Topics range from lottery machines to the health care debate.

Fine print on lottery machines deceptive

For our company party I was elected to get some Oregon Lottery scratch-it tickets for door prizes, $40 worth of the $5 garden variety. I was requested to get a specific ticket — the Monopoly game scratch it tickets.

I put the $40 in the machine and proceeded to purchase eight of these $5 tickets. Much to my chagrin, the self service Oregon Lottery machine made a noise, no ticket was dispensed, and the cost of the ticket in the window that once said $5 now show a straight line.

When I inquired with the store I was told the machine was out of that type of ticket. I asked them how would I know this because at the time of purchase it showed the tickets were available and ready to purchase. I was told you don't know until you go to select the ticket, then it tells you when you see the straight line they are out of that game, after your money is already in the machine.

I just shook my head and said fine, just give me my $40 back, and I will buy them somewhere else. The nice store clerk then explained to me that in the self-service lottery machines there are no cash refunds. Once you put your money in the machines you can't get it back per the fine print on the machine.

So I was forced to purchase $40 of something I didn't want, and couldn't get my money back, and then I can't return the unused scratch it tickets? How is any of this fair? Where in the world can you not get your money back for something you purchased that you didn't want?

The Oregon Lottery is barely better than criminal activity and this is just one minor example.

James Maass


Define terms when talking of health care

What do we mean when we say health care is a right? Do we mean a negative right? Negative rights require others to abstain from interfering with our actions. A negative right to health care would mean that others would not be allowed to interfere with our voluntary consumption of health care.

Or do we mean a positive right? Positive rights require others to provide us with goods or services. A positive right to health care could mean we have a right to consume health care from a provider under a voluntary agreement. For example, we could pay a monthly fee to a direct primary care provider that gives us the right to certain goods and services.

A positive right to health care could also mean that we have a right to consume health care regardless of the willingness of the provider. This would be a positive right derived from coercion.

Again, what do we mean when we say health care is a right? Given that we already have both a negative right to health care (although you could argue some interference from regulation) and a positive right when derived from voluntary agreements, we must mean a positive right derived from coercion.

Aside from the problem of coercion, a positive right to health care has the problem of scarcity. How can we have a positive right to goods and services subject to scarcity? What good is a right to health care if we have to wait months or years to see a provider?

We want everyone to have access to quality health care that they can afford, but a positive right to health care is meaningless. We've already conflated health insurance with health care to the detriment of health care. Let's not conflate goals with rights, too.

Zach Ruby


Transportation plan is way too much for Oregon

The article in The Times ("Transportation plan unveiled in Legislature," May 11) concerning the Legislature and their transportation plan is to increase:

• gas taxes from $.28 to $.44 and

• "Tiered" increases in vehicle title and registration fees. Oh, and even higher for fuel efficient cars.

• A STATE WIDE Payroll tax — not just in the greater metro area, but they want to tax every wage-earner in the state to fund roads and bridges in the Portland metro area.

• Tolls — on our roads and bridges (to be determined by our representatives)

• Bicycle Excise Tax — a sales tax on bicycles

• Dealer Privilege Tax — A Sales Tax on Vehicles

The State says they are $1.8 billion in the hole for the next two years and must find ways to cover their PERS disaster, which is included in the $1.8 billion. The State of Oregon is set to receive $1 billion in new revenues for the next two years, however that still leaves them in the hole $1.8 billion.

With this dream of $800,000,000.00 per year in new taxes, fees, tolls (which Oregon hasn't had in many years) they now want to increase our taxes by

• $1,800,000,000.00 for their "deficit" and

• $ 800,000,000.00 for 2018

• $ 800,000,000.00 in 2019.

• $3,400,000,000.00 total new taxes, fees and tolls over the next two years. $3.4 billion.

This does not account for any of their other bills which may add new taxes, etc.

The Times quoted Tina Kotek: "We are running the most transparent transportation process I think this building has ever seen, so now it's time for public input," said House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland. "We still have plenty of time to work out the details."

The details are in the BILLIONS.

Gary Blodgett


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