Thursday, October 18, 2007

Lottery: Brummett Says 42 States Can't Be Wrong


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Brummett, in a round-about way, admits in his column today that Ronald Reagan was the right choice for America, since he says "42 states can't be wrong". Above is an electoral map from 1980 showing that more than 42 states supported Reagan. Of course, he was not really talking about Reagan. He was attempting a psychological ploy called the "bandwagon effect". This technique pressures people to do something, not on the basis of whether or not the people think it is a good (in any sense of the word) idea or not, but rather "because everyone else is doing it". You may recognize this ploy from when your 14-year old is trying to convince you to let them do something stupid. Still, the technique often works in Arkansas because much of the state suffers from an inferiority complex that the state print media carefully nourishes. That way, they can intimidate and browbeat the public into giving up what the public wants just because the elites tell them it is "backward".

I am going to need a little space to dissect this column, so you can catch the rest on the jump by clicking "Thursday" below and scrolling down.......

8 Comments:

Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

It has often been said that the lottery is a tax on stupidity and you decide how much you pay. Gambling, except perhaps in the context of small-stakes stuff among friends where the fellowship is the real point, is an inherently immoral economic transaction.

In moral economic transactions, both sides win because each gives up something they don't want as bad as what they are going to get by giving it up. Both sides win. But in gambling, for me to win, you have to lose. If I sell furniture, I have an interest in your continued well being as a customer. Not so if I am gambling with you. Thus, gambling violates the most fundamental precept of Christianity- the Golden Rule.

But I should not spend too much time on that, for Brummett himself admits that it is bad policy. The morality of some desperate shmuck losing his children's grocery money does not seem to overburden whatever conscience Brummett may still have. Instead, he argues that the end (more college money) justifies the means (raising money through the immoral and socially destructive process of gambling).

continued...

9:05 AM, October 18, 2007  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

The crux of Brummett's argument is "To be against the use of money for that purpose is to be against helping people get a college education. Or you could simply be against Arkansas and her people becoming any better off.

Apparently Brummett feels that if the end cause is sending more people to college, then the morality of the means by which that is done should not matter- and if you object to using immoral means to obtaining college money then you must be "against helping people get an education" and "against Arkansas and her people becoming any better off".

That being the case, maybe people looking for college money should rob Brummett's house, jack his car, and lift his wallet. Surely he would not press charges and thus be in the way of "helping people get an education". As a matter of fact, it could be quite an education for him.

continued...

9:18 AM, October 18, 2007  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

So you can see that I oppose using wicked means to obtain what is alleged to be a noble end on principle. But I also question whether this end, even if it could be done, is even noble.

Right now, a slacker with a 2.0 GPA and a 15 on the ACT can still get thousands of taxpayer dollars a year to go to college. Our state is throwing trainloads of your money at these liberal colleges. I know an older lady who went back to school, she got thousands in grants and an $8,000 low-interest guaranteed loan for which she did not apply appeared in her bank account. THEY GIVE IT TO YOU UNLESS YOU REFUSE IT!!! That was for one semester!

There is a correlation between gambling and shattered families, crime, drug and alcohol abuse, and even the addiction to gambling itself. All of these are things that our government is taking money out of your pockets in an effort to fix. If we have more gambling, we will almost certainly have more of the stuff that goes with it, and since the amendment does not allow the gambling money to be spent on anything but college, you the taxpayer will be hit again with the costs of cleaning up the mess that more gambling will make.

These increased social costs will wipe out the money we "make" from a lottery. Fact is, no money is "made" from a lottery. Money is made as a result of honest economic activity where people are rewarded by the free market system for serving others well. Some good or service is produced, and that is how money is "made". The lottery does not "make" money, it redistributes it. It redistributes it from lottery players and taxpayers who must clean up the mess to liberal college professors who experience yet another avalanche of taxpayer money.

The colleges win, the lottery players and the taxpayers lose.

9:29 AM, October 18, 2007  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

The fact is, our economy is not prepared for more college graduates. We have plenty right now doing jobs for which a college degree is not required. Throwing more money at education is simply subsidizing companies from Dallas and Chicago. If our graduates want a job, they have to go there and get one- and pay taxes there. First we need to build the business enterprises that generate the need for more educated help to run them. We do that with less expensive government, not more.

The colleges have an over-priced product because the government is throwing so much money at them. If their product were good enough, people would be motivated to pay their own money to go to college. Instead we have to con some poor losers into blowing their wages from the fish house to fund it. Its shameful.

I am sure it has not escaped Halter and Brummett's notice that most folks with a high school or 4 years of college are conservative. At least they are after a few years in the real world outside of a government indoctrination center called a school. On the other hand, those who hang around and go to college for 10 years usually finally get twisted enough to be liberals for life.

I see this as an effort to propagandize the stubborn remainder of the population who still resists socialism by herding them into college classrooms where liberal professors can bombard their captive audiences with enough pseudo-intellectual cr*& until they believe it. They believe it not due to logic or force of reason but strictly due to volume, repetition and bandwagon effect- kind of like Brummett's writing.

9:50 AM, October 18, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post is filled with so much ignorance and arrogance that I question the intentions, intelligence and morals of the person who wrote it. That would be Mark Moore.

Mr. Moore would rather keep our state in the Dark Ages even if that meant a religious crusade (based on his religion alone) in order to carry it out. Nevermind, the economic realities our states. Nevermind the actual facts that he fails to mention because he probably doesn't know the facts himself. The fact that Mr. Moore calss public schools as "government indoctrination" and that all colleges are populated by "liberal professors" who "bombard their captive audiences" should tell us all that Moore is prone to exaggeration, scare tactics, and pure unsubstanitated dogma. But more to the point it shows that Mr. Moore could have used several more years of "government indoctrination" himself. He calls college professors as people who espouse "pseudo-intellectual" crap? Is he kidding? Hello, kettle. Pot. Black.

"The colleges win, the lottery players and the taxpayers lose?" Really, Mark? Your wacky assertions render you as a joke. Yes, Mark. Colleges do win because more Arkansans win by being able to go to college. Forgot to mention that, didn't you? Yes, Mark. lottery players lose. It's a game. People lose. Others will also win. Forgot to mention that, too, didn't you? And it's a voluntary game. The losers didn't have to lose if they hadn't played. Even some losers consider themselves winners because the lottery is a form of entertainment. It's fun. I know I'm not going to win all the time! And the taxpayers lose" How is that, Mark? Another lie. Taxpayers don't flip any bill at all for this. THe lottery pays for itself and actually adds money for needy Arkansas students. Seems like a win-win to me.

And the "morality of some desperate schmuck losing his children's grocery money?" Are you kidding me? Cherry-pick one extreme example and try to pass it off as something that occurs all the time? And who are you to tell anyone, including that poor schmuck what they can or can't do? Don't tell me how to be a parent. I'm responsible enough to make my own decisions about gambling and grocery shopping, thank you very much. And by the way, people are already playing the lottery in others states, they are playing the horses and video poker, they're going to casinos in other states. I see a lot of our money leaving Arkansas. And yet I don't a flood across the state of children without groceries because daddy spent $5.00 on some lottery tickets.

And I don't need you telling me that gambling is immoral. Maybe it is to you. If so, then don't play. But don't you dare to try to force your morals on other people. Seems anti-Golden Rule behavior, if you ask me. Perhaps you should consider becoming a priest for a really bad church, rather than an ignorant blogger?!

It's immoral to intentionally dumb-down Arkansans. Perhaps we should ban you and this website by making it illegal?

Afterall, we should not be exposing people to your immoral behavior.

7:44 PM, October 28, 2007  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

I may be misreading you here, but you seem a bit upset. Am I close here sugar?

I stand by my claims that, as a group, college professors are more liberal than those with only a four year degree. I know I am right about that. If you have any valid studies to the contrary, feel free to post a link. Until then, continue to rage on in ignorance.

As far as the public schools being government indoctrination centers, I know what I am talking about since I spent 12 years as a public school teacher, and the manure got deeper every year. So as to that point I am not even going to ask you to post links to studies that refute my point. No amount of sham studies could get me to disbelieve what I have seen and heard with my own eyes and ears.

If you can't see it, maybe it is just because you are one of those liberals who find it impossible to see things from any other perspective. You just think your views are the "way all decent people should think".

And as far as your claims that I am picking "one extreme example" which I pass off as "something that occurs all the time", I have to ask, how many times do parents have to lose their children's grocery money because of a government sponsored program before it becomes not-OK to a moral paragon such as yourself?

No need to answer. I am going to tell you a true story from work YESTERDAY. The young man who works assembly for us is without transportation right now. He can't afford an engine block which he is willing to install in his truck himself. He said to me YESTERDAY, "but it is OK, I have a winning lottery ticket here" and he held one up in his hand. I said, "Charlie, how many lottery tickets have you bought?" "About one a week for two years" he answered.

The ticket money added up to enough money to buy that kid nine engine blocks so that he could get his truck going, not counting interest. Instead, it is gone. Gone into the greedy maw of the state machine. Gone into the paychecks of liberal jerk professors who would look down on this kid if they met him, yet who don't offer a good enough product to make an honest living. Not enough people would buy what lib professors were selling if they had to pay for it with their own money, so the professors get the government to take it from others. So once again, I need no studies to misinform me. I already see what your lottery will do, and it disgusts me.

And next to lastly, you attempt a red-herring when you accuse me of legislating morality. The issue here is not gambling per se, but SHOULD THE GOVERNMENT BE IN THE GAMBLING BUSINESS. That aside though, you don't understand the Golden Rule any better than you seem to understand economics or what is happening in society around you.

All laws are legislated morality. When we have laws against murder, it is because we make a moral choice that the weak should be protected from the strong. When we have laws against all these schemes scamming the elderly, it is a moral decision. You and I may disagree about where the lines should be drawn, but unless you are an out-and-out anarchist, you also want to legislate morality, so get off your wooden-toy high-horse against me for doing the same.

Lastly, you may have made your point about silencing me as sarcasm, but I expect it will happen some day if things don't change soon. You will smugly approve, oblivious to your own hypocrisy.

Now let's get past the personal attacks and get to cutting bacon. I urge you to throw away the metaphorical liberal handbook that has shut your mind, and re-think this without the pre-conceptions. Why should the government be in the lottery business?

9:47 AM, October 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Arkansans win because more can go to college? How does an Arkansan "win" by spending years of his life and thousands of dollars of other people's money to colleges if when he gets out there is still no college-level job waiting for him? Seems like as big a con as the lottery itself.

11:39 AM, October 30, 2007  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The gambling lobbyists know that they can't get their nose in the tent without first suckering the people into believing that it's for the good of the state-- for the children. We have every right to reject their disingenuous offer, and to question the legitimacy of our state being involved in the gambling racket.

I worked my way through college. Novel concept. I didn't count on people losing their shirts or giving me handouts, and my labor provided a service to the community that would otherwise have been absent had I instead been given a check off the backs of the undisciplined and arithmetically challenged.

7:48 PM, October 30, 2007  

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