MONEY: Understanding the tax on stupidity

Friday, September 28, 2012

http://www.ricedelman.com/cs/pressroom/pressroom_detail?pressrelease.id=3268

Against All Odds

For Immediate Release
September 21, 2012

If you insist on playing the lottery, make sure you know the true risks and downsides.

*** begin quote ***

When you step outside your home, are you afraid of being struck by lightning? Of course not. You know the chances are remote.

But you were more likely to be hit by lightning twice than you were to win the top prize in the Mega Millions lottery jackpot when it paid a record $640 million recently. Indeed, you were 176 times more likely to be struck and killed by lightning than to win that jackpot, four times more likely to be killed by fireworks and nine times more likely to die from a television falling on your head.

Just so we’re clear, I’m not a big fan of buying lottery tickets. Essentially they are a tax on the stupid. Because of the infinitesimal odds against winning, you’re giving dollars to the government for nothing in return.

*** and ***

Sadly, those who spend hundreds of dollars annually hoping to become an overnight multimillionaire will never achieve the riches they seek. But if they instead placed that money into the average stock mutual fund every day for 45 years, they would indeed become wealthy.

It’s true: $3 invested every day for 45 years, assuming it grows at the historic 10% annual return that the S&P 500 Stock Index has earned on average since 1926 according to Ibbotson Associates, would be worth nearly $1 million.

*** end quote ***

An excellent and perceptive argument against the chronic lottery player.

Some folks are “lucky”. But many “gamblers” I know, even “lucky” ones, avoid the lottery in any form because they are “not lucky at it”.

Most persuasive part of Rick’s indictment is that $3 / day makes you a millionaire in 45 years!

I didn’t realize that. Wish I had 45 years ago.

I do remember some NYC bank had the adage “small leaks sink great ships” embossed on its passbook savings. Maybe it should have been “three bucks a day makes you a millionaire in 45 years”.

Do Americans save ANYTHING any more?

I also noticed today driving through a “poor  section” of town that everyone I saw was smoking. Hmmm, a causal relation?

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INTERESTING: “Hunger Games” as a little L libertarian recruiting tool

Sunday, March 25, 2012

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1392170/

Hunger Games (2012)
A strong anti Government message

I’m sure that this movie will create some budding little L libertarians. Even more so than the recent “Atlas Shrugged”. If only because the theater was packed with youngsters. Some as young as 10. So much for PG13. And, of course, the obligatory crying baby!

On technical points, while it may win Academy Awards and be a box office smash, it is NOT “GREAT”! (Although I might go see it again to capture the nuances drown out by the poor crying baby. (Wasn’t that “child abuse”? Or aggression by the parent of stealing their fellow theater goers’ expensive experience.)

I didn’t think anything was especially note worthy. In the ENTIRE movie. in general. It doesn’t have a stand.out “Gone With The Wind” type moment.

It lacks the vivid realism of that opening scene in “Saving Private Ryan”, which as much as Hollywood could, puts you on the beach with a feel for the awesome ferocity and death. Made me realize that those D-day vets were one crazy group of men. With real ‘huevos rancheros’. Lacks the pathos of Tom Hanks in “Castaway”. Fails to terrorize us like “Psycho”.

It fails to communicatethe abject desperate poverty critical to the story line. The “District 12″ residents don’t look like the starving Death Camp inmates in that “Band of Brothers” segment. Or the poor in Henry Fonda’s portrayal in “Grapes of Wrath”. Look at a picture from the Depression and it communicates poverty. In fact, the “poor” from District 12 look fatter than the average Hollywood starlet or runway fashion model. Hollywood can do anorexic well; the “hungry” cast looks downright fat.

In doesn’t havean iconic line of dialogue like: George C. Scott in “Patton” telling us “to make the other poor dumb bastard die for HIS country”; Jack Nicholson as  Col. Nathan R. Jessep in A Few Good Men shouting “You can’t handle the truth!”; Michael Douglas as Gordon Gekko in “Wall Street” calmly quietly promulgating the Libertarian realization that “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.”. Somehow “May the Odds be Ever in your Favor” just doesn’t do it; “May the Force Be With You” was best.

It doesn’t have the artistic beauty of “Avitar, “She Wore A Yellow Ribbon”, or “Casablanca”.

What it does have is those sometimes wordless messages to hate the elite, the Government, the System, and “the Man”.

For example, the Government doesn’t do maintenance well when Katniss Everdeen walks through the “electrified” fence. The reason there are drugs in prison is that humans are better than maze rats for finding away.

For example, the ruling class in the Capitol are effete drones living parasitically and vacariously off the suffering poor. Effie Trinket, wearing a costumer and wearing strange cosmetics, is an example of ego run amuck. Especially when she tells the condemned tributes about her inconvenience.

For example, in registering for the reaping, the clerks have all the humanity of the Post Office or the DMV. We see that repeatedly like when the trackers are inserted in the tribute’s arms —sending the message that we don’t own our own bodies.

So there’s a ton of subliminal messaging to create little L libertarians in the future.

So on that basis alone, it overcomes all its shortcomings. And revolutions don’t fail. The human spirit, like the maze rat, always gets through.

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Here’s a thoughtful well-written review of the movie. As opposed to what you read above.

http://www.thenewamerican.com/reviews/movies/11303-the-hunger-games-movie-first-in-an-exciting-trilogy

# – # – # – # – #  2012-Mar-27 @ 18:13

: the realistic real li


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