Don't pretend that the economy is all bad. Lottery ticket sales are booming! American states are beaming at the prospect of closing their yawning budget gaps with the final dollars of the desperate poor.

As long as the poorest of the poor keep funneling their precious savings into the lottery, the state won't be forced to bring back mandatory indentured servitude.

Experts say that during tough economic times, people increasingly turn to lotteries.
Overall, revenue is up in 25 of the 42 states that have lotteries, according to Scientific Games, a maker of scratch-off tickets.

Here in New York, the lottery saw revenues rise by $177 million, right in the heart of the Panic of '08! That's responsible governance for you. Citizens, don't be one of those suckers who works for a steady paycheck; listen to this mailroom dude, who tells you the secret to getting the JUMBO BUCKS. Play now! Your elected officials demand it. [NYP]