19 March 2013

Monopoly: One-Percent Edition -- I Wanna Quit!

The rich have gotten richer than ever. They've done it at a time when the rest of us have struggled more than any time since World War II ended. There are signs the economy is recovering, but job opportunities are still few and far between - and meaningful jobs are scarcer than ever. Professionals have had to take menial jobs "and like it" because there's nothing more unsavory than someone who put in all the hard work to get ahead in life not being grateful to be at a rung on the ladder they could have reached without any effort at all. As for the poor, it's unfair to even say the rich have adopted Marie Antoinette's wrongly attributed "Let them eat cake" as a philosophy...because the rich now resent the poor even having cake because, you know, you're not entitled to cake and if you want it, then you need to get a job and work and earn it because no one owes you any cake and get off my damn lawn.

Conservatives keep pushing for austerity measures, despite the fact that all economic evidence makes clear that austerity is destructive to the economy. Here's the problem: The economy is nothing more than a game to the rich. Why should it be anything else? They're insulated from any of the harsh realities everyone else faces. Money exists purely as an abstract thing to them, digits on a bank statement. Most damning of all is the fact that not only have few of them done anything the rest of us would regard as actual work, but the vast majority of their wealth at this point is accrued through investment schemes driven by such things as automated stock-trading programs that buy and sell within literal microseconds to maximize returns. Investing is bad enough, because you're getting rich off someone else's work but this is even worse because it requires absolutely nothing but start-up capital. It's even less respectable than being a professional gambler, because at least gamblers have to sit at the table and play for themselves.

No, at this point our entire economy has become one big game of Monopoly. We've reached that point near the end where the obvious winner hasn't gotten the last few pieces, and the rest of us have to keep playing even though we were realistically eliminated hours ago. Austerity isn't about the economy. It's about the coup de grace for the rich. They can't kill the rest of us, so the next best thing is to kill all participation in our existence.
First to a MILLION wins! The rest of us have to sit on and watch.
This is why they're all for privatization: They own the businesses that would take care of things, which means they would be able to ensure that their needs were met entirely to their liking...with no obligation to do anything for anyone else. It's easy to say you want to privatize road maintenance when you own a paving business and you can't stand having a pothole in your neighborhood. It's quite another to actually have to address the very real infrastructure issues that the rest of us face in our communities day in, day out.

I don't know what to do. In the game, you can just agree that it's pointless to play it out because it's so painfully obvious what will happen and the victor-to-be has the chance to either graciously accept the request and begin gloating, or to whine about wanting to see it through - because, after all, as the presumptive victor, he or she is entitled to make everyone bear witness to their triumph.

We get it. You're rich. You have almost everything. Can we concede that and get on to something else? I hate Monopoly. Let's play Frozen Kissers, because I need some kissin'.


  1. Good article. Maybe you've read NY Times columnist Paul Krugman on austerity. Sad to say that the greed of the 1% knows no limits. They get laws made to pay less taxes themselves and then blame the country's problems on the victims - the poor. Wish I had a magic bullet to change things but I don't. I'm just going to keep on voting democratic and hope for the best.

    PS - does Ashley have a chance in KY?


    1. I haven't read Krugman's piece but I can certainly imagine its scope and gist.

      As for Ashley Judd, I've got several thoughts on her that I'm considering organizing into a post soon. It's doable, but with some serious caveats.