Lotteries for scholarships

Published: Tuesday, January 13, 2004 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Monday, January 12, 2004 at 10:55 p.m.

The editorial "Hope's bias" (Jan. 4) explained that the poor who purchase the majority of lottery tickets are paying for scholarships that, because of the success of the scholarship program, is making them less and less available to their children.

The University of Kentucky's Center for Poverty Research was quoted as saying, "Lotteries are a regressive form of taxation, one that places a greater burden on the poor," and the editorial closed with, "...the unfairness of taxing the poor to educate the better-off."

Gambling one's scarce money against astronomically high odds is a voluntary act of poor judgment, not the payment of a tax. To describe the buying of a lottery ticket by a low-income person as a regressive tax takes the art of converting irresponsible decision-making into victim to a new high.

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