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Dave Cline of Virginia, Alaska, Colorado, California, Utah and Oregon

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The Green Lottery

Would you gamble for new energy?

"I'd like to buy a green lottery ticket please."

"Why sure. Here you go - that'll be $1.00. You know that half of the purchase price for these Green Lottery tickets goes directly to build the new wind farm energy plant out near Cheyenne Wyoming."

"You don't say"

"A yup, and not only that but because your helping the country reduce its dependency on foreign oil half of that ticket's cost is tax deductible on your federal return."

"Well then, I'll take 10!"

"Why sure. But remember you can only deduct a maximum of $100 ticket purchases from your return, but that 50% of every ticket still applies to the wind farm no matter how many you buy."

"What a grand idea, thanks"

In the United Kingdom there exists the National Lottery. From this lottery a 28% cut is removed to fund "good causes." There is a special fund call The Big Lottery Fund which handles the BILLIONS of pounds the National Lottery has generated in the last decade.

This idea is almost wonderful. It's similar to the other lotteries around the the world which generate revenue for schools and public works. The problem with this idea is that "I" don't know exactly where my money is going and don't much care for the small percentage of over all gross that is spent on "good causes."

But what if I did know where the money was going and there was a much higher percentage of gross direct to the good cause.

Like building a new alternative energy plant somewhere. Or a desalination plant. Or a thermo-depolymerization plant. Or some other Green or enviro/eco cause that will benefit the planet and its people. But something tangible. Something I can relate to. Something I personally would like to see built and operating.

I'd gladly drop a couple of hundred for the cause - if I could write half of it off AND know that the other half was going directly to fund the good cause's construction.

And I could even spend more knowing that half went to this effort.

And I might even win the Green Lottery...

After the target funding total was reached - the next good cause would become the focus of the funding. And there would be a long list of funding projects to choose from as they all get eventually funded.

Maybe I'm missing something here but isn't this a win,win,win scenario?

Maybe the percentages are off a bit due to overhead but I'd rather see a larger chunk go towards the good cause than into the coffer for the winnings. Only put 30% towards the winnings. That's fine.

Imagine what other projects you could fund with a lottery. The Boy/Girl Scouts, The Red Cross relief. The National Guard. Make every tax dollar a lottery dollar. You could use you SSN as a lottery number every year. I wouldn't mind paying taxes so much if I thought I might win it all back some year.

"Uh, how about one more Green Lottery ticket for that Stirling Engine solar array plant down in Santa Fe."

"Here you go."

"Hey, I won!"

"No, we ALL win."