Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

I've seen life in a fair amount of detail in some of the poorest areas of cities in the north of England. In these areas life is very precarious indeed, crime and vandalism are a daily phenomena and educational opportunities are minimal. Looking at how kids in these areas are raised its very easy to see how they have a systematic disadvantage when they become adults and compete with the rest of society.

The idea of a "tax on the stupid" comes from the point of view of people living comfortably. If most of your basic needs are met then gambling money on the lottery seems like irrational behavior (throwing your money away when you only have a small income to begin with).

If most of your basic needs are met then...

From _delirium's comment, it sounds as the poor do have most/all of their basic needs met, though he doesn't address policing. Piecing together your comment and his, it sounds as if the only basic need the poor have which is not met is adequate police protection. Is this correct?

Your sentence ending in "comes from the point of view of people living comfortably" implies that from the point of view of someone else (presumably a person living in a crime-ridden neighborhood), the lottery is not irrational. Could you explain why, if that is indeed what you meant?

(Note: I actually do live in a crime-ridden neighborhood. But I'm also a 6'6" man who looks like he has nothing worth stealing, and I've only been the victim of a single, unsuccessful, attempt at robbery. So my point of view might be atypical.)

There are other things unmet: for example, support in career progression, clothing, etc. Again, this is fine for a short period (as it was designed for) but imagine living for a year on benefits, where there simply isn't any budget for new shoes, or any kind of enrichment opportunities.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact