Archive for the ‘IllogicalGovt’ Category

Georgia’s Hopeless Scholarship Program

January 25, 2012

I thought I would dive from Hamburger @ The Fed right into a can of worms, call them maggots from the stale burger or whatever but this will be fun!!! (Maybe even tasty!)  For those that aren’t familiar with it the Hope Scholarship Program is a government scholarship program setup by past GA Governor Zel Miller and the General Assembly.  The purpose of the program is supposedly aimed at providing financial assistance for college to children from low-to-moderate income families.

I am not going to really tread into the argument today of why Lotteries are probably the most unethical and plain out stupid thing a government can do to generate revenue, instead I want to simply address the logic or actually lack there of behind the “Hopeless” scholarship program.

The Carl Vinson Institute at the University of Georgia in this survey, discovered lottery play was inversely related to education level. In fact below are two quotes taken directly from the analysis of the survey results and after reviewing their results the data fits the declarations.

“An individual without a high school degree or GED is more than
four times as likely to be an active lottery player as an individual
who has an education above the high school level.”

“A high school graduate is two and a half times more likely than
someone who has an education above the high school level to be
an active lottery player.”

There have been numerous studies into the regressive nature of a lottery and the linked study above contains several scholarly references to those studies but the general theme you will discover if you spend your time pummeling through some of them is this; there is an inverse relationship between  education level and lottery ticket purchases.  This is a trend that seems to be pretty consistent throughout different states even countries where lotteries are ran by the government.  For example in GA and SC their appears to be the relationship that about each year between 65% – 70% of the lotto is funded by people without college degrees.

In GA about 25% of those proceeds are used to fund the HOPEless scholarship program, the remaining is used for a “government indoctrination” kindergarten program, purchase supplies for “government indoctrination centers” and to administer the lottery.

SO here is where the Logic of the HOPEless scholarship breaks down.  If the real goal is to provide scholarships and access to college educations for low-middle income families, and the money comes from predominately individuals without college educations via lottery ticket purchases, then wouldn’t it seem illogical that the purpose of this government program is to remove the existence of it’s primary base of funding???

I mean think about this. HOPE Money comes from Lotto ticket sales.   Most of those sales are to folks without college degrees.  The money is used to send the kids of those folks to college.  Once the kids graduate college they aren’t near as likely to purchase a lotto ticket.  Hope goes broke.  Maybe this is a bit of an oversimplification, but the principle still remains, thus HOPE is a completely illogical government program.

Wouldn’t it be much better if at the “government indoctrination centers” that the people were attending they actually taught them that the lottery is “a tax on people who are bad at math”.  That those people should plan to fund the education of their child. To do this, instead of purchasing $10 a week on lotto tickets they should take that $40 each month, stick it into a diversification of mutual funds and that in 18 years they would end up with over $26000 dollars to help fund their child’s education.

I realize that 26K may not fully fund a college education depending on the school you choose but, it sure would be nice to have that in savings to offer your child some options instead of just telling them, “Sorry junior, I spent your college fund at the corner store, but that’s ok, the govt gonna take care of ya with that HOPEless scholarship program!!!”