Making Lives Worse

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The state of Oregon makes staggering profits by urging citizens to squander their money on Powerball, Megabucks, scratch tickets, Keno and especially, video machines. Those machines provide 86% of the state’s gambling revenue, and The Oregonian cites shocking studies showing “the biggest chunk of video-lottery players park in front of a machine and gamble alone until all their money is gone.”

These problem gamblers ruin their lives with their addiction, while state government makes a net profit of more than $850 million each year–-averaging more than $500 from each Oregon household.

Conservatives understand that government will often fail when it tries to encourage virtue, but it can prove ruthlessly effective at promoting self-destructive vice. We can’t count on bureaucrats to make our lives better but that doesn’t give them the right to make our lives worse.

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Comments (5)

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  1. Seattle Sam  •  Nov 27, 2013 at 10:04 am

    Well, of course, Then they’ll be eligible for food stamps, Medicaid and all sorts of other welfare. It’s a nice circle of recycling money through the government.

  2. PC  •  Nov 28, 2013 at 1:07 am

    And if the Federal government outlawed the state lottery, conservatives would scream bloody murder. “You can have my scratch-off ticket when you pry it from my cold, dead hand!” You can’t have it both ways.

  3. jlk  •  Nov 29, 2013 at 12:11 am

    Most bankruptcies come from people mismanaging their finances by buying too much stuff from stores.Shall we ban them too?My brother has had days playing blackjack,where he walked out of the casino with over $10K in winnings.There are plenty of winners,as well as losers.

  4. BCB  •  Nov 29, 2013 at 4:09 pm

    The only winners in this game is the state government. This is just another way to tax the poor. I do believe in personal responsibility but it is bad policy when the government promotes a system that is going to take money from the poor and middle class.

  5. jguy  •  Dec 13, 2013 at 5:10 am

    I personally rarely buy lottery tickets….BUT I believe it is part of our Freedom as lauded
    by most americans. You dont want to play….then dont. I DO believe a national lottery
    for the purpose of defeating the debt problem would be better than tax increases.

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