London Ontario Canada

April 26, 2011

Lotteries, Prostitution, Cannabis and Gambling

Another day of studying Election 2011 and watching hockey. The games are full of campaign ads. I keep seeing that Con ad that slams Iggy with a sound clip saying he “won’t take GST hike off the table”. That was in 2008 and the GST is the HST. Not sure if it the same ad or not, but another Con gaff is stating Harper got rid of the GST. Okay, I’ll give him that, but they failed to mention bringing in the HST.

It’s all about money. The most recent slam ads against Jack Layton and the NDP don’t go after his platform as much as they go after where the money is coming from. I would think the most simple answer, and the biggest vote-getter, would be  something like, “I won’t waste 9 billion on super prisons and I won’t waste (whatever the number eventually becomes) 14 billion on jets”. Nobody is saying anything like that so I have to think Liberals, NDP and Cons are all on the same page on those  issues. I certainly hope not.

All governments need money for their programs and mostly it comes from the citizens and usually the lower classes suffer the most and the upper classes couldn’t care less. So we have to find money somewhere else. Oh wait, they all talk about reducing crime too…well, except Harper, he wants to increase crime by making more laws so he can fill his super prisons. Maybe that’s not really his thinking, but that’s what he makes me think. Back on track. What if we could reduce crime AND make billions in taxes doing so? What if also with the same stroke of the brush we could make a national statement on freedom and human rights? Impossible, you say? Likely, because this country (world) is so full of holier than thou moralists it’ll likely never happen, but I can dream.

Lotteries are already a huge business. How much does our government get? We do not tax lottery winnings and that is a good thing. No point in winning, then losing all in the same stroke. Some of the lotteries like 649 and Lotto max often have top prizes of  $10m plus. Lotto Max once a week and Lotto 649 every two weeks. So why isn’t the governments on all levels not getting a bigger piece of the pie. I mean really, if you are making 50 grand a year and you won a $5m lottery, would you be bitching because it could have been $10m if the government wasn’t making off it? Okay, likely because the majority of us are greedy bastards, but let’s look past that for now. While I am on about lotteries, what sense does it make that a 1st place win can get prizes like $50m and the 2nd place is a buck and a half. Spread it out! Lottery winners are going to spend, let’s make more of them. And maybe lots will take their winnings and retire, opening up jobs. Tax by choice. Sounds reasonable.

London has a Slots Casino and racetrack. I was reading the other day and hope I read wrong but it said city or maybe province got 5%. Now that doesn’t sound like much. Who gets the rest? Where does all that gambling money go? And since we already condone gambling in the form of horse races, slots and lotteries, why not add poker and other casino games to the mix, with the governments taking a bigger cut? More tax by choice.

Anyone with half a brain, baked or no can see the economic value of legalizing cannabis. All we need to do is figure out how to get past the lobbyists from big pharma, lumber, tobacco and alcohol. Can you say cash crop. Even if it is hard to tax because people can grow their own, much can be made from it. Certainly enough to pay for rehab and health costs from other drugs. Okay, I am saying Cannabis here but really all drugs. Legalize pot and decriminalize all the others. Treat addiction like the health issue it is.

The oldest profession. We all know what that is and if you extrapolate that word to mean just selling self for money (as opposed to sex) we are all prostitutes at one time or another. Decriminalize, tax and admit it is always going to be there no matter how righteous and indignant lots may feel about it.

Each of these things requires taking away illegalities which will instantly reduce crime. Each of these things will bring in unheard of tax dollars. So much in fact that  maybe we can get rid of or actually reduce income tax. (like THAT will ever happen). The downsides? I’ll leave those up to you. I got to leave something open to invite dialogue in case anyone stumbles in here and actually reads my ramblings. Have at it.

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