Kill it.




The proceeds are anemic. The Capitol is all a-twitter:

How will the state make up a half-a-billion dollar lottery shortfall?

Easley wants to give away an even higher percentage of lottery revenues to stimulate more sales.

Basnight and Hoyle say let sleeping dogs lie. They're afraid any legislative consideration will lead to amendments, including an outright proposal to end the monstrosity.

They're smart to be afraid.

Because the right thing to do is bring the lottery up again. And kill it.

The lottery was a moral and fiscal mistake for North Carolina from the outset. Its underlying principles are bankrupt. It was pushed through in an unseemly fashion. And more to the point, it's not working. Like Bush's war in Iraq, the lottery is bill of shoddy goods.

North Carolina has the rare opportunity to reconsider a bad decision before too much damage and not enough good is done.

Kill the lottery. Now.

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Read the good story by Jim Morrill.

Comments

Never understood why

cops would raid numbers places, but right next door was the lottery place, and across the street was the Catholic Church with Bingo, Vegas Nights and such.

We all make mistakes.

They're inevitable.

The only question is how gracefully we recover from them.

If you voted for this lottery, you have the right to change your mind in light of the new evidence. You don't even have to apologize.

Because if you'd known then what you know now, you wouldn't have voted for it in the first place. Right?

Easley needs a better negotiation position.

Easley wants to give away an even higher percentage of lottery revenues to stimulate more sales.

How about this Mike. Go to Powerball and say, you know what, give us a better deal for five years or else we're just going to sign up with someone else. Or, here is an original idea. How about South Carolina, North Carolina, and Virginia all start a lottery together. It wouldn't be as big as Powerball, but they could keep ALL the profits, which would probably make them more money in the end. That way, no one state is "producing" lottery tickets and running a gambling operation.

One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

With the money it cost to set up the lottery

I can almost guarantee they won't kill it.

Is there any way to make it work? Is it completely and utterly evil or can some good come from it? I just don't know. The lottery was never a hot button issue for me because I don't buy lottery tickets and, well, I guess I'm not a good enough person to always think about those who wind up suffering financially because they do buy lottery tickets.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

A grocery store opened

in my neighborhood last summer. It basically was the wrong kind of store in the wrong place and it failed miserably. They closed it three months ago.

Yes we'd take a hit. We made a mistake. We have to pay for it.

But that's life. Pay up and move on. And hopefully learn the lesson that we have to pay for our services the old fashioned way.

Deals go belly up in business all the time. Investments don't deliver what they promise. Sometimes you cut your losses.

Cut Your Losses/Learn From Your Mistakes

Everyone else has to -

well, 'ceptin' certain (-Rs) we know...

but they will.

I smell fish. The lottery bills did not pass since I've lived here; then all of a sudden ... we have a lottery.

Yeah, right.

Why Kill the Lottery?

What's wrong with the lottery? If you don't play, why does it matter to you? States all over the country have been running lotteries for decades now. In fact, NC was losing lots of money as NC residents went to SC or VA to buy lottery tickets. There's no real evidence that lotteries hurt anyone and they do generate revenue. As for state lotteries being OK and private lotteries being illegal, you can make the same claim for alcohol. Look, the reality is that you can't stop people from feeding their vices -- so why not make them legal, tax the hell out of them, use part of the money to educate people about making wise choices and stop being so almighty moralistic.

Here's why I don't like lotteries, and I'll bet A agrees

Have you ever seen the folks who buy lottery tickets? It's not exactly the same folks you'd see in downtown dinner clubs in Charlotte, Greensboro, and Raleigh, nor the same folks you'd see in the country clubs in the burbs, either.

It's always the working poor to lower-middle class folks you see in those lines at the gas stations, spending their hard-earned money on a one in whatever shot at winning the money. It's far more ominous than places like Vegas, where the streets are paved with gold taken from middle to upper-class people who fly there for a good time. Instead, we've come up with a way to regressively tax the poor in the name of education (in most states, and ours, too). God forbid we spread the burden on all property owners or all people who consume certain items. Instead, we call it a game and the money disproportionately comes from the poorest among us.

It's immoral in a certain sense, but, if you don't like that word, then it just plays against a certain sense of fairness in the tax code. The reason I'm against the lottery is literally the same reason I'm against the poor paying a higher percentage of income taxes than the wealthy. For the millions who will never win a damn thing, it's a TAX, not a game.

So, while I can't throw statistics at you, instead of paying at the pump next time you gas up, go inside to pay and see who you find buying lottery tickets.

As to the Virginia and SC argument, it's fine if they want to do that to their poor folks. They make their own decisions. If I ever move to one of those states, I'll bitch about things there. Since I'm a tar heel, I'll bitch about things here. They do other things in Virginia and SC that I find appalling, too, like embedding homophobia in their constitutions. But that's another story.

Well done, A.

War is over if you want it.

Its not a tax because its a

Its not a tax because its a choice made by the people who buy the tickets. Taxes are not a choice. Besides, what business is it of yours if someone decides to spend their hard-earned money on the lottery? I'm guessing that most people spend less than $10 a week on the lottery. Could they spend that money in other ways? Yes, but its not anyone's business to tell them how to spend their money. I buy DVDs that I never watch at $10 a pop, which is a total waste of money, but you wouldn't tell me I can't do that, now would you?

Again, you can't legislate against vices -- it never works. The best you can do is control it.

And P.S. I buy lottery tickets and I certainly do not meet your stereotype as I am definitely middle class and own a nice home in Chapel Hill. I see quite a few people like myself or better off buying lottery tickets in my 'hood.

Guess you'll need to buy more

You arguments makes sense to a point. And then they're just silly. No one is trying to tell anyone what to do with their money. The lottery is a creature of the state . . . and the state has a vested interest in seducing people to buy lottery tickets.

That is wrong on so many levels. If you can't see that, you're not looking.

Two points

It IS a tax for those thousands/millions who don't win, as for them it's a way for the state to take in revenue. For the one family that hits the jackpot or the occasional person who makes more in scratch-n-win than he puts in, it's a game.

Also, it's not a matter of regulating vices at all---it's the state getting in the game and creating a vice next to all the others you're talking about. And THAT is definitely wrong in my book. When you speak of regulating vices, that's in regulation of things that exist in the private sector beforehand, like gambling and booze. A lottery is in no way, shape, or form regulating a vice. It's creating one.

War is over if you want it.

It matters to me

Because I have to explain to my kids that North Carolina is paying for public schools by encouraging poor people to gamble, and when they don't gamble enough, the governor wants to throw more prize money at the problem.

It matters to me because a moral, decent society doesn't pay for fundamental services with a scheme that draws money disproportionately from those who are least able to pay.

The second part of your argument is more tolerable, but not completely convincing. Get the government out of state-sponsored vices, let the private sector take charge, and "tax the hell out of them"? Okay . . . but while you're at it, why not go ahead and legalize prostitution, since it appears to be going on every day in the legislature as it is.

Plus don't forget recreational and hard drugs . . . crack, pot, coke, speed, meth, and whatever other vices people want to feed.

I never said let private

I never said let private companies take over. I am perfectly fine with the state being in the regulating vice business, as it already is with alcohol and tobacco. And I think it should be in the drug and prostitution business too. It just makes sense to control and regulate these vices and tax the hell out of them and use at least part of the money for education about not getting too deep into these vices. Alcohol is one of the worst drugs out there, but its legal (quasi-legal, actually). Why not other drugs? Holland (where people seem to have sense) has legalized many drugs and prostitution and it is one of the most successful and progressive countries in the world. And I have no problem explaining to my children that some of the money raised in the lottery goes to fund schools. And I have no problem with the poor spending money on the lottery -- its not my business to tell them how to use their money any more than its my business to tell them how many children to have or whether or not to buy $150 sneakers. Seems to me there are a lot better ways to help the poor than worrying about the lottery.

I agree in part

About drugs like pot, in particular, that the state should jump into this, regulate it and tax the crap out of it.

Other drugs and prostitution, differ, however, in that people are greatly endangered and exploited.

I know the opinions on this stuff are far and wide---it splits liberal thinkers and conservatives alike. On this issue, I have strange bedfellows on the far right. They think about it in Biblical terms, and Anglico and I think of it in more ethical terms.

War is over if you want it.

You're coming around!

My position is not about helping the poor. It's about paying honestly for government services. The lottery has already proven itself to be an unreliable revenue stream - and anyone who looked at it carefully knew from the outset that it would be.

I agree that the lottery is not a tax. It is simply state-sponsored gambling. I consider that a bad idea. Not for any moral reason . . . it is simply not a proper function of government.

I agree about responsibly paying for services

I've believed for years that these lotteries have been a ruse to put the costs of education financing on the backs of the poor by getting them to play a game that all but a few will lose. It's a flat-out regressive tax on them instead of ALL of us responsibly paying for one of society's obligation.

I wonder what lottery proponents would think about a lottery where all the proceeds were used to pay for healthcare for children, elderly and disabled, food stamps for the working poor, etc. That would never fly.

War is over if you want it.

Don't worry

Because I have to explain to my kids that North Carolina is paying for public schools by encouraging poor people to gamble,

Don't worry. With the way they hobbled the marketing program, they are not encouraging anyone to gamble. You almost wouldn't know we had a lottery, especially if you pay at the pump and pretty much no longer go into convenience stores.

I wondered where you have been

Glad to see you still about.

Robin Hayes lied. Nobody died, but thousands of folks lost their jobs.



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Vote Democratic! The ass you save may be your own.

Lottery.

I'm not against the lottery, but I agree with A that it isn't the way we should be funding things. We talk about having a "rainy day fund", well this should be it. Put all lottery proceeds into a money-making account, the let Treasurer handle it, and when the next hurricane causes $300 Million in damage - we'll have the money to fix it.

Fund education dollars with tax dollars.

Or, make gambling legal in certain places. Riverboats, isolated casinos, whatever. I have no problem with gambling. If folks are allowed to drink alcohol, then they should be allowed to gamble. heck, if we allow cigarettes, why not gambling?

One man with courage makes a majority.
- Andrew Jackson

Jesus Swept ticked me off. Too short. I loved the characters and then POOF it was over.
-me

Exactly, Robert.

Exactly.

Don't leave Education funding up to chance. But if people want to play the lottery, let them.

And once someone has earned their dollar, let them decide how to spend it. Really - that's their business. I might not approve of the choice, but it's not my dollar. I don't want anyone telling me how to spend my money, either.

"Be the change you wish to see in the world." - Gandhi

Yep. That's exactly the

Yep. That's exactly the right position.

Unfortunately, all states feel they have to justify "immoral" lotteries by using the revenues for "moral" purposes like education.

What ends up happening (and i believe Georgia has been the only state to avoid this problem) is that rather than "supplementing" tax revenues earmarked for educational purposes, lottery revenues replace general fund revenues. When lottery revenues go down, there's no money in the kitty to meet the educational commitments, which end up getting cut.

I really don't give a f*ck if anybody wants to blow 10 bucks or a hundred bucks a week on lottery tickets. You're an adult, it's your choice. But don't bet the future of the educational system on the lottery. That's just a sucker bet.

Gambling

ook, the reality is that you can't stop people from feeding their vices -- so why not make them legal, tax the hell out of them, use part of the money to educate people about making wise choices and stop being so almighty moralistic.

Ok so make private gambling legal, but still kill the lottery. It's not working, it's got terrible odds and it's preying upon the poor. And really, it's just a glorified tax - not a game at all. We don't need the state to feed our vices - we can do that on our own, thanks.
Vices are not crimes

Vices are not crimes

States With Lotteries

I've lived in or next to several different states with lotteries.

The only one - the only one - that did exactly what they said they'd do and did it well is Georgia.

Don't know why, don't know how. But that's what I saw.

Is there something wrong with people going to SC or VA to play? So what. Let 'em. 'Lost revenue' my Aunt Fanny - you can't lose what you never had.

Amen

I never get to say that around here; but I agree wholeheartedly this post and this line was particularly brilliant:

The lottery was a moral and fiscal mistake for North Carolina from the outset.