Monday, July 17, 2006

Just a chance

It is amazing how governments will jump through hoops to discourage good ideas. I think there may be one state in the union that hasn't passed a state-sponsered lottery. But let someone suggest that an incentive lottery, instead of basing it on greed, and it becomes "bribery." That is the problem faced in a voter lottery proposal on a ballot in a western state.

And then, there is a proposal to re-invent the social security number to be a random number that can be changed in case of "identity theft." I have to admit this seems a little less intimidating than being indentified with a single number (based on an old file cabinet system in the Northeast [NJ, I think]) for all your life. Perhaps, if the Lord tarries and the SSN isn't an embodiment of the "mark of the beast," someday we can re-apply for a new government number much like we change passwords.

I have long thought that a national lottery might be a good way to get people to file their tax returns on time -- and error free. One return, selected randomly, could be the winning ticket for a million dollar prize. The return would be inelligible if it had errors on it [such as a required space not being filled in - personal example!]. Perhaps there is "just a chance" that this would save the government millions on tax collecting costs.

As a Christian, I am fundamentally against gambling since it can so easily be abused. It is primarily a "voluntary tax" on the poor. Also, a culture that is based on "chance" is by nature against God. Of course, "God does not play dice with the universe" as Albert Einstein once said. He is in control even of the ping-pong balls of Powerball. Hmm... it has reached $100 million again, maybe I'll "donate" a dollar or two to SC education this week. Or not.

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