[時事英文] Lottery, a Tax on the Poor? 彩券是一種窮人稅?
1. political corruption 政治腐敗
2. raise revenue 提高收入
3. Powerball 強力球，是美國境內發行的彩票
4. dream of wealth 財富的夢想
5. more likely to 更傾向於
The lottery is a particularly awful example of political corruption. Here government is raising revenue by selling the Powerball dream of wealth without work. Studies in a number of states have shown that lottery ticket sales are concentrated in poor communities, that poor people spend a larger portion of their income on tickets and that the poor are more likely to view the lottery as an investment.
–The Washington Post
6. relatively more 相對更多
7. most avid buyers 最狂熱的買家
8. go out of one’s way 特地
9. punitive taxes 懲罰性的徵稅
Lotteries are (1) regressive taxes on poor people, in that a ticket costs relatively more for a poor person than a rich person, and (2) punitive taxes on the poor and uneducated people who are the most avid buyers. The people who can least afford it are throwing away on average 47 cents on the dollar every time they buy a ticket. And the government, which relies increasingly on the lottery for funding, goes out of its way to tell them it is a good idea.
10. a 12-figure tax 一個12位數的稅
11. the least fortunate 最不幸的
12. worth of… 值得…
13. dish out 祭出，拿出
14. What if…? 如果（尤指糟糕的情況出現）會怎麼樣?
What if I told you there was a $70 billion tax that the poor pay the most. You’d probably say that isn’t very fair. But that’s exactly what the lottery is: an almost 12-figure tax on the desperation of the least fortunate. To put that in perspective, that’s $300 worth of lottery tickets for every adult every year. Researchers have found that the bottom third of households buy more than half of all tickets. So that means households making less than $28,000 a year are dishing out $450 a year on lotteries.
–The Washington Post
15. historical data 歷史數據
16. feel desperate 感到絕望
17. get a big windfall 獲得巨額、意外的收穫
Historical data implies that when the economy goes bad, lottery revenues go up, because “when people are feeling desperate, they are more likely to stop by the gas station and buy five lottery tickets, hoping they get a big windfall."
18. height of the recession 經濟衰退的高點
19. set sales record 創下銷售記錄
In 2008, during the height of the recession, at least 22 of the 42 states with lotteries — including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut — set sales records.
–The New York Times
20. a de facto tax on the poor 實際上是一種對窮人徵收的稅
21. overall income 總收入
22. economic disparity 經濟差距
23. below-average incomes 收入低於平均水平
Lotteries are sometimes criticized as a “de facto tax on the poor," according to Matheson. “The poor spend a much higher percentage of their overall income on lotteries than the rich, and they can afford it less," he said.
John Spry, a finance professor at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota, has also studied the economic disparity among people who play instant scratch-off games. About three out of four instant game tickets sold in Minnesota are purchased by people with below-average incomes, according to Spry. He also cites research that shows that in South Carolina, 60% of instant lottery tickets were purchased by people with very low incomes.
24. utterly fail to provide 完全失敗
25. fail to provide 無能提供
26. adequate education and public services 適當的教育和公共服務
27. exploit the desperation of poor people 利用窮人的絕望
28. fund public services 資助公共服務
29. a regressive form of taxation 一種累退的稅收形式
30. sell a lie 賣一個謊言
31. vulnerable people 弱勢群體
32. mythical thinking 神話思維; wishful thinking 如意算盤；癡心妄想
33. fantasy of escape 逃避的幻想
Think on this a moment. In a place where government has utterly failed to provide adequate education and public services, government is using advertising to exploit the desperation of poor people in order to raise revenue that funds other people’s public services. This is often called a “regressive” form of taxation. The word does not adequately capture the cruelty and crookedness of selling a lie to vulnerable people in order to bilk them. Offering the chance of one in a 100 million is the equivalent of a lie. Lotteries depend on the deceptive encouragement of mythical thinking and fantasies of escape.
–The Washington Post
34. moral cost 道德成本
35. better off 更好的
36. rising income inequality 成長的收入不平等
37. take from the poor to spare the rich 劫貧濟富
38. under the banner of 以……名義（進行某項工作）
39. voluntary entertainment 自願娛樂
40. a scratch-off ticket一張用刮的彩票
Some policymakers argue that the moral cost of lotteries is low. After all, the games are voluntary. And perhaps the money collected by the state is better off going to schools than to booze and cigarettes and whatever else.
In an age of rising income inequality, it’s pernicious that states rely on monetizing the desperate hope of its poorest residents. State lotteries take from the poor to spare the rich, all while marching under the banner of voluntary entertainment. Banning lotto games will not make our poorest communities suddenly rich. But these neighborhoods have lost enough lotteries in life even before they touch a penny to the scratch-off ticket.
運動彩券制度規劃之研究 – 教育部體育署
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