Addictions have a way of creeping up on us.
In the early stages of a habit (habit becomes a tradition followed by an addiction), we are usually under the impression we can control anything that happens. Humans are unique among all the creatures on earth in that we have a free will. We have the ability to make choices in our free will. It is this independent nature that will get us in trouble almost every time. We often find that we roam or make decisions in groups. As a teen we often say to our parents when wanting their approval to go with the crowd, “Everybody is doing it!” That is supposed to move a parent’s heart to allow the teen to be involved in some activity where the full outcome is yet to be known. The final word on this issue in an argument with a parent usually goes something like this, “You just don’t want me to have fun.” Those two most often used adolescent arguments carry over into adulthood, and can be seen living out in the body politic.
As the General Assembly deals with moral issues, there is always the argument of “Everybody is doing it already.” As in the case of increased gambling or expanding the outlets and hours for booze sales, that argument is always used to convince others it is the right thing to do. If that does not work, someone always reminds that those who oppose the continuing slide into a moral pit out of which it is hard to climb, that those folks are just against having fun and for that reason alone, their argument for sane choices is not valid. As I listened to the three hours of debate in the Georgia Senate last week to expand gambling in Georgia, I was once again made aware the arguments never change.
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The reality is that as a state we have become addicted to the money coming into the state treasury from the lottery. We can plead the case that a lottery is really a regressive tax on the poor but few will listen to the facts as they are known on this issue. The truth is, we have become addicted to and are very dependent on the money from the lottery for HOPE and pre-K programs in our state. When the revenues do not add up as they are promised, it is important to find other sources of revenue to flow into the program. So, in comes the solution to go with what everybody is already doing — video games — and tax them, but don’t call it a tax to increase the revenue stream into a program where we are addicted to money and power to be used for a supposed good purpose.
From where I stand, we need to admit we are addicted to the money, and we will find every way possible to keep that revenue stream flowing so we can prop up a failed program.
Is shifting authority for video games in stores to the lottery board creating a gambling commission? Tell us in comments.
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