Think of life as a game of Monopoly. Everyone starts with the same amount of money so that the playing field is a level one. At the end of the game, all playing pieces and money is returned to the box. When the next game is begun, everyone starts over again. No player is allowed to carry his/her winnings from one game to another. That would not be fair. Abolishing the estate tax (death tax) would be like playing Monopoly with prior winners having an unfair advantage. Allowing some to accumulate great wealth and then pass it intact to the next generation would endanger our democracy.
Monopoly, the game, exists in many varying editions, and in 2011 many additional 75th anniversary editions are being offered. Monopoly first appeared in 1935 in the depths of the Great Depression and now we are trembling on the brink of the Great Depression 2. It is a fitting time to play the updated version of the game as we wait for the economy to decide our respective fates. The GOP are courting disaster as they maneuver to defeat President Obama, at the same time as the European Union risks unraveling by doing little or nothing to preserve itself. Either or both acting in combination would be sufficient to cause the economy to crater.
The very latest version of Monopoly comes with a round board in place of the usual square one. Values on the board have been updated by multiplying by a factor of 10,000; you collect $2 million for passing Go instead of $200. Paper money is replaced by an electronic scorekeeper eliminating the tedious job of banker. Increasing all the values in the game by a factor of 10,000, incomes and prices, makes me think of the countries that have experienced hyperinflation: Argentina, post-WW1Germany,Zimbabwe and others in Africa and South America. We are not there yet, but the stalemate in Washington is not helping matters.
- Monopoly Goes Round with 75th Anniversary Edition (casasugar.com)
- Princess Bride Monopoly? As You Wish [Games People Play] (jezebel.com)
- History of Monopoly (sashadichter.wordpress.com)
Who among us has not played Monopoly? Remember the many-colored, funny money that had value only in the game? Well that is what US currency is rapidly becoming. Only the very wealthy have enough of it for it to have some value. The rest of us work for small amounts of currency that buys less and less as we try to survive paycheck to paycheck. And the wealthy who have plenty of it can treat US currency the way it should be treated, as funny money. Only the joke is on us as we sit idly by and allow our legislators to pin this joke on our backs. This and future generations will bear this sign, “I’m down and out. Kick me.”