American Enterprise Institute president Arthur Brooks recently wrote online about the deception of state lotteries. He notes the majority of lottery tickets are sold to those in lower income brackets and that often lottery advertising is targeted in those communities. Many receive food stamps and other government benefits. They finance lottery tickets by cutting down on necessities such as food and payment of other bills, further entrenching poverty. Brooks calls for government to stop selling poor people a mirage of the American dream at the end of a convenience-store line.
The budget just passed in Wisconsin adds $1 million per year to the already bloated and unconstitutional lottery advertising budget. It just makes no sense to push the lottery on people who can least afford it and then turn around and give them taxpayer funded benefits. If we’re serious about alleviating poverty we need to ditch the state lottery.
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