2000 | Hip-Hop
Spotify | Amazon
“The Lottery, you know it's all the same, ain't shit changed just a big game. -- They fuckin' with our brain, it's the government strain, taxes stealin' but they got you trained.”
- The High Society album hit #65 on the Billboard 200 chart.
- Kottonmouth Kings formed in 1996 in Placentia, Orange County, California.
- The group first broke through with the song "Suburban Life", on the soundtrack to the film Scream 2.
THE HOT TAKES
"Taxes stealin', but they got you trained." Well, there's the rub. Bread and circuses, as they say. Taxes are an outrage, but crowd control is a science and the state is hiring the scientists. The corporate media? Check. Hollywood? Check. Numerous corners of the endless bureaucratic labyrinth devoted to shaping public opinion? Check. Wartime propaganda? Check. It's all there. And one of the most absurd systems? State lotteries. Money that wasn't theirs to begin with, given back (after re-taxation) to a lucky winner. "But gambling is immoral," we're told! Nah, only when private citizens do it. Yet another example of the state doing things we can't do, but giving it a different name to obfuscate the absurdity.
Oh the lottery! This catchy rap tune talks about one of America's favorite past times. Last year Americans spent over $70 million per year on lotto tickets. The majority of those who play the lottery are low income households. An article on ThinkProgress.org states, “In 2009, lotteries in 11 states brought in more revenue than the corporate income tax. And thus the lottery acts like an implicit 38 percent tax on mainly the poorest people.” Poor people having little, are enamoured with visions of all of the needs they can meet if only they could just win that jackpot. What they don’t know is that the rules of the lotteries are such that they make winning small amounts relatively common, but winning the jackpots much more uncommon, all the while the state rakes in all of that revenue. The worst part of it all is that those poor people who find a way to buy lottery tickets, generally lose .47 cents per dollar spent. They would be much better off saving their money for the long haul. This just exemplifies one of the real crises in the US and that is a lack of basic economic understanding. People are so much more easily taken in by predatory con artists, like The State.
One of the things I think libertarians do themselves a disservice with is ignoring some of the criticisms levied by the socialist left. This song i'm sure would be lobbed at ancaps saying we're the ones pushing for unchecked greed and consumerism. While i don't see an inherent evil in choosing that life i certainly wouldn't promote it myself. I also think at a structural level it would be untenable. This song seems to implicate the ways in which the government has created the carrot of untold desires being met through a mass dump of cash on a lucky individual. I'm not against gambling but when you break down the numbers they steal more than they give and tax you again on your income. Even if this weren't the case they prop up big businesses and create disadvantages for less well-connected companies. Simply put the system is created atop a pile of erroneous incentives and we need to be sure we don't allow people to pigeonhole us as greedy capitalists when we're generally just self-interested capitalists.