Across the U.$., lotteries had $36 billion in sales in 1997. That's more than $130 per person, which is more than the total per capita income of some poor countries. After expenses and prizes, governments profited to the tune of $12 billion.
Two articles by the Washington Post gave us some good new information. In the Washington D.C. area, like elsewhere, there is an inverse relation between education and lottery spending, for very good reason: playing the lottery is a bad investment. People with less education are more likely to play the lottery, and more likely to waste more money on it once they do play. In 1997, D.C. reaped $69 million in profits from $203 million in sales. That's a good incentive for the government not to improve education: it's a $203 million tax on poor education.
The Post listed D.C. lottery sales by zip code. MIM got the population Black percent for each zip code from Census data, and checked the relationship between percent Black and lottery spending: It's clear. Seven zip codes are less than 10% Black, and none of them produced more than $5 million in lottery spending last year. The seven zip codes between 40-80% Black all had between $4.8-$10 million, and all the zip codes with more than $10 million lottery spending were more than 80% Black. (No zip codes are between 10-40% Black.) See the graph.
The Post compared lottery spending with income levels, but MIM analyzed both income and Black population for the zip codes, and Black population is a much bigger factor in zip code lottery spending. It looks to us like it's not just that people with lower incomes want to play the lottery more to get rich, but that lottery marketing toward Blacks is paying off, and the lower quality of education for Blacks is not teaching people that the lottery is a waste of money.
Anthony Williams, D.C. chief financial officer, said it's "troubling" that there are "people who make less than $15,000 a year and a huge percent of their income is going for playing." Maryland Gov. Parris Glendening said it was "sad." Yet D.C. and Maryland have plans to specifically target Blacks and Latinos in lottery marketing campaigns.
Overall, vast lottery spending in the country is a sign of parasitism and decadence in the country. However, poor members of the internal colonies, especially Blacks, spend more of their money on them, which is just another way that the government increases inequality and national oppressed.
Notes: Washington Post articles from May 3 and May 4, 1998. Zip code data are from the Census Bureau at www.census.gov. MIM's analysis also controlled for population size, in case the Black zip codes just had more people living in them. To see the details of MIM's statistical analysis, click here.
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