Opinion

Felix Salmon

The New York Lottery Turns Evil

By Reuters Staff
March 21, 2009

I’ve been contrarian about lottery tickets in the past: I’ve said that buying them can be rational, and they can even be a sensible investment. So I’m not sure why this ad I saw today made me so very angry:

stimulus.jpg

Of course if anything can unstimulate the economy, it’s lotteries. In times of financial and economic crisis, the state should be doing good things on the financial empowerment front, not spending taxpayers’ dollars on ad campaigns pushing a highly regressive tax on poverty. And if you are going to pay for an ad campaign, then at the very least don’t try to dress lottery tickets up as some kind of economic stimulus. It’s disingenuous in the most harmful way I can imagine.

Reprinted from Portfolio.com

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