[ExI] What would you do if you won the billion dollar plus MegaMillions Lottery, and are lotteries a bad thing?

spike at rainier66.com spike at rainier66.com
Tue Oct 23 14:11:13 UTC 2018



From: extropy-chat <extropy-chat-bounces at lists.extropy.org> On Behalf Of William Flynn Wallace
Subject: Re: [ExI] What would you do if you won the billion dollar plus MegaMillions Lottery, and are lotteries a bad thing?





>…Lotteries are a way for legislators to avoid raising taxes…


Ja.  Legislatures have a big job on their hands if they manage to raise taxes: deal with the resulting unemployment.


>…and it mostly impacts the poor…


That tax is different however.  It is entirely voluntary.


>…- just the reverse of progressive taxation that I prefer.


But that one is highly progressive: the poor pay little or no tax, the lottery winners pay a lot of tax.


>…I don't know how I would spend even one million dollars….


Perhaps you saw that time Dr. Evil went forward in time and blackmailed the world government into giving him… one millllllion dollars.  He didn’t know why they all broke out laughing.  His assistant had to tell him: Chief, one million dollars isn’t a lot of money.  Evil: Oh right.  One hundred billllllion dollars.


>…Two  people in a giant mansion with servants everywhere?  Limousines?  


Never mind the mansion.  Several servants and a limo could burn through a million dollars in less than a year easily.  Ask a former local resident MC Hammer.





>…Nah.  So I would hire people to investigate charities and give most of it away.


Anders Sandberg is involved in a group called Effective Altruism.  They take an engineering approach to charity.  Very cool.  Lotsa math.




>…In Mississippi we have a new lottery.  The money goes to roads and bridges, which the legislators have allowed to fall into severe disrepair.  Better than nothing, I reckon.


bill w


BillW, your post has me thinking.  The local real estate market as progressed from absurd to far beyond mere absurd.  The price of some of these local dumpy tract shacks are making headlines for exceeding a thousand dollars per square foot.  Less than a mile from here, a 1100 sf 3/2 in what was once a questionable neighborhood went for 1.2 million last month.  It is only four miles from Tesla however, which is what is driving the insanity.


It occurred to me that if we had some kind of national level housing program, it makes no sense whatsoever to house the poor here.  For the same money it would cost to put a single family in a small house here, the same money could get a big house which could be subdivided for five families in Mississippi, each with more room than the one house here, or ten houses in West Virginia where my grandparents grew up.  This observation leads to our recognizing the impropriety of having hardworking taxpayers in West Virginia subsidizing poor people living near the Tesla factory.


Doing housing assistance at the state level helps, but we have similar tensions, for California has its hard-hit areas with few jobs or only agricultural jobs.  They too would pay proportional taxes to subsidize poor people living in the fast lane at absurd cost to the state.  There aren’t many Section 8 houses around here, but for the cost of each one, the state could house ten families in the Central Valley.


I don’t have the answers, but I do have a fun observation.  Local builders are required to put in a certain percentage of units designed to be low cost, for lower income residents.  So the do, but in every single case, regardless of what the legislatures intend, those small units always end up in the hands of Chinese businessmen, who use them as outpost offices and a private hotel room.  Regardless of what the state government intended, the working poor continue to have to drive in from the central valley, which means more wear and tear on the roads, more junky cars crowding up the freeways, more Chinese businessmen flying in for a day or two to make deals at Tesla and Apple and such.


They still haven’t figured out the solution to it all.





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