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Old 02-01-2015, 11:42 AM
 
Location: USA
2,580 posts, read 3,458,313 times
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I don't know how they figured the odds of this, but someone figured that you have a far better chance of being attacked by a polar bear and a crocodile at the same time while wandering through the middle of the Mojave Desert than winning either Powerball or Mega Millions.
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Old 02-01-2015, 05:03 PM
 
Location: Nescopeck, Penna. (birthplace)
11,483 posts, read 6,905,563 times
Reputation: 14579
My apologies for the miscalculation in the original post (the correct figure was about $8.25 per person) but the point remains. Poor economic education, undermined in part by political agendae from all parts of the political spectrum, is one of the root causes of our economic discontent.

The rise of the low-tech service industry -- which is the employer of default for a larger proportion of women, teenagers, retirees, immigrants, and other people on the fringes of the remaining parts of the economic mainstream, is far more likely to foster a careless attitude among those unable to move beyond menial work.

And the evisceration of the manufacturing sector creates more scenarios in which one produces merely a simple service, sometimes under the direct oversight of a customer who has little concept of the employee's responsibility, but is conditioned by mass advertising to expect too much.

When you can't identify, denominate or withhold your own individual contribution, the belief that "the lottery offers as good a chance as anything else" is more likely to take root.

As cartoonist Walt Kelly (Pogo) expressed it over forty years ago: "We have met the enemy, and he is us,"
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Old 02-01-2015, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Connecticut
3,584 posts, read 2,747,226 times
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One thing that hasn't been mentioned yet is that one reason the Govt created lotteries was to take it out of the underground and bring it into the light where it can be taxed.

Previously, lottery winnings even if they were small were not being taxed and they were funding criminal gangs like the mafia. I believe there was a gang war in Harlem NYC between blacks and the Irish over the lottery or as they called it "policy racket"

You can read a little about the history of lotteries here (I know wiki isn't the best, but it's a start)

Numbers game - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 02-01-2015, 07:57 PM
 
Location: in the mountains
1,372 posts, read 770,551 times
Reputation: 2058
Quote:
Originally Posted by 2nd trick op View Post
I passed my local C-store a few minutes ago, and learned (via an expensive electric sign) that the current grand prize on PowerBall is now $261 million.; that's over 1/4 of the billion-dollar figure that has come to denote "mega-wealth", and works out to about $825 for every man, woman, and child in this nation.,

And I suspect this trend -- part of the death of the American dream -- is linked to the diminished prospects for serious financial advancement within a relatively short time at a "low-end" or entry level job.

I've pointed out some of the root causes for the problem in other threads -- the disintegration of the North American monopoly on heavy industry after World War II; the growth of interest in, and obsession with credit and credit scores; the crushing burden of student debt, caused in turn by the peddling of education without a caveat about which majors "sell", and which don't; the lack of opportunities for small savers and investors; and the domination of the service industry, where feigned extroversion and gushy smiles are demanded, but won't turn into anything you can take to the bank.

I don't know what the answer is, and I'm close enough to retirement that it won't make much difference for me. But it seems obvious that there are a lot of people out there, mostly politicians and their "crony capitalist" clientele, who seem to recognize that they have a greater stake in keeping the man or woman in the street economically-ignorant and -alienated. And I'm also pretty sure that the majority of the public education system also has no interest in ending the delusion.
I kind of hate to say it, but I think, because of the reasons you mentioned above, that the "American dream" of enormous wealth is out of reach to nearly everyone... It may only be available to the moderately rich, because they begin life with a better education and are often debt free when they finish school, thus they are able to accumulate more wealth.

As for the "American dream" of living comfortably in a nice house with 2 kids and a picket fence, that seems to become less and less financially reasonable. The kids are going to need to go to college one day, or get higher education that will cost a ridiculous amount, and the parents are usually stuck paying their own student debts, on top of credit card, car loan, mortgage payments... there isn't much left to actually live comfortably.

The very poor can remain poor by collecting welfare, or possibly become middle class, but the chances of becoming ridiculously wealthy would be less than winning the lottery.

Just my 2 cents
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