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TOPIC: ARGUMENT16 - The following appeared in a letter to the editor of a local newspaper from a citizen of the state of Impecunia.

“Two years ago our neighboring state, Lucria, began a state lottery to supplement tax revenues for education and public health. Today, Lucria spends more per pupil than we do, and Lucria’s public health program treats far more people than our state’s program does. If we were to establish a state lottery like the one in Lucria, the profits could be used to improve our educational system and public health program. The new lottery would doubtless be successful, because a survey conducted in our capital city concludes that citizens of Impecunia already spend an average of $50 per person per year on gambling.”

WORDS: 376 TIME: Unlimited DATE: 2008-5-25 22:01:00

The author said that their neighboring state, Lucria has a state lottery to supplement tax revenues for education and public health. And the author also concludes that if their state, Impecunia, has a lottery like that, the lottery would be doubtless successful and the profit could be used to improve their educational system and public health program. However, the author fails to convince anybody that the lottery can be profitable.

Firstly, the author’s point depends on the assumption that the survey is statistically reliable. Yet, the author offers no evidence to substantiate this assumption. The author must show that not only the quantities of the conducted samples are sufficient, but the samples can represent of every level of age and jobs. Without a statistically reliable survey, the author cannot make any conclusions based on it.

In addition, the author think that the person who spending on gambling will also spending on lottery. Though lottery is a special pattern of gambling, but they are not same. The survey fails to show which patterns of gambling people intend to, thus we cannot predict that whether the lottery can be accept by the players of gambling.

Secondly, the author’s inference that the Lucria’s state lottery which is effective in Lucria will also be effective in Impecunia rests on the poor assumption that the two states in any aspects are the same. Perhaps Lucria has fewer population of pupil and groups that requires health treatment than us, thus Lucria can spend more on every pupil they has and the person who needs health service.

Furthermore, Lucria started the state lottery two years ago, the author draws the conclusion that the lottery will doubtless be successful if it starts in Impecunia based on the consumers of the lottery can keep increasing in the future. However, we cannot foresee if more consumers of Impecunia will play with this lottery in the future, therefore, we cannot assume that the lottery will be successful let alone about the lottery can be profitable.

In all, the survey provided by the author, which is the base of the new lottery assumption in Impecunia, is lack of statistically credit. Without a credible survey and a reasonable assumption, the author’s suggestion about lottery in Impecunia cannot be adopted.