Saturday, November 24, 2007

tax on the poor

Yesterday, I went to a variety store to buy some mints to mask my garlic-laden lunch. There was another customer ahead of me at the counter; a man in his seventies or perhaps early eighties who was buying lottery tickets. I wasn't really paying much attention until the cashier told him it would be $122. I couldn't believe my ears. The man paid with a $100 cheque (already filled out) and $22 in cash.

Now, I don't know where you live, but here, you can't just walk into some place and pay with a cheque. I don't even think I could name a place that accepts personal cheques. This leads me to believe that this is a regular weekly visit for him and he has something worked out with the store owner.

Thinking about this man breaks my heart. Lotteries always prey on people who have less than others. They use fancy adverting to show you how much better your life would be if you won millions of dollars and could live on a yacht. You can't win if you don't buy a ticket. Hey, even better to buy several tickets to increase your chances. This is how the cycle starts. So, a man who is on a fixed income is spending $500/month on a dream. Is he skimping on food or heat to afford this? Ugh.



RainyBow note: If only you didn't despise gum so much. If you were a gum aficionado as I am, the wide selection you would have with you at all times would have precluded this yucky convenience store experience.

Just sayin.'

1 comment:

Emory said...

In one way or another, I think we all spend on our dreams, or invest in the dreams of another.

Unrealistic dreams left to chance, are a poor substitute for realized dreams of effort. Such is the nature of dreams; fickle things really, made of a Gossamer thread dancing upon the wind.

Besides, it always seems that lottery winners have one foot in the grave.

It is a tax, but it is a self imposed tax for having dreams of chance.