Sign the petition below! Imagine how America would be today if Franklin Roosevelt, instead of challenging all Americans to buy savings bonds for the war effort in the shadow of the Great Depression, had urged the public to buy lottery tickets by declaring "This could be your ticket out!" Leaders like Roosevelt led America through turbulent times by inspiring us to hope for the best and then challenging us to go work for it. They called on us not to simply think of our own needs and wants but to invest in a common purpose. Their call for us to join in common purpose sharply contrasts with what has become the daily voice of government to most Americans - state lottery advertisements. Even now, in the midst of a global economic crisis, plummeting pension values, unaffordable health care, high food costs and millions of American families facing foreclosure, state government – “the voice of the people” – continues to aggressively advertise predatory lottery products. This is not an issue about whether people can gamble. It is not about people playing poker on Friday nights with the guys from the neighborhood. It is about predatory gambling, the practice of using gambling to prey on human weakness for profit and it has become the preferred method for government to raise money for public services. Predatory gambling is government’s version of subprime lending and it has divided America into two classes of people – the investor class and the lottery class. The investor class has mutual funds and investment vehicles to save for college and retirement while the lottery class, according to the Consumer Federation of America, represents the more than 1 out of 5 Americans who think the best way to save for retirement is to play the lottery. Public officials and citizens openly describe this scheme as a “tax on the stupid.” Can you imagine the class action law suits by state attorneys general everywhere if Vanguard or Fidelity Investments offered to the public “an investment portfolio for the stupid” and marketed it as the “All It Takes Is a Dollar and a Dream Fund” AIG and Lehman Brothers executives were part of what has been recently called “casino capitalism” – using predatory practices and financial gimmicks to promote an illusion of free money, all at the expense of unsuspecting Americans. Why would anyone think a government run like a casino is going to turn out any better On this issue, our democracy is broken and we have the power to fix it – but only if we unite in a common purpose. You have the power to pull down lottery advertising across the nation and it is vital that you exercise this power. Exercise your power by signing our National Petition to Stop Predatory Lottery Advertising. If you or someone you know does not have internet access and wants to sign the petition, please call our office line at 1-800-664-2680 and we will make sure their name is added. One of America’s most sacred founding principles was “no taxation without representation.” It’s time the principle of “no taxation by exploitation” was added right beneath it.
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