In fact, I’ll let Chad Ginsburg introduce himself with this fantastic video presented at Liberty First earlier this month. It gets a little long with the Q&A going on towards the end, but it’s one of the best examples of the Colorado Springs political scene (Liberty First is a bi-monthly meeting often frequented by GOP candidates seeking votes and “buzz”). Chad’s a genial libertarian and a natural showman and I’m eager to
exploit nurture that.
Welcome aboard Chad, and thanks for being a rock star by helping hand out a bajillion Hammer of Truth stickers already.
Over the years, especially as of late, I have heard many people from many different political sides and affiliations, argue their specific point, belief, notion, whatever, in the name of Democracy.
Republican party, Democratic party, Libertarians, Anarchists, Socialists alike, explaining that their points of view, and their ability to share them, are part of the fabric of the Democracy that makes America so great!
Just one problem…
America is NOT a Democracy. We are and always have been a Republic!
Many States rely on lottery revenues to fund various projects. With the recent record breaking Mega Millions jackpot I began thinking about the possibility that all government funding should come from similar voluntary means. Consider the following pro’s and con’s.
As a libertarian I support minimal government and voluntary interaction; therefore, I am at least partially favorable to the idea of voluntary taxation. Additionally lotteries have played a vital role in the founding of this country. Roger Dunstan writes, “The Virginia Company of London, the financier of Jamestown in Virginia, was permitted by the Crown to hold lotteries to raise money for the company’s colonial venture. The lotteries were relatively sophisticated and included instant winners… All 13 original colonies established lotteries, usually more than one, to raise revenue. Playing the lottery became a civic responsibility.” Harvard, Yale, Columbia, Dartmouth, Princeton, and William and Mary universities were funded at least partially from lottery proceeds. The Continental Congress also established a lottery to help fund the war for independence, however the lottery was abandoned because it was too large and the tickets could not be sold.
Aside from the potential that government funds are only raised from voluntary means, there are other economic impacts. Primarily no wealth is created with the building and running gambling facilities, it is merely transferred. Dunstan adds, “The benefit for a region is if the transfers are from outside of the region. In contrast, there is not a stimulus or net benefit if development of the casino leads to more money being spent outside of the region.” The same goes for nation-wide gambling. No stimulus occurs unless tourist from foreign countries pay and don’t win.
There is also the potential for politicians to get their hands in the proverbial cookie-jar. In 1990, 17 legislators and lobbyists in South Carolina were convicted for bribes related to votes to legalize parimutuel racing. Legislators in Arizona, Louisiana and Missouri have either resigned, been convicted and/or been defeated in election as a result of gambling related scandals.
Considering the pro’s and con’s of a national lottery; I would not oppose replacing all federal taxes with a national lottery. However, until specific details of any (hypothetical) proposal are known I am reluctant to fully support the idea, primarily because of the potential for corruption and secondarily because I don’t support government having a monopoly over any institution. However, I believe that all State and federal prohibitions on private gambling and lotteries should be repealed.