The Lottery

March 10, 2015 by  
Filed under A Monday AM BLOG

One of the candidates for the office of Governor in AL is proposing a Lottery, ostensibly to fund and support Education. Such a proposal is ethically, morally and pragmatically bankrupt.

Wisdom Literature, the Book of Proverbs, declares with absolute clarity that the incorporation of such a mechanism into Social Policy is woefully lacking and counter-productive.

Whoever works his land will have plenty of bread,

but he who follows worthless pursuits lacks sense. (Prov. 12:11)

 

The literal translation from the Masoretic Text of the Hebrew Old Testament for the final phrase in this verse, ‘lacks sense’ is ‘has a needy or deficient heart’,  (kesar leb). The NIV translation of this verse is ‘but he who chases fantasies lacks judgment.’ The lottery is the quintessential fantasy and those who fund this endeavor by purchasing lottery tickets are the least able to afford such expenditures. The poor are enticed by this fantasy and squander financial resources they can ill afford to waste. Waste indeed! In the end of this game, everyone is a loser.

 

A 2011 paper in the Journal of Gambling Studies conducted a thorough review of the available research on lotteries and concluded that the “poor are still the leading patron of the lottery”[1].

 

The most effective means of improving the education of children in Alabama is dedicated and involved parents, mothers and fathers. They turn off the TV. They shut down the Video Games. They read to and with their children. They model the vital importance of education by daily focus, instruction and personal investment in the things that matter most.

 

Buying a Lottery Ticket is indeed a fantasy. We do not need a Governor that promotes fantasy as Public Policy. We do need parents that invest wisely and persistently in the education and development of their children.



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