Fifty years ago, familiar images of the lottery would have been strange, as no state lottery existed then. Few researchers have uncovered the obscure role lotteries play in the changing composition of American taxation. Even less is known about what role race plays in this process. More than simply taxing those on the social margins, the emergence of state lotteries in contemporary American history represents something much more fundamental about state fiscal policy. This book not only uncovers the underlying racial factors that contextualize lottery proliferation in the U.S., but also reveals the racial consequences that lotteries have in terms of redistributing tax liability.
"State Looteries by Henricks and Embrick is a must read for anyone interested in financial justice for all. While implicit bias is often thought of when we discuss the criminal justice system and mass incarceration, rarely is it even considered when we discuss tax policy. That is why this book is so important. It provides a behind the scene look at how a seemingly neutral thing, like state lotteries, can impact taxpayers differently because of their race. Read it and weep."
- Dorothy A. Brown, Vice Provost and Professor of Law, Emory University
"If we really want to comprehend where today’s economic justice stands so far as race is concerned, perhaps we should look no further than tax law. Henricks and Embrick do just that in State Looteries. With both plain English and piercing analysis, they capture the subtleties of how race and racism shaped the emergence of state lotteries over the past 50 years—a truly fundamental shift in the tax code. This is among the best cases yet for racially-conscious public policy that says enough is enough."
- Kimberlé W. Crenshaw, Director of the Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies, Columbia University and Distinguished Professor of Law, University of California at Los Angeles
"State Looteries provides a devastating and comprehensive examination of the sustained use of public policies to destroy and expropriate black wealth in America. This is a critical study that helps us understand the origins and persistence of today's enormous racial wealth gap."
- William A. Darity, Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics, and Director of the Samuel Cook Center on Social Equity, Duke University
"Capitalism pays workers the lowest wages the market will sustain, and then devises ingenious ways to bilk the lower classes of their sparse dollars. State Looteries shows how the state is implicated, under the false pretense of sending ‘deserving’ students to college, not only in looting the poor but also of stealing their dreams for deliverance."
- Stephen Steinberg,Distinguished Professor of Urban Studies, City University of New York – Queens College and Graduate Center
Foreword: Racialized Taxation: Furthering Racialized Social Systems Theory
Introduction: Black Dollars, White Pockets: Looting by Another Name
1. "No Taxation Without Discrimination": "The Lottery Tax," State Finance, and Racism
2. Lottery Studies and Their Discontents: A Critical Review
3. "Mad as Hell" Tax Rebels and a Changing Tax Composition: A Historical Corrective for How State Lotteries Emerged
4. Dissecting the Evolution of Lotteries and Their Racial Implications
5. Who Plays? Who Pays?: A Case Study of Illinois
6. The Hidden Mechanisms of Racism: Placing Lotteries in Broader Contexts of How Race Works in America
Postscript: Going All In: Available Policy Alternatives
Appendix A: Supplementary Material
Appendix B: Methods