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R: Lose the Lottery

The first recorded lottery dated back to 1445 when a region in modern day Netherlands used a lottery system to raise money to build walls and town fortifications. And to this day, the government continues to use the lottery to raise money for schools, roads, and the elderly. But is it right for governments to exploit the weakness of its citizens to build the roads? Does the lottery undermine civic virtue? Or does it provided for the basics of society in a tax-averse political environment? How does a government lead its citizens away from vice and into a life of virtue? 

Moreover, what are the impacts of the lottery on the individual and society? What happens to the economy when our disposable income goes to gambling? What happens to an individual that comes by money so easily? With more lottery winners depressed, divorced, destitute or dead, is it even desirable to have that much money? 

Even with all these lingering questions, millions turn out to buy tickets every week. Do we justify our purchase with promises of better education, the thrill and mystery of gambling or is it thinly veiled greed? Is playing the lottery a part of living the good life? 

Join us this Wednesday, January 27th at 7:30 pm in the Calhoun Parlor to debate this and other questions on virtue and vice. All are welcome!

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