Saturday, March 31, 2012

A sort of vacation

I am not going into work this week, I have vacation time built up and the boys are on their spring break. 

Unfortunately, the money tree that I keep out back hasn't been producing lately.  I will be staying close to home.  Some hikes up the gorge, sleeping in late, digging in the garden, that kind of stuff.  I figure that it will take the two days to get off of work-oriented brain, four or five days to rest, then two days getting work brain back on-line and chugging.
I do find the combination of 640 million dollar jackpots and riots in Spain and Greece kind of interesting.  We here in the US aren't at that stage yet, but the groundwork is being laid and the same antecedent conditions are in place.  But here in the US, we are still in our "strike it rich" delusions and I have no doubt that the lotteries will play a big part of the process of staving off the mess until the last possible minute.

Oh, I buy lottery tickets.  One (and only one) when the sign on the way to work registers as a sufficiently large number to kick off my fantasy production subroutines (primarily centered around purchases of large acreage, high quality farmland.  Though I did take a pretty big side expedition into fantasizing about a heavily armed, sail powered ship once).  Nope, so I have no qualms morally about the true purpose of the lottery, farming the gullible.

Look, I agree with the critics, the lottery is a tax on dumb people.  The bad comparison that especially tickles me is "the chance of winning the lottery is about the same as being mauled by a polar bear and a regular bear on the same day".  Not at all true, but funny as hell as a visual.   Now, most of the money going into lottery tickets probably came out of the beer money.  No harm, no foul.  Yes, there are some dumbasses out there that used the rent money, but you really can't stop desperate dumbasses from following their genetic code. 

As for the tax revenues, I am good with those.  The more desperate dumbass money going into the communal pie, the better chance something valuable will happen.  The states have to take care of old people in nursing homes, have to maintain roads, keep up state parks, pay highway patrolmen, run schools, all kinds of little things which everyone can find something useful.  Better to pay for this by Billy-Bob foregoing his fourth six-pack to buy a couple of lottery tickets.  Nope, that is nothing but a win-win.

Also, the lottery acts as a kind of national pacifier.  Look, most folks out there are significantly afield of their stated dreams and goals.  The vast majority are doing well enough, but the dreams injected into their heads by the advertising/manufacturing complex are getting pretty threadbare.  The lottery allows a means for folks to think about buying the stairway to heaven.  Keeps them docile and not running around burning shit.  A means of keeping peoples eyes off the inevitably deteriorating conditions around them is just "best practices".

Nope, I have no problem with the lottery, I am just going to be sad when a sufficient percentage of the currently placated populace start realizing that things aren't working.  Some are looking forward to "rising up and throwing off the shackles".  I am not at all excited about the prospect.  I can't think of a period of time when this kind of thing was occurring that things got better for the common man.

Nope, if the lottery can pacify the populace for a little while longer and keep things running a day longer, I am all for it.

The other option really sucks.


Craig Cavanaugh said...

If you do hit and decide to get that sailing ship let me know. I'll come along as Master's Mate, Bo'sun, Gunner, Able Seaman...

Demetrius said...

At least with a lottery there is a chance for ordinary people. Looking around at the rest of it there is very little chance. And the lottery does get revenue in.

Joel Caris said...

Huh. Your lottery attention is basically the exact same as mine. Every once in awhile I notice it's gotten up into the triple digits and I figure, what the hell? Might as well grab a ticket. I can get some land, set up my homestead, and then see if I have enough conviction to get rid of almost all the rest of it--to avoid the trouble, if nothing else. Of course, I never hit, and maybe a quarter of the time I take notice and desire a ticket, I resist the temptation (or more realistically, just don't bother to go out of my way to go get a ticket.) Anyway, harmless fun for me, I figure. Maybe comes out to ten or twenty bucks a year. I'm not yet at the point I can't spare that--though spending that on beer instead would be more rewarding.