Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Is buying a lottery ticket an investment?

Blue Virginia tries economics - arguing for Democratic ideas of investment and against the Republicans' thoughts that those spending plans.
The difference between investment and spending?
  • Investment - spending on what you want to spend money on.
  • Spending - someone else spending money
Is buying a lottery ticket an investment? If it wins, then yes. A great one. But most likely, you'll be left with nothing for your money.
Democratic investment sounds good in theory. Except for:
  • their track record
  • their investments are more than the minimum needed
  • their priorities
  • the state of the United States budget in 2011.
If you're hungry, you can eat at McDonald's. Or a steakhouse if you have the money. Or the $100-pound Wagyu steak President Obama reportedly had just after the inaugural.
If you have the money, buy the steak. If not, tighten your belt and go with the less expensive meal to fill your stomach.
Educate the children? Great, do it on a home schooler's budget.
Pour money into mass transit? Where will it work (cities) and where will it not? Don't think if you build, they will come. With a computer and internet access today, we'll likely be less centralized in 10 years.
Invest on a budget. That's the way to go.
Because spending the money we'll need in the future today won't get us to a happy future. We've eaten enough "seed corn" on investments over the years. Let the "seed corn" grow before we gorge ourselves on it.

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