I just came across a recent, informative article on state lotteries.
CS: Do lotteries actually lower the average person's taxes? If so, any indication by how much?
MS: In numerous states lotteries were presented as a way to hold off a tax increase, yet taxes went up anyway. In the 1980s and 1990s lotteries played a greater role in state budget than they do now. Today, lotteries account for no more than 1 or 2 percent of state budgets. Public perception is often that lotteries are paying for much more than they really are. This is often because the lotteries were over-hyped when they were put into a public referendum.
Even in states where lottery profits are earmarked for education, their contribution to overall education budgets is a tiny fraction of the whole.
As a tax item, the lotteries are regressive. Much of the money comes, voluntarily, from lower income and less educated families and is distributed to the whole of the state without regard for the source of the revenue.
Now there are a bunch of 'old coots' in my family that voluntarily pay extra taxes by *religiously* playing the lottery: scratch tickets, slots, etc. (Private Caller as well!)
I recently heard that Massachusetts has shaved their *payouts* (on scratch tix?) to around 40%. Someone else can confirm or deny since the details are irrelevant for my purposes.
Of course a perpetually bankrupt government should be expected to indulge in such *downsizing*, no?
Anyway, I just want to point out a market reality. When a monopolist gets too greedy, it not only seeds, IT FERTILIZES competition. And since gambling has been *co-opted* by the state....competition in this realm means *black market*.
I recalled that when I lived in Philly, none of my 'old coot' gumbas ever went to a gas station or a mini mart (Wawa!) to *pay voluntary taxes*.
No, they gathered up the dollar bills, wrote down their *numbers* on a microscopic scrap of paper, and then funneled the transaction to a guy, who knew a guy, who was a bookie. They did this....EVERYDAY!
These corner bookies in SoPhilly take and pay out lottery winnings based on the precise numbers pulled by the government agents.
Only they....pay better!
the official bookie at the [censored] pays 600 to 1 for a straight number and 100 to 1 on a boxed number
The state pays 500 to 1 for straight and 80 to 1 for a boxed number
That is a direct cut-and-paste from one of my gumbas that's actually proficient in email!
Now how funny is it that these toothless *numbers' guys* have built livelihoods upon Big Government greed and ineptitude!
That last pic above is a *Soviet black market*.
Remember, it's axiomatic that the bigger the *state*, the bigger the black market.
I wonder if I can do an end-around the Mass Lottery and play numbers with bookies in *Southie* (South Boston)???
See also - On Wage Slavery.