Flutterby™! : The failure of lotteries

Next unread comment / Catchup all unread comments User Account Info | Logout | XML/Pilot/etc versions | Long version (with comments) | Weblog archives | Site Map | | Browse Topics

The failure of lotteries

2007-10-07 17:07:34.082941+00 by Dan Lyke 0 comments

A lottery is often pitched as a way to support education. I'm all for taxes on stupidity, so the notion of state lotteries is fine by me, but I've also long believed that what happens is that you get a few years of extra dollars and then education funding from general taxes dries up. The New York Times finds that lotteries fund less than they promise, and draw mainly from a set of core players, and don't necessarily positively impact education spending:

But Brett McFadden, a budget analyst with the Association of California School Administrators, said: "It makes it harder for us to convince people that they still need to support education." He added, "They think the lottery is taking care of education. We have to tell them we're only getting a few sprinkles; we're not even getting the icing on the cake."

Rafe points out that there's a term for the situation of lotteries having to spend increasing amounts on promotion: "rent exhaustion". The entry he links to, Marginal Revolution: Beggars and rent exhaustion, has some interesting comments which tie in nicely with Terry Pratchett[Wiki]'s notion that the best way to control theft is to let the thieves form a guild...

[ related topics: Politics Education Gambling Economics Terry Pratchett ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):