Sunday, April 26, 2009

Quote Quiz

"I would hate to see legalized gambling in [our state], nor do I favor a lottery. We ought to finance the state by the strength of our people and not by their weaknesses." Who said this? This quote really struck me because my state, Oregon, depends so much on the lottery and video poker for revenue, at the same time we have double-digit unemployment and a struggling economy. Free choice and all that, I know. No one forces anyone to buy a lottery ticket or play video poker. But in hard times, it seems particularly insidious for the state to sponsor the tantalizing idea of easy riches in order to fill the public coffers. Maybe I should have called this post Soapbox Sunday.


  1. I don't know who said that but I like the Soapbox Sunday title better:) Michael Medved has done a couple of shows on people who have won the lottery only to find that it made their lives worse not better. Very interesting. And whatever happened to that saying a penny saved is a penny earned. It is the same with a dollar bill, and every dollar bill that is gambled away in the hopes of a big pay off would have served better in a savings account. It all adds up. We have had nothing but problems with our lottery here and the state is constantly trying to figure out ways to make more off of it. Unless one wins, it seems either one has lined the pockets of another or paid a voluntary tax...and who wants to pay more taxes anyway?

  2. All good points! Any many probably shared by the author of the quote -- Ronald Reagan, back in 1973, after he was Governor of your fair state. I came across it in The Quotable Ronald Reagan book I just finished.

  3. Soapbox Sunday it is (and I'm only a day late).

    Whenever we have a big jackpot here in the Sunshine State, one always hears of people cleaning out their savings accounts to buy tickets and "increase their odds of winning." Anecdotal evidence, but evidence all the same that the lottery has a predatory side.

  4. I so agree! I feel somewhat the same about the revenue that comes from taxing cigarettes and alcohol and fining people for speeding. What would happen if everyone woke up tomorrow and lost the urge to indulge in any vices? Can't we find a way to pay for things without depending on people to act in self-destructive ways?

    (Note that I don't drink, smoke, gamble, or drive fast). :-)


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