive? Did you win the lottery?


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Kyle French
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On behalf of the poor, I will say I have known people who would not take a day off from their minimum wage job to apply for a job they qualified for that paid 50% more, because they were afraid that if they missed work they would lose their job. I wanted to slap that girl.

People do get trapped in a poverty mentality and it's enfuriating, because there's no way you can help them at all until they learn to stop thinking like that. But I don't see how a lottery could help.


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LetterRip
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Interestingly,

the priori assumption has been that locus was raised in the US, but I don't think that was ever stated.

Locus, where were you raised in such sad circumstances, if I might ask.

I too did not realize that you were narrating from personal experience, I too thought you might be repeating the words off a flyer or some such.

However, since that is not the case, I am sorrowed by your past, and would be interested to hear more.

I still don't think a lottery is a good way to give hope to such families, however, I agree that such families do need some source of hope that their existance might be more bearable.

LetterRip


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