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The Bad-Math-Skills Tax

October 3rd, 2006 · 3 Comments

For those of you who took a Calculus course in high school or college you might have learned that that one can take a very tiny fraction such as one in 175 million and call it the same as zero. Since the fraction is so small for all intents and purposes it can be called zero. OK, wake up. Enough Calculus. It will get interesting. I promise.

Now, what if I also told you that your state government found a way to painlessly extract cash from you week after week? Let’s call it a tax even though most people find pain in paying taxes. Let me tell you some more about this tax. I am of the opinion that this tax is for people who are very bad at math or who never heard that 1 in 175,000,000 is the same as zero odds. Here are some more statistics about these folks who are bad at math:

  • 65% are not college graduates
  • 56% have household incomes less than $50,000 per year
  • inner-city folks pay this tax more than affluent househoulds
  • broken down by ethnicity
      • whites pay $31/month on this tax
      • latinos pay $65/month on this tax
      • blacks pay $89/month on this tax

In short, this tax is disproportionately aimed at the poor, uneducated and minorities. Now, since politicians are the ones who create the laws requiring us to pay taxes you may be infuriated saying “who in their right mind would have the poor and uneducated paying this ridiculous tax month after month year after year?” The answer: politicians in 37 U.S. states. What is the name of this totally unfair tax?

The state lottery.

Yes, you guessed it. A program supposedly designed to help fund public schools or other government-run institutions perniciously taxes those least able to afford it week after week after week. But enough gloom and doom. What if you don’t fit the above demographics and you still play the lottery? Have I got a plan for you….

Take that money you spend per week, month or year and just stick it under the mattress. Or invest it. Or give it to charity. But please don’t give it to that pathetic, good-for-nothing, unfair state lottery system.

Tags: Money

3 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Carnival of Personal Finance » Carnival of Personal Finance #69 // Oct 9, 2006 at 2:00 am

    […] talks about a tax that targets the poor and undereducated. Can you guess which tax this is? The answer might surprise you. […]

  • 2 Don't Mess With Taxes // Nov 6, 2006 at 2:04 pm

    Tax Carnival #6: Decision 1040

    E Day is almost here. E for election and E for electronic voting. I know I’ve been focusing on Nov. 7 recently (here and here, just in case you missed them), but voting is more than a right or a privilege. It’s a duty. It’s your country, your state,…

  • 3 Grow Detroit // Jan 26, 2007 at 11:06 pm

    […] sell it; turns out that the Lotto really is a tax on folks who are bad at math Link Add to […]