The North Carolina Assembly just voted 24-24 to have a lottery, with Lt. Governor Beverly Perdue breaking the tie in favor of Governor Easley. The vote is normally 24-26, but two Republican Senators were not able to make the unusual session (sickness and HONEYMOON). The Progressive Viewpoint on the lottery is something I just don't get. Let me begin by saying I'm not sure how I feel about the backdoor politics played here to get the lottery in North Carolina. This is exactly the sort of thing that Republicans do to win ALL the time, so perhaps it is long overdue for Democrats to win at all costs.
I'm against raising the sales tax because it is regressive, you have no choice but to buy in our economy. Poor people pay more of their salary in sales taxes than rich people, so that isn't fair. But, the lottery is a choice. On the conservative side, I can understand those that think gambling is a mortal sin, so they oppose it on those grounds.
But, the argument from Progressives that we shouldn't have a lottery because it is regressive doesn't work for me. Ignore how the lottery income is spent for a minute, which I don't agree with (based on previous attempts, still looking for the wording of what passed), and focus on the lottery itself.
It is a sticky wicket being a Progressive. Our pro-life movement (vs. the Conservative pro-birth movement) insists that a woman's body is her own and that she has the free will to make her own choices. Our Human Rights movement (vs. the Conservative Gay Bashing movement) insists that government has no business interfering in the private lives of others. Yet, when it comes to the lottery, Progressives feel that the poor need protecting, because the lottery takes advantage of them. Where is the free will and private lives for those people? Or, do WE know better than THOSE poor people, so they need our protection.
What arrogance, what stupidity. I don't think this is an issue you can pick and choose - CHOICE.
This is a topic larger than abortion or the lottery, it is about personal responsibility and how much say government should have over our lives.
On a more local note, I recently got some gas out in the country here in North Carolina. I asked the attendant what he thought about the lottery. His reponse was that it would be good for business and it would mean he didn't have to drive to Virginia anymore to buy tickets. We're two hours from Virginia! The people want the lottery. If you are against gambling as a mortal sin, that I can at least understand. But, if you are for free will and personal choice, then how can you be against the lottery?