Objectivism and winning the state, or national, lottery


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War bonds.

Certainly in 1942 ...

How Much things cost in 1942 Average Cost of new house $3,770.00 Average wages per year $1,880.00 Cost of a gallon of Gas 15 cents Average Cost for house rent $35.00 per month Bottle Coca Cola 5 cents Average Price for a new car $920.00

What Events Happened in 1942

U.S.

War Bonds introduced raising $13 billion

U.S.

Women's Coast Guard Auxiliary established

Bangladesh

Cyclone in Bengal Bangladesh kills 61,000

U.S.

Voice of America begins broadcasting

U.S.

Car Makers switch from making cars to making War Materials

U.S.

The Cocoanut Grove nightclub in Boston burns to the ground in the worst Night Club Fire in US history killing 492 people

UK

The British Government accept the findings of The Beveridge report which proposes a welfare system for Great Britain to provide services from the cradle to the grave.

World

26 countries agree to create the United nations

http://www.thepeoplehistory.com/1942.html

****1943 U.S.A. Federal Income Tax Changes Jun. 9th 1943 : New laws are passed which require employers to withhold federal taxes from weekly paychecks. This changed the earlier format where taxes were paid in one lump sum at the end of each year, and has been called "Pay As You Go tax" .

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Gambling frenzy is certainly irrational. But you seem to presume that it is inevitable. I can assure you, it is not.

Please remember that I actually do have a blackjack hobby and I'm doing a doctorate in a gambling-related field. Gambling is NOT synonymous with 'problem gambling' or 'gambling addiction' or 'stupid gambling.'

Inevitable? If you go hunting a Grizzly Bear with a knife it's not inevitable the bear will win. (In this case you seem to think the bear is a cow.) Good luck with your hobby, but remember, it's no hobby to Grizzly Wynn.

--Brant

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Merlin writes:

Wrong.

Yeah, just looked... withholding tax.

Still wrong. Withholding for income tax is not a sales tax.

Income tax rates were much increased in 1942 (link).

Year $10K $20K $60K $100K $250K

1940 14% 28% 51% 62% 68%
1942 38% 55% 75% 85% 88%
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Jackpot!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With the Powerball jackpot at $1.4 billion at the time of this post, what does Objectivism have to say about winning a state, or the national, lottery?

Hi John,

Welcome to Objectivist Living!

Your question is a serious one. Rand attempted to portray virtuous rich people as having earned their wealth from scratch or having earned the maintenance of a fortune they inherited (which fortune she liked to portray as something that would be lost for sure unless they personally did some earning of its preservation; a poetic-justice pinching of how things work). Winning money from gambling is not earning. Her philosophy concurs with our system in which money gotten by that means should be legally protected, just as charitable transactions should be legally protected. Rand ran not accepting the unearned into her morality.

Until about fifty years of age, I would not gamble. That was not simply from the irrationality of some gambles, nor also from my relative aversion to risk. It was because it seemed disrespectful to money, and any money won would be unearned. I did not think of this as a moral stance, but more like an esthetic one. Similarly, when I was a young man and discovered Rand’s ethical theory, I gave up hunting (mostly quail) for sport. That stance too, I don’t think should be passed off as a matter of morality, not even the moral keeping of one’s self. Rather it is one way, though not a uniquely correct way rightly applying to every psyche, of being an integrated self.

Eventually I changed my mind about gambling, at least with some very limited amount put into it and for simply the fun of it. That is, my esthetic sense about it changed a tad. So I often bet folks here a Coke that such and such is the case or will come to pass (no physical Cokes have changed hands). Many years ago (I’m now sixty-seven), my partner* and I wanted to see the Grand Canyon and other things in northern Arizona. So we flew from Chicago to Vegas, where we stayed in a big casino hotel for merely $29. I had decided to allot $20 on the slots, then stop. In a while, three sevens came up, and lights were flashing, and I told Walter next to me “hey, I think maybe I won something.” A man came over and explained “Now this is very easy; you hold out your hand, and I put money into it” (over $500). Then I tried to use up the rest of my chips from the original $20, but kept getting more chips back than I put in, and eventually, we just cashed out and had a cocktail. But I figure I shouldn’t do any further gambling in Vegas, because then the house might get ahead of me, whereas as it is . . . .

Stephen

* Well, my husband by end of this day, our partnership having succeeded twenty years as of today. Pretty safe leap to legal marriage. I'll put photos on Facebook.

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Still wrong. Withholding for income tax is not a sales tax.

Is there some inordinate need for you to appear to be right?

I said "Yeah..." I was agreeing that it was not sales tax.

Withholding greatly increased the government's ability to collect money... just as it continues to today. That's one reason why I'll never be an employee. They're just government slaves. I refuse to grant my sanction to be its victim.

Greg

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I remember hearing about an owner of a company who gave his workers their money in cash in a gymnasium and had tables set up for all the different with holdings, F.I.C.A., Disability, W.C., Federal tax, State tax, etc.

By the time the worker got to the exit door they wanted a torch and a pitchfork...

A...

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This is why by the time you add up:

withholding taxes
property taxes
sales taxes
vehicle loan payments
vehicle lease payments
vehicle insurance payments
credit card debt payments
mortgage payments

equity line of credit payments
healthcare insurance payments
and life insurance premiums...

... for most people there isn't anything left over.

I refuse to be a slave... so with no withholding taxes, no vehicle loan payments, no vehicle lease payments, no credit card debt payments, no mortgage payments, no healthcare insurance payments, and no life insurance payments

...there's plenty of money left over. nodder.gif

I heard on the radio that over 60% of the people living in America don't even have $1,000 extra saved up for an emergency because they are living from paycheck to paycheck. This is the functional definition of a Depression.


Greg

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Jackpot!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

With the Powerball jackpot at $1.4 billion at the time of this post, what does Objectivism have to say about winning a state, or the national, lottery?

Hi John,

Welcome to Objectivist Living!

Your question is a serious one. Rand attempted to portray virtuous rich people as having earned their wealth from scratch or having earned the maintenance of a fortune they inherited (which fortune she liked to portray as something that would be lost for sure unless they personally did some earning of its preservation; a poetic-justice pinching of how things work). Winning money from gambling is not earning. Her philosophy concurs with our system in which money gotten by that means should be legally protected, just as charitable transactions should be legally protected. Rand ran not accepting the unearned into her morality.

...

Regarding independence, Peikoff mentions in OPAR, "If life is the standard, man must think in order to gain knowledge, then use his knowledge to guide him in creating the material values his life requires. This means: he must be a self- supporting entity; he must finance his activities by his own productive effort; he must work for a living. (Even a wealthy heir or lottery winner is morally obliged to work, as we will see in due course.)"

Regarding productiveness, "Productiveness constitutes the main existential content of virtue, the day-by-day substance of the moral life; as such, it is a responsibility of every moral being, whatever his finances. Even if a man has already made a fortune, therefore, or inherits one or wins one in a lottery, he needs a productive career. A rich man may choose, if he has a legitimate reason, to pursue a kind of work that brings him no money. But he still must work. A bum is not a person living man’s life, even if he has no trouble paying his bills."

What is interesting to me is how Peikoff uses the examples of a wealthy heir and lottery winner. They share "coming into large sums of money", but fundamentally these are different, and by his usage, he seems to morally validate lottery playing and winning--but which kind of lottery? Well, the moral ones of course ;)

And still concerning lotteries, this is where the trader principle would come into play, as this is a value exchange (of matter and spirit). From OPAR, "The trader principle states that, if a man seeks something from another, he must gain title to it, i.e., come to deserve it, by offering the appropriate payment. The two men, accordingly, must be traders, exchanging value for value by mutual consent to mutual benefit. 'A trader,' writes Ayn Rand, 'is a man who earns what he gets and does not give or take the undeserved.'" (then the next paragraph, Peikoff addresses the deserved and earned:) "To 'deserve' a positive, material or spiritual, is not a primary condition; it is an effect, to be achieved by enacting its cause. The cause is a certain course of thought and action, a course in which one creates and/or offers values. ... If we use the term “earn” to name the process of enacting the cause—of coming to merit a certain recompense by engaging in the requisite behavior—we can say that, in a rational philosophy, there is no 'unearned desert.' A man deserves from others that and only that which be earns."

I'm not seeing an intellectual component to playing and winning the lottery. As for other forms of gambling, where some kind of strategy involved, then I'd say an Objectivist could make a case to claim the earned. Another aspect to the trader principle is, "do you value the valuer?", meaning, does one value the entity/person they would be entering the exchange with? With Peikoff's example of receiving an inheritance, he valued Ayn Rand greatly and also accepted the terms of the inheritance (to carry on Objectivism, which he has done a fantastic job).

So getting back to lotteries, what "charities" does the organized lottery donate to? What was the purpose of organizing the lottery itself? How are the lottery funds distributed (shareholders, etc)? Rand supported aspects of government funding by a voluntary lottery, as against the government taking value by force, as long as the funds raised were not amorally used (in VoS, the next paragraph explains this). So in this case it would be, "do I value the 'would-be' valuer", meaning do I support the lottery's cause. (Grammar here is lacking, when logically switching from a person to an entity, but the principle is the same. Do I support that person/entity's causations.)

So gambling for fun? Sure, why not. Bet a Coke, play some poker, etc; use that discretionary income for some entertainment.. as long as the house/lottery/institution facilitating the gamble isn't doing amoral things.

So now getting back to the earned/deserved and value creation, in Rand's Art of Fiction audio lectures she speaks of how to create wealth (I believe it was in answer to a question on how to become a millionaire), and she essentially states that one would need to create equal value for the sum they seek in return. This statement would address the principles already mentioned; the virtue of independence, productiveness, the trader principle, the earned and deserved.

That would be what I would have to say about lotteries so far, but a related point of interest would be that Peikoff answered the question, "If an Objectivist wins $100,000,000 in the lottery what should he do with the money?", in one of his podcasts: http://www.peikoff.com/2011/02/07/if-an-objectivist-wins-100000000-in-the-lottery-what-should-he-do-with-the-money/

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With the Powerball jackpot at $1.4 billion at the time of this post, what does Objectivism have to say about winning a state, or the national, lottery?

Nothing.

--Brant

Not quite. Check out the last paragraph in my prev post.

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.. yet Jeb Bush might need some campaign funds here soon

Why are they foreclosing on his campaign office?

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.. yet Jeb Bush might need some campaign funds here soon

Why are they foreclosing on his campaign office?

Seems there is a large non-efficacious component to it

lol nicely phrased - I may adopt that one...

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  • 4 years later...

Megamillions. Next Drawing: Tuesday, 1/5 @ 11 p.m. E Next Estimated Jackpot $432 Million

CASH OPTION: $329.7 MILLION  times .55 equals 181.355  million bucks
 

Powerball. Next Drawing – Wed, Jan 6 Estimated Jackpot $410 Million 174.2 take home

Cash Value: $316.4 Million times .55 equals 174.2 million bucks

 What if you win both of them? 181.3 plus 174.2 equals 355.5

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Correctomundo. I cut and pasted it from their home sites and then tried to jazz it up. And then I tried to tone it down. And then I realized it had a lot of caps. But after minutes of hard, hard work I thought, oh what the heck; would a rational o’ist want to bet two bucks to win millions? I’ve got a twenty that says they would. Ten on Mega and ten on Powerball. I call it a win if I get back two bucks in winning and it is worth the anticipation and fun.

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