Not the lottery*, but the price of doing business with people whose vote inexplicably counts as much as yours does. Ace of Spades, in the process of explaining why positions taken before a consensus changes need to be perhaps given a little forgiveness**:
I give Tim Pawlenty a break on his cap-and-tax nonsense, too, because, if you remember, a short five years ago it seemed like we were pretty much destined to lose completely on this fight. I didn’t (and still don’t, actually) mind a little window-dressing to let Environmental Saps think we’re really working on cars that run on sunshine and pixie-sweat.
I think of that as the Stupidity Tax — the tax we must all pay to the stupid to be left alone from their plodding economic manslaughter. Obviously you want to pay as little in Stupidity Tax as possible, but sometimes, your choice is really between a low-ish Stupidity Tax (offered by a Republican giving dumb squishes some window-dressing) and a very, very high Stupidity Tax (offered by idiotic liberals who really believe this crap).
Anyway, that situation, too, has changed quickly, and I am willing to grant Pawlenty forgiveness — a temporary insanity plea, if you will — so long as I never hear this crap coming from him again. (Except for some window-dressing Stupidity Tax.)
The problem, mind you, is that ‘Stupidity Tax’ has a different meaning to everybody who sees or reads it… and people can get a bit touchy when you use this to refer to their policy positions, which are clearly the most rational and internally consistent policy positions in the history of mankind. Which is nonsense, because clearly my policy positions are the most rational and internally consistent policy positions in the history of mankind, and I know that none of my readers agree with me on those positions 100%.
More seriously: I know people get touchy on this subject – it’s often used as an euphemism for “Shut up, he explained” – so I won’t belabor it.
*I think that a lot of people who criticize the lottery as a “stupidity tax” miss a point: for a lot of other people (and this includes me), gambling for money is kind of fun. I mean, I don’t go to the casinos… ever, actually… but will I pay a buck for the rush of anticipation that comes from seeing an untouched scratch-off? Sure, if I’ve got a buck in my pocket and I notice the scratch-off machine. Guess it’s one of those things that looks weird if you’re not into it in the first place.
**This is, by the way, my position with Tim Pawlenty (who is currently my first pick), not to mention every other Republican running for President who was once willing to pander on cap-and-trade. Which is, honestly, most of them.