Monday, June 07, 2004

A little news from Boston: the Massachusetts State Lottery is trying to make people feel good about gambling with them, with a series of radio ads on the theme of "even if you lose, you win", by paying for, well, government services. I hesitate a bit because they never use the g-word; instead, they talk about towns using the money to fill in potholes and hire extra police. Years of relentless propaganda by Rush may have given "government" a bad name, but I gather the lottery's focus groups don't connect that to street repair. Yet.

Lotteries are, of course, a horrid way to fund government -- in practice, they amount to a heavily regressive tax. (It evidently takes billion dollar jackpots to tempt even the moderately well-off into buying tickets). But I guess in this day and age, an ad campaign to make people feel good about paying their taxes just wouldn't wash.

Though as long as I'm doing ad peeves again, I might as well mention there's one thing that liberals and libertarians can agree on without qualms -- the nursery-rhyming "Land of No" ads for the anti-cholesterol drug Crestor are incredibly annoying...


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