Mafia Numbers Game Is Alive and Well

Governments show their true colors by operating lotteries to generate revenue. Dan Gilmour nails it in this 6/22 post:

At the top of Page 1 today in the SF Chronicle is a story about the “Mega Millions” lottery that Californians will soon be able to enter. It’s unfortunate governance for states to be in this rancid business, but it’s irresponsible journalism to promote it.
State-run lotteries are slimy. They run advertising that I suspect would get other people sued for deceptive practices. They convince people who can least afford it to gamble. They shift tax burdens. No one forces people to gamble, true, but gambling addiction is a very real thing.
States should not be in the business, period. But rather than honestly deal with revenue needs, they con their residents into “games of chance” that entice stupidity, or worse.
For states to promote this practice is shameful enough. I wish responsible media organizations would just refuse to join the parade.

Dan is right. States should not be in lottery business and responsible journalists should be making clear to their readers that throwing away their money on lottery tickets is not a good thing.
But, then, states shouldn’t be in the business of doing most of what they do.