a short essay on why the lottery should remain legal as a response to Michael Sandel's essay, "Bad Bet"

Essay by pwyncessCollege, Undergraduate February 2003

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Of all the issues facing America today such as September 11, racism, corporate scandals, state lotteries are most definitely not one of the problems America must deal with. State lottery games are by no means a form of "civic corruption" (as stated by Michael Sandel in his essay, "Bad Bet,"). Not only are state lotteries harmless, they are actually beneficial.

For one thing, the lottery is an inexpensive way for people to dream. People like to fantasize about instantly going from living in a dirty run down apartment and taking the bus everyday, to living in a mansion being escorted by a limo. People know that there is an extremely small chance they are ever going to win the lottery, but they still like to participate as a way to dream and bring excitement to their lives.

Sandel argues that lotteries are a form of gambling, which is morally wrong.

But lotteries are not really a form of gambling if you look at it the right way. Lotteries are more like a tax donation, where you may be rewarded. Sander states, "If a lottery is, like prostitution, a morally objectionable business, then why should the state be engaged in it?" What Sander neglects to address is that prostitution is morally objectionable because it is women and men degrading themselves by having intercourse with people who hire them, which cannot even be compared to the act of paying a few dollars for a lottery ticket.

Despite Sandel's intention of explaining that state lottery games are a form of "civic corruption," he raises a very good counterpoint that "people should be free to decide the moral status of gambling for themselves. No one is forced to play...and those who object can simply abstain." Sandel goes on to argue that people wrongly...