The Finch Formerly Known As Gold

20 October 2004

What have you done for us lately?

"All politics is local," they say, and last night's Carson/Coburn debate, in which the dominant theme proved to be "What can you do for Oklahoma?", would seem to corroborate that generalization.

Meanwhile in Tulsa, a news story on the proposed state lottery almost turned into a debate in its own right, featuring lottery proponent Pat Hall and longtime opponent Rep. Forrest Claunch (R-Midwest City).

Color me officially undecided on both of these for now.

Posted at 7:40 AM to Soonerland

Linking to this item:

Personally, I'd like the ability to decide not to play the lottery on my own rather than have someone else decide FOR me what is best for me.

I feel the same way about tattoos, though I don't recall seeing whether or not this issue has even come up.

It's no one else's business what I choose to do in either event.

Posted by: unimpressed at 8:38 AM on 20 October 2004

I feel the same way.

However, I don't think it's the governemnt's role to be encouraging gambling, tatooing, prostitution, pornography, or other vices simply for the potential of increased revenue.

Posted by: Mike at 9:33 AM on 20 October 2004

Nobody's keeping you from gambling in a hundred different ways. This isn't a liberty issue. It's a question of whether we want our terrible, bad, no good government bureacracy in the gambling business.

Do we want our government encouraging vices that cost us social service money on the front end and back end? I don't want my tax money going to someone who plays the lottery with it. Money is fungible, despite the best efforts of AFDC. (or whatever it's called these days) The facts are - the poorest play the lottery the most. The poorest consume the most social services. Thus, social services subsidize the lottery. Not to mention the back-end subsidy after you've LOST your money playing the lottery.

The solutions to budget ills are clean government (no ghost employees), setting priorities (teacher raises over state employee raises), and fiscal responsibility (no $39,000 per year for part-time legislators).

Our government has not been faithful with little, so I see no reason to expect them to be faithful with much. Oklahoma has dirty government, greedy legislators, and a governor who thinks every problem can be solved by another gambling law. No thanks. I will be voting NO on the lottery.

Posted by: Dan at 4:47 PM on 20 October 2004

Mike, where did I -ever- give the impression that I thought it was government's "business" to encourage any of the above? I specifically stated that I didn't think they have any right to DIScourage them and this does not in any way suggest that I feel the opposite is the proper course of action.

It is not now, nor has it ever been, "right" for a government to decide either positively or negatively on a thing that -affects no other person-. A tattoo is just such a thing. It affects no other than the individual wearing it.

If one does not like tattoos, the simplest solution is to just not get one.

Posted by: unimpressed at 10:46 PM on 20 October 2004

Well, the major difference between the lottery and tattoos, at least right now, is that there are no plans to set up a state department to oversee tattooing. Inasmuch as the state will presumably make money off the lottery, they can scarcely be considered disinterested; the state clearly wants to encourage people to play.

Were the lottery to be run by a state-chartered corporation rather than by the state itself, I might have fewer problems with it.

I'll take on all the State Questions in an upcoming Vent.

Posted by: CGHill at 8:15 AM on 21 October 2004