Monday, March 19, 2012

Bloomberg calls Georgians 'suckers' which seems rude and uncalled for

Posted By on Mon, Mar 19, 2012 at 3:30 PM

Georgians spend $50 billion dollars a year on lottery tickets [Actually, AMERICANS spend $50billion a year on lottery tickets — the article doesn't say how much Georgians spend total.] That's $470 on average or about one percent of their already below-average incomes. Massachusetts spent more on lottery tickets, but also had the highest return in the form of prize payouts. Georgia ranked second in terms of the amount its residents spend on tickets, but only ranked sixth in prize payouts.

Anyway, Bloomberg's "sucker index" says this makes Georgians the biggest suckers of them all. Does it really mean we're suckers? Or does it just mean we just really, really excel at throwing our money away?

The poor appear to excel at it, anyway ...

You’re taking from those with few means and helping those with more means,” Charles Clotfelter, a Duke University economics professor, said from Durham, North Carolina. “To link that tax revenue to a benefit that goes largely to middle-and upper-class citizens is a little stunning.”

“It’s a pro-rich wealth-redistribution technique in Georgia,” Clotfelter, co-author of “Selling Hope: State Lotteries in America,” said in a telephone interview.

And, of course, the HOPE scholarship is in danger anyway. If you'll recall ...

Last year, with the lottery-funded programs facing a $300 million deficit and “on the brink of bankruptcy,” Governor Nathan Deal enacted scholarship changes that raised grades and test scores for eligibility, eliminated funding for books and fees and cut payments for remedial classes. He also cut the pre- kindergarten program to 160 days from 180.

H/T AJC's News to Me blog.

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