Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Bread and Circuses

Or: Why getting rid of car commutes is a bad idea.


Last night, on my 40 min drive home from work, I came up with an idea to both preserve the Union and provide the good people of America a smattering of distraction while we're at it. Put simply: It's time to establish a National Lottery & BINGO system that takes advantage of the feelings held by citizens across the political spectrum.

Think about it. USLotto scratch-off cards where Liberals can claw out the eyes of Wall Street executives. "Breeder" cards that allow members of the GLBT movement to undress their most hated Conservative opponents, Global Warming specials that allow you to single-handedly remove oil rigs from the gulf. The possibilities are endless. Not that I left the Red states out of the equation. Cards could be created allowing Republicans to scratch out Rahm's eyes, to eliminate social entitlements with glee, starting with healthcare for children and moving on to welfare for illegals. And speaking of illegals, in Arizona you could have a "deport someone who doesn't look like you" card complete with rifle-shaped scratch-off tools that you could sell for $20. It's the new-age accessory of the moment.

Here's the clever bit. Those who are planted squarely on one side of the fence or another won't even require a jackpot to entice them to play. That's right, it's Lotto without the possibility of riches at the end. "How would this work?" You might be asking. It's very simple. Lotteries are nothing more than taxes on those who are poor at math. Politics takes this one step further, as people often support policies that are going to harm them financially while refusing to believe that the most-likely scenario is really going to happen. In short: Americans don't think things through. Ours is a Country that often acts on political emotion, removed from political logic. Just have Obama & Bush give a joint presser about the joys of the new scratch-off system and you'll have lines of community activists, protesters and bloggers beating down the door to buy, and scratch-off cards that promise them...nothing.

Sure, to round up the dollars of the unmotivated poor you could decide to do a traditional lottery, and then add a rider to a farm-aid bill taxing Federal lottery winnings at 99.99% with no debate. At least 90% of Americans won't know that said tax is in place. Now watch the money roll in.

The second part of my plan is to create a BINGO game but with a 21st century twist. At first I thought about calling the game OBAMA, but the two "A's" kind of skew the whole "O-7" thingy. A better idea would be to call this game BIDEN. That way, when people win, they can holler out BIDEN! and then say "This is a big f***ing deal!" Only if you say the last part can you win. For the Red States you can call it PALIN, with winners having to whistle as they walk up to collect their winnings.

It's win-win America, a one-stop, relatively painless solution for cutting the National deficit AND channelling all of that pent-up political anger and frustration. All I ask for creating the plan for saving the Union is a simple 2% developers fee. I'd have made it 1% but hey, I've got bills to pay.


And "smart-growth" proponents say that nothing good comes from long commute times.

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