Tuesday, May 24, 2011

You Play, You Pay

When you win a war
you preside over a funeral.

Pay your respects to the dead

--Tao Te Ching
, Verse 31

The way you stole my heart,

you know you could have been a cool crook.

And, baby, you're so smart,

you know you could have been a schoolbook

--The Way You Do the Things You Do,

The Temptations


We always talk about THEM and how they run the government, but the question is: Why do we allow them to run the government the way they do?

For example: Most states have lotteries, which is a polite way of saying they have co-opted the functions of organized crime. Even in the God-fearin' Bible belt, they still like their gambling (often under the aegis of helping schoolchildren, you see.) God gave us free will, after all, and you're saved or not, so bring on the Lotto.

The Florida State lottery is gambling in its purest form -- state-sponsored racketeering sold as a positive, something that would benefit scholastic programs. Nobody seems to mind that the dumbest and poorest among us are the source of the increased revenue that benefited the smartest and best-educated. We pretend that bilking billions from Lotto players is different from taxation, but with the Lotto the players get zilch, whereas with increased taxation they might get something beneficial.

The lottery is a hidden tax levied upon the poorest and most desperate in our system. However, even that inequity is irrelevant as gambling was accepted as a legitimate state function for raising revenue and keeping taxes down. But the real rub of this supposedly painless generator of supplemental revenue for the general education of Floridians was seen after new Governor Rick Scott (aka Pink Slip Rick) blew into Tallahassee.

Now the funds for schools and scholarships have been cut, the monies diverted to more dire state needs (Students Rally Against Bright Futures Cuts). NO surprise as this Republican governor is opposed to all tax increases. Miraculously, Scott has actually cut corporate taxes concomitant with falling revenue at the Florida mafia (which we call the Lottery Commission.)
And a mere 65 students turn out for the rally, on their own campus!

Absolutely predictable: Revenue falls across the board, the governor grabs Lotto cash for the state -- cutting earmarked education funding -- all the while denying the need for increased tax revenue. It doesn't take a genius to see we have been hornswaggled. The lottery exists on bipartisan support, so both parties bear responsibility for this con game preying upon our poorest souls.

This sure seems like a perfect example of President Reagan's Voodoo Economics.

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Anonymous CholoAzul said...

The obvious solution to compensate for the missing education money... fire more teachers.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011 at 8:36:00 PM GMT-5  

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