Thomas Jefferson on Gambling


Thomas Jefferson on Gambling

Thomas Jefferson was known to support the lottery to achieve funds for infrequent community projects. He thought the lottery could be harmful to people, but “useful on certain occasions.”  However, he was against contrived gambling (gaming) in general.

Richard Brookhiser, in his 2006 book entitled: What Would the Founders Do? (Our Questions Their Answers), addresses the matter of gambling.

The following is a quote from Brookhiser’s book.

Speaking of Thomas Jefferson:

His second thought was more cautious. Trade, farming, and the rest produced real goods when the bet pays off. But games of chance were pure diversions—Jefferson specified cards, dice, and billiards — “are entirely unproductive. ” They were also” so seducing…to men of a certain constitution of mind, that they cannot resist the temptation” of betting on them. In such cases” as in those of insanity, idiocy, infancy, etc., it is the duty of society to take “gambling addicts” under its protection; even against their own acts, and to restrain their right of choice of those pursuits, by suppressing them entirely.” Jefferson the libertarian saw chance everywhere, Jefferson the republican saw the damage that the pursuit of it sometimes did. The two Jeffersons dueled till the end (p.98)

End of quote.

There is strong evidence that Jefferson was correct. Legalized gambling, in general, does more harm to a socioculture than it does good. It destroys the lives of a significant number of gambling citizens and their loved ones. Therefore it harms society. Legalized gambling is generally a destructive force that also “addicts” governments who become dependent upon tax revenues derived from the losses of millions of its people. It is a predatory surreptitious tax upon the general public. Legalized gambling, like legalized pornography and other formerly illegal vices is analagous to the “Bread and Circus” provided by the Emperors of Ancient Rome to maintain their control of the masses and stave off civil revolt.

VTM, 9/16/09

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2 Responses to “Thomas Jefferson on Gambling”

  1. Thomas Jefferson on Gambling | Cultural Survival Skills Says:

    Mariah Siefferman

    Thomas Jefferson on Gambling Thomas Jefferson was known to support the lottery to achieve funds for infrequent community projects. He thought the lottery could be harmful to people, but

    Like

  2. Thomas Jefferson on Gambling | Cultural Survival Skills Says:

    Dione Pavis

    Thomas Jefferson on Gambling Thomas Jefferson was known to support the lottery to achieve funds for infrequent community projects. He thought the lottery could be harmful to people, but

    Like

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