By The (Tupelo) Daily Journal:
Mississippi’s stuttering and struggling economy creates stress and even desperation, but it cannot be allowed to power serious discussion of a certain loser of an idea: a state-sponsored lottery.
Mississippi House gambling committee chairman Richard Bennett, R-Long Beach, has said he will hold fact-finding hearings on a state-sponsored lottery before the 2013 legislative session convenes in January.
His party’s highest leaders — Gov. Phil Bryant, Lt. Gov. Tate Reeves and House Speaker Philip Gunn — all say they oppose a lottery in Mississippi. We hope Bennett listens to them and saves the state time and money, dropping his plans for hearings.
Plenty of evidence — independent and scientifically produced — shows that a lottery is the worst imaginable public policy initiative for a state like Mississippi.
Researchers Kent R. Grote and Victor A. Matheson, in a working paper produced in 2011 for the Department of Economics at the College of the Holy Cross, a respected institution, cite glaring drawbacks in public lotteries:
— Bodies of evidence tend to suggest “lotteries are a regressive form of taxation. Studies by Laitner (1999), Layton and Worthington (1999), and Coughlin and Garrett (2009) all find that individuals in government income assistance programs are more likely to participate in lottery markets. The observed effect of unemployment on ticket sales is mixed with Mikesell (1994) and Scott and Garen (1994) both finding that unemployment rates tend to have a positive impact on lottery ticket sales ... One of the strongest criticisms of lotteries as a means of revenue collection is that they are highly regressive. Indeed, on this point there is universal agreement among economists.”
— The presence of lotteries may also affect other sectors, for example siphoning consumer spending away from more important goods and services “by up to 2.4 percent,” just what our state’s struggling retail and commercial community needs built into state policy.
The better role for state government lies in continuing expansion and innovation in stimulating economic development and the jobs rising from it. Steady, good employment, not an against-the-odds lottery, is the only sure way to sustain prosperity and help the currently unemployed and under-employed climb out of bad situations.
By The (Tupelo) Daily Journal:
Gov. Bryant’s mulishness costing state
It’s obvious that Mississippi Gov. Phil Bryant erred terribly when he blocked Insurance Commissioner Mike Chaney from setting up a state-run health-insurance exchange.
With voter ID now law, we must protect right for all who are eligible
Voter ID is now a reality in Mississippi. The state plans to begin issuing free voter identification cards in early 2014, just months before the first election in which people will be required to show photo IDs at the polls.
State should make vendor access easier
It’s too hard for companies to track down information on how to sell goods and services to state government and Mississippi should make it easier to do business with the state, a legislative watchdog group said.
New tuition gap may have unintended consequences
As part of the settlement in the Ayers case that challenged segregation in Mississippi’s higher education’s system, the state adopted the same admissions standards for all eight universities.
State, local gov’ts work to support Corps facilities
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers maintains three facilities in our community, the Engineer Research and Development Center, the Mississippi Valley Division headquarters, and the Vicksburg District headquarters.
Lawmaker wants poultry label law
State Rep. Tom Miles says the Department of Agriculture allows chickens slaughtered in the United States to be processed in China with no labeling requirements for products shipped back to the United States, and he hopes to address the issue next year.
Spend wisely every penny of settlement money for BP oil spill
Over the next five years, the state of Mississippi will receive its portion of the financial settlement of criminal charges against BP and Transocean for the 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. The $356 million is a significant amount, and its wise outlay can do much to restore the damage done to the Gulf and our most precious natural resources.
State pension results in eye of beholder
Mississippi’s public employee pension fund saw its financial position improve last year.
Or it didn’t.
Miss. schools need action, latest NEAP scores show
The National Center for Education Statistics released its 2013 Nation’s Report Card on Thursday, and the news for Mississippi was mixed, at best.
Philippines storm sparks memories on Coast, we must send aid
It is difficult to look at the scenes of utter devastation in the Philippines and not recall a landscape of great similarity that we all saw when Katrina swept away the Mississippi Coast on that late August day of fury.
- More Editorials Headlines
- Gov. Bryant’s mulishness costing state