Customs: The Bonanza Machine

"A lottery," wrote Political Economist Sir William Petty in the 17th century, "is properly a tax upon unfortunate, self-conceited fools. The Sovereign should have guard of these fools, even as in the case of lunatics and idiots." Sir William's prim strictures have been echoed through the centuries by those who are certain of what's good for their fellow man. Labor unions have attacked lotteries as a pernicious tax on the poor, businessmen have deplored their tendency to tie up huge sums of money, and moralists have frowned on trying to get something...

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