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Contemplating My Navel Via Blog
If life is a game, let’s play and hope to learn a lesson or two.
Monopoly, something we all have played at sometime in our lives. Everyone rolls the dice so your chances for opportunity or misfortune are truly random. All players start with the same amount of money and no one has an unfair advantage, starts off with the both of the blue properties near start, or rules which only apply to one player and not the others just for the sake of that one player to beat anyone else playing.
Let’s say you are invited to play a game with four friends. Just as the game is about to start you find out you are not allowed to leave and being force to play. The game is rigged. Two of the players have designed special rules to enhance their odds of keeping more money and property, but tell you that you still have a chance to be a winner.
They start off the game with the two sides of the rich areas already in their possession because they “inherited” it; unlike you who has to go about buying property playing by the standard rules. They start off the game with $2000, but you and your other friend start off with only $500. Their salary is $400 for passing GO and a double bonus for landing on it, while your salary is only $100 and you do not get a bonus for landing on it. If they land on PARK, they get paid $500 from the bank, but you get taxed. In the Super Tax area, you pay $300 and they pay $50, but for regular taxes you pay 15% and they pay only $100.
As the game is in play, they pass the lower income districts and buy up property they land on since they have the advantage of going first. By the time it is your turn, all you can do is land on the property they just bought and you have to pay them rent. After about 2 times passing GO, they start to build hotels on both sides of the rich districts and try to talk you into handing over your mere property in exchange for cash. You at first resist the offer they give you, but after landing on their hotels you hurt for cash and allow them to pay you pennies on the dollar for your property.
By the time you pass GO for the 6th time, you have very little money left, no property, and realize there is no way you can ever beat these guys who keep telling you there is still a chance if you play the game. They even make a sweet deal with you, they will loan you money, but you will have to pay them back half of your salary when you pass GO. You take their money hoping to make a deal to buy enough property to start building, but you land on their hotels and this eats up all that money. You now cannot buy any more land let alone build even one house. You then go bankrupt and they win the game.
From their point of view, winning is grand. They got all the money, the property and won the game. They think of you as losers and treat you as idiots for not being able to compete.
Most normal people who might get hooked into playing one game with those people might never voluntarily play with them again. The reputation of their cheating would spread and no one wants to play with the likes of those types of cheaters.
Why is it we play this game in real life?
Don’t get me wrong, Capitalism is grand. It is greed that is not great. America is great because it is the land of opportunity, but when a handful of people pay politicians to make the rules to make sure they always have the upper hand so no one else can play the game, that is not fair.
It is also not fair that they can do whatever it takes to make the money without regard to how it hurts others and then refuse to pay more taxes which help the country which gave them the opportunities they have. It is the extra tax money which help others have a chance to be winners and play the game.
Newt’s Super Pac campaign put out a video called King of Bain which highly exaggerated how Romney made his money. Despite the lies and exaggeration, Romney is still a despicable person because he earned his money through inheritance and vulture capitalism and refuses to pay a fair share of taxes as he has some of his money squirreled away in offshore accounts. It is a matter of principle. Vulture capitalism makes money by taking over vulnerable companies for a profit.
These companies being vulnerable might not be thinking clearly of their other options and might fail or succeed with or without the corporate raiders; but this is also what these vultures also promise – they might save the company or the company might also go bankrupt. The difference between the owner doing it and the vultures is the vultures will make a profit from their misery and in the end might not do any better or worse than if they were left alone.
With or without The King of Bain, the fact is Romney was a part of a company that bought desperate companies and profited from them whether the company went belly up or not. I find that distasteful. What is even more distasteful is the avoidance of paying taxes to the land which gave them the opportunity to make all that money so others would have a chance to compete. This is just greed for the sake of money.
In school, there might be a group of children playing marbles. One kid might alter the marbles put in the ring to deliberately make it harder for anyone to win those marbles. As a result, that one kids takes away everyone else’s marbles and refuses to give anyone a chance to win them back because as the crowd gets angry discovering they were had, he takes his marbles and goes home the winner.
We cannot trust that businesses will always do what is right. Without any form of regulation, they would do whatever it takes to make more money even if it means paying starvation wages, polluting the air and water, and dragging down the value of the dollar. Trickledown economics do not work. Those with the most money do not want to lose any of it; in fact they only want more and want to take it from those at the bottom. These so-called job creators create jobs alright, mostly in countries without regulations. They get welfare from the government, but use it to ship jobs outside the country. They often pay less in taxes than their average worker.
This is not a fair game we are being forced to play. The French Revolution pitted the very rich against the very poor. There was no middle-class. The poor were tired of being treated badly by the upper class and in the uprising they beheaded them for their disdain towards the suffering of the poor.
The US could share that story if it doesn’t learn to play fair with all of its citizens. We cannot run a country without taxes. The tax money is part of the “common defense” to support what makes us safe. A safety net for the poor does make us safer. Properly funded education does make us safer. Giving more loans to people wanting to start a business which hires more local people make us safer.
All of these programs which benefit the country as a whole is a mere pittance in comparison to what we pay for all these expensive wars. We still have troops in Japan for crying out loud! WWII ended nearly 67 years ago. I think it’s safe to say they are not likely to bomb Hawaii any time soon. And the Germans are no longer a threat to us, either.
When politicians who get paid big bucks from lobbyists, they no longer represent the people who put them in office; that is outright bribery. When a voice can be bought and sold to make the rules fair to only one group of people while shutting other out, the game is not a fair one when the rest of us are not allowed to play.