Walton Gives $75K to Lottery Foes

This state lottery debate may get interesting yet—Jim Walton of the Wal-Mart and Arvest Bank empires has ponied up $75,000 to the Arkansas Family Council to combat the lottery initiative pushed by Lt. Gov. Bill Halter.

Family Council honcho says the funds were unexpected, but will likely go toward radio and newspaper advertising, the Arkansas News Bureau’s John Lyon reports.

Update: Halter has a previously scheduled news conference about the lottery at 10 a.m. at the State Capitol.

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2 thoughts on “Walton Gives $75K to Lottery Foes

  • September 16, 2008 at 10:45 pm
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    Good for Jim Walton. I think it is a smart move as well as a good one. The lottery will lose Wal-Mart a lot of money because it is their customers who will spend a larger share of their disposable income on lottery tickets instead of at Wal-Mart.

    The whole reason for this lottery proposal is wrong-headed anyway. A rational economic look at the situation reveals that if anything, we already have more public dollars extracted from our earnings for higher education than our population and economic base warrants. The latest evidence for this comes from an nwaonline article about freshmen at our state’s flagship campus.

    The article informs us that roughly one in every three of the 3,010 freshmen on campus comes from outside Arkansas. The University of Arkansas is heavily recruiting students from outside the state, especially Texas. In fact, the university is considering opening a full-time admissions office in the Dallas area to help recruitment efforts.

    “”They did a good job of selling themselves,” said Alice McMillan, a freshman accounting major from Kansas City, Mo.

    McMillan came to campus last year for an accounting career seminar, and was impressed by the engagement of the faculty and minority outreach programs. A full scholarship didn’t hurt, either.” reads the Morning News article.

    It doesn’t hurt them, but is sure does hurt me, and you too, to know that we have to roll our lazy tails out of bed and go to work in order to pay taxes to subsidize the educations of people from other states.

    Our state universities are fleecing our taxpayers, not so WE will have an adequately educated workforce among our own population, but rather so that surrounding states can benefit by the gullible and shallow political leadership in this state, who continue to burden our taxpayers with the cost of educating citizens of surrounding states.

    Can there be any doubt whatsoever that there is too much college scholarship money in Arkansas already, when the flagship institution in the state can’t find any in-state students that need it? They have to go out of state, because all the top in-state students are already covered!

    What’s next, paying students a salary to go to college? A recruitment outreach center in Mexico city? Folks we already have too much higher education infrastructure in this state relative to the number of jobs we have that require such an education, and even relative to the academic talent pool in the state.

    There are not even enough such jobs to give one to all of the Arkansans with college degrees- people from our state get degrees and then have to go elsewhere to find work to match that degree. How much less then do we need to expend tax money to educate people from surrounding states who will use us to pay their bills and then on graduation go back to Dallas where the jobs are?

    I don’t care if it runs counter to the buzz-phrases the dim-wits in the capitol have been repeating to each other like parrots: We don’t need more college infrastructure in this state, we need to right-size what we have. The key to a better economy is not educating other region’s workers at our expense, it’s reducing government spending and letting people keep more of their own earnings.

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