To the People

The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or TO THE PEOPLE.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Levmore: Libertarians Love Lottery

Check out the rubbish flying under the banner, Don't privatize future by selling state lottery, an op-ed in today's Chicago Tribune.
There are some good arguments for a state-sponsored lottery, and indeed for one that does not have a thin profit margin. Even a good libertarian could say that inasmuch as the government is not coercing people to play the lottery, and there are many private alternatives for gamblers, a state lottery is not the worst of all evils. Some people might actually like playing it, and that must count for something. [Ed.: Emphasis mine.]

[Ellipsis]

Even if we have no single rule to go by in order to know when the government should own something, create a monopoly or compete in an industry, it seems unlikely that we want a government to lock in future governments. Strange as it may sound, privatization should probably be reversible, especially when there is grave doubt as to whether the government should have been in the business in the first place.
We the people, in order to form a more public future. Right on. I think this is the same rationale Hugo Chavez uses to nationalize oil. Good one.

What's more, here in DC, my alternatives to gambling via something other than the state-run lottery are... um... uh... Yeah. Exactly. Even more irritating than the piece itself is from whence the author, Saul Levmore, hails: He's the dean of the University of Chicago law school. More here.

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