14 October 2014

Power(balling) Our Economy, Boricua Style

Look, it's no secret My island is deep in debt. Bankrupt, even. Forty-plus years of political pillaging stacked atop a colonial economy trying to play 3D chess with tic-tac-toe tools and a populace more focused on gossip and innuendo than gains and innovation makes for a sad portrait of heavily-despairing economic distress.

So what does the syphilitic hyena pack of an excuse for an alleged government We have (elected) do to try to clean up the fetid muck of Our economy? Powerball Us.

Yes, Powerball. A lottery. Or in Our case, another lottery that balls Us.

No, Let's be precise: another fucking lottery.

We have the traditional Puerto Rican lottery, sold mainly by elderly folks sitting on stools outside supermarkets, mall entrances, drug stores and alongside roads with major traffic. We have scratchers, with maybe two dozen variants, all of them with prizes that almost certainly don't match the printed odds. (Am I implying that the government is cheating Us? Hell yeah I am. Try to find the actual payout data on these scratch lottery games. Go ahead.)

We have the Pega 3 and Pega 4 to go with the Loto Electrónica, a Pick 6 game. These are now twice a day, so you can get your gaming fix a little more often. Yeah.

Then We have that abortion of fiscal policy known as the "IVU Loto," a lottery based on the sales tax. We already know this lamebrain excuse for a tax collection system is corrupt, so Let's move on, shall We?

Just to be thorough, I'll add the illegal numbers game known as bolita, played by many of My Brethren and the reason Pega 3 was introduced. If you count scratchers as individual games of $1-$5 each, We have 10 legal lotteries ($1, $2, $3, $4, $5, traditional, Pega 3, Pega 4, Electrónica and IVU Loto; you're welcome, staheooders...) and bolita. So in an """economic policy""" that can only be ascribed to the "cheaper by the dozen" school of useless blathering (a.k.a. economics), We now have Powerball.

Of course, to make it different from Loto Electrónica, it has to be BIGGER, BOLDER and MORE LOADED with MONEY. Our Powerball is linked to other Powerball lotteries Stateside, proving that (1) politicians in other places are also greedy bottom feeders and (2) taxes on stupidity have huge participants.

Lotteries have been accurately described as "taxes on stupidity" because they prey on people who eschew rationality and common sense in favor of being consumer drones. Or to state it briefly, folks who choose stupid over smart. The sales pitch for these games is basically "Why not you?" to which the smart response is "Because it's not bloody likely, pal." The irrational, knee-jerk absence of thought reaction is "Yeah, why not?" To which the numbers reply: "It's not bloody likely, pal."

Here's the short version, for Loto Electrónica (Pick 6, numbers from 1 to 42): 6/42 x 5/41 x 4/40 x 3/39 x 2/38 x 1/37. Let Wikihow give you the basic process while I give you the end result: 1 in 5,263,158.

You have 1 chance in 5,263,158 of winning the $2 million prize. (The Powerball format has even worse odds.) And have you noticed that the chances exceed the prize by more than 2-to-1? In casinos, that's called "the house's edge," but in state-run lotteries, it's called "even better stealing from the stupid." .

People play lotteries for "the easy win," and the ads for these games play right into that fantasy. Yes, somebody is going to win the prize--eventually--but the odds clearly say that millions of players will lose and mostly one will win. Now realistically, what group do you think you will be in: the millions who play and lose or the handful that wins?

Most people think they will be in the "lucky handful." That's stupid. And they pay for the privilege of being so stupid.

And Our government--hack cough retch--feeds ravenously off Our stupid people. We vote them in, let them run Our Island into the proverbial wretched hell of financial insolvency and We keep throwing money best used for Our growth to temporarily line their colons. (Yeah, I'm implying that they are shitting Our money away.)

Instead of seeking solutions that call for Us to take clear-eyed stock of where We are and start making the hard choices needed to get on track, We are told to bend over 'cause the Powerballing is about to begin!

To quote a funny guy from long ago: I wish I had a tank.

The Jenius Has Spoken.


Prometeo said...

I remember reading an economics book a few years ago that said that lotteries are "voluntary taxes" but you said it better.

Adelante y éxito.

GCSchmidt said...

Hey, Promoteo!

Thanks for the compliment. I wish I hadn't had any chance to earn it.

Thanks for dropping by. Have fun!