Monday, May 18, 2015

Comfort ye my people

Religious suffering is, at one and the same time, the expression of real suffering and a protest against real suffering. Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people.

The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions. The criticism of religion is, therefore, in embryo, the criticism of that vale of tears of which religion is the halo.
Karl Marx

And if religion is given up, are the people then free to "demand...their real happiness"?  No, not really.

It seems pretty clear that lower income people are more likely to buy this as an investment and not just as a game.....In other words, lotto games aren't merely just another form of cheap entertainment like movies, they're also a prayer against poverty.  And so is this the kind of government...we want to fund, one that asks lower income people who have been hurt by globalization and technology in the last twenty years to bear more of government spending and then to call it a voluntary act at the end?...It seems to me what is happening here is that, because the effective tax rate of lotteries, at 40% or above, is so high, that what you're essentially doing is asking people to give you their prayers, and then taxing their prayers against poverty. 
Give Caesar what is Caesar's, and God what is God's.  And what is that, exactly?  Now, or in the 1st century?

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