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Gibson writes: "But the endgame scenario of Monopoly is a lot like the endgame of capitalism that we're witnessing today - no matter how the game starts, the wealth will eventually accumulate in the hands of one player."

Gibson: 'The board game
Gibson: 'The board game "Monopoly" was originally invented in the early 20th century to warn players of the dangers of free market capitalism.' (photo: Fiona Shields/Flickr)



The Endgame of Capitalism

By Carl Gibson, Reader Supported News

03 February 13

Reader Supported News | Perspective

he board game "Monopoly" was originally invented in the early 20th century to warn players of the dangers of free market capitalism. The original title was "The Landlord Game," made to show how property owners exploit their tenants with exorbitant rent. The game eventually evolved to include rules that let players charge higher rent if they owned all the railroads or the utility companies. But the endgame scenario of Monopoly is a lot like the endgame of capitalism that we're witnessing today - no matter how the game starts, the wealth will eventually accumulate in the hands of one player, while the other players have to sell off their property to pay their debt to the owner and, eventually, lose everything they have.

The Dow recently closed above 14,000, the highest it's ever been since October of 2007. While the financial pundits on CNBC would use this figure to have us believe the economy is bouncing back better than ever, the only ones sharing in the benefit of a healthy market are the wealthy investor class and corporations that have been insulated from the effects of the recession that still continues for the rest of us. The influx of high-frequency trading that now makes up half of all trading signifies the change of using the market as a vehicle for making long-term investments to manipulating it for short-term profit.

The market's latest high numbers are due to corporations turning out record profits quarter after quarter, having grown profits by 171 percent under Obama's watch. Most of those profits have come about by companies cutting costs by shifting jobs overseas, where they can pay a Chinese worker a fraction of what they would pay an American worker to do the same job. News has also broken about Fortune 500 companies like Chevron, Bank of America, AT&T and IBM using inmate labor at private prisons, meaning they can slap a "Made in the USA" sticker on a product made by someone working for slave wages. The influx of immigrants looking for work thanks to free trade agreements like NAFTA, has led to the inevitable exploitation of immigrant labor which will continue as long as US immigration policy punishes the exploited rather than the companies exploiting them. And these record corporate profits also have right-wing governors and state legislatures to thank for union-busting right-to-work laws that really only exist as a vehicle for businesses to pay workers less money for the same work, and for Republicans to erode a major fundraising base for their opposition.

The rest of the uptick in corporate profits can be attributed to a lax tax code that allows companies to book profits made in the United States in overseas tax havens. There's an estimated $2.3 trillion in US corporate profits booked in overseas accounts. Apple alone stashes $1 billion a week in overseas accounts to dodge corporate taxes. That's equivalent to over 4 million full-time minimum-wage jobs, every week. The share of US tax revenue from corporations has gone from 6% of GDP in the 1950s to just 1% today.

The executives of these companies make out like bandits, as they use their increased profits to buy their own company's stock, which makes the stock price go up, making the stock options owned by the executives more valuable. And with dividends taxed at a much lower rate than actual work (20% vs. 35%), the tax revenue needed to keep society functioning continues to dwindle as the investor class accumulates greater wealth than ever before. The six Waltons who own Wal-Mart own as much wealth as the bottom 40% of Americans.

Some financial analysts say this market surge is just a rally, destined to drop as Congress expects to wrangle with the deficit in May, including a possible downgrade of our credit rating. But the fact is, our deficit would disappear if we had a small sales tax on all Wall Street financial transactions, taxed capital gains at the same rate as by-God-hard-work and overhauled our tax code in favor of one that would do away with the loopholes that allow big corporations to offshore their billions in American profits. However, even that could get worse, as Obama has shown willingness to talk about a territorial tax code that would effectively allow corporations to pay a 0% tax rate on their profits all over the world, including the US.

In a recent Daily Show appearance, Al Gore made a half-hearted attempt at explaining the idea of "sustainable capitalism" to Jon Stewart. But even Gore's description of capitalism as the only economic system that works sounded incredibly outdated to those of us who weren't millionaire media moguls or TV personalities. We're witnessing the endgame of capitalism, where a few wealthy individuals and corporations have accumulated most of the wealth while the rest of us are left to fight for the scraps. And it looks a lot like the endgame of Monopoly, where every player is selling off their house and foreclosing their property to pay the one player who already has everything. And when the Monopoly game has gone that far, the only thing left to do is flip the board over, scatter all of the winner's winnings, and try playing something else that everyone can enjoy.


Carl Gibson, 25, is co-founder of US Uncut, a nationwide creative direct-action movement that mobilized tens of thousands of activists against corporate tax avoidance and budget cuts in the months leading up to the Occupy Wall Street movement. Carl and other US Uncut activists are featured in the documentary "We're Not Broke," which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He currently lives in Old Lyme, Connecticut. You can contact Carl at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

 

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+93 # LeeBlack 2013-02-03 08:05
The movie "Executive Suite", made 50 years ago, described the beginning of this trend - no longer a concern for the product being made or the people making it but only the target of the next quarterly report.

If you buy one day and sell a week later you aren't investing you are gambling.
 
 
+25 # BradFromSalem 2013-02-04 07:14
Its not gambling when you manipulate the outcome.
 
 
+5 # LeeBlack 2013-02-04 13:20
true
 
 
+4 # 666 2013-02-04 18:35
See Lenin's late 1890-ish article "Imperialism, the Highest State of Capitalism". It's pretty straight-forwar d analysis.... this aint news.
 
 
+6 # RLF 2013-02-05 05:32
He forgot to talk about how the little guys being treated like chumps when they have the temerity to invest...being cheated by the likes of Goldman on their retirements. This article makes me want to head over to Greenwhich Ct. and start hanging people from the light posts.
 
 
+101 # MidwestTom 2013-02-03 08:37
On a sinking ship everyone tries to figure out how to survive. We are all on a sinking ship known as the United States. Our elected crew has sold the lifeboats to Wall Street. The ship was in good shape when Wall Street was a place to invest long term money in a particular company stock and watch it rise or fall over months or years; which is the core of capitalism.

However, the elected Captains of our ship shirked their duty and over the past thirty years allowed Wall Street to become a casino. Short sales, high speed trading, and finally derivatives, have destroyed the stability of our finances.

Capitalism is the only system that motivates individual initiative, which is the key to success and why we have been a wealthy nation. China turned to capitalism twenty years ago and transformed their country.

Two simple steps could rebalance our entire financial system. First tax any capital gain achieved in less than six months at 50^, thus destroying high speed trading. Second, limit financial 'insurance' in the form of derivatives to ones actual exposure to loss of invested capital; rhus ending the derivative game.

Achieving these will be extremely hard since Wall Street owns most of our elected officials.
 
 
+47 # wantrealdemocracy 2013-02-03 09:55
Tom tells us about the underlying cause of the financial collapse of our nation. "Since Wall Street owns most of our elected officials." I would correct that by saying ALL OF OUR ELECTED OFFICIALS. The only hope for the survival of any bit of democracy is to publicly fund election campaigns. We need our representatives to represent us, the people, and not them the corporations and the mega wealthy. How to make this change is a problem because you can't expect people elected under our current corrupt system to vote to change it.
 
 
+34 # wrknight 2013-02-03 11:51
I would go one step further. Any capital gains earned in less than one year gets taxed at 90%. Less than 2 years: 50% Over 2 years: same as ordinary income.
 
 
+45 # noitall 2013-02-03 12:23
"Capitalism is the only system that motivates individual initiative..." First Nations didn't have a capitalistic system and they thrived for thousands of years knowing their individual roles and their contribution to the tribe. The evaluation was based on how well they tended their area of charge; how productive and healthy was the fishing hole that was one's responsibility, or the field of camas, or a specific elk herd. All contributed to the greater good. It was a system where the leaders greatness was evaluated by the health and happiness of his people and his environment not the size and display of his personal wealth. Tribalism worked but you might taint it by comparing it to Communism (which it ain't). Capitalism is where the greedy, the selfish, and the insatiable reign supreme; it is an ism with an end. We're almost there.
 
 
-51 # EPGAH3 2013-02-03 16:26
"First Nations"? You mean Indians?
Please do not confuse them with nations, Indians had not yet developed a rigid system of property. If you couldn't defend what you claimed, it was not yours, which is as good a definition as any for "Might Makes Right", and a prettier way of saying it too!

Laziness was punished by starvation, while now it is rewarded by Welfare!

Communism is an ism with an end too, the end of nations practicing it. Or were East Germans climbing/underm ining as some sort of proto-Reality Show? And similarly, are Cubans invading America on anything that floats to practice swimming, or because Communism fucked Cuba worse than Obama did America?

China's "Progressive Communism" is more Capitalist than America currently is. And they make THEIR criminals work too!
 
 
+6 # noitall 2013-02-03 22:29
Yada, Yada, Yada
 
 
+20 # bluesapphire48 2013-02-04 08:18
No, YOU are the one who is confused. "Nations" is the correct term to use for tribes (of native Americans and anyone else). The word "nation" refers to people of a common ancestry (it is cognate with "nativity"). The term "Indian" is INCORRECT, although Native Americans now accept it. Columbus called the people he met in the New World "Indians" because he thought he was in India, although Russell Means (a Native American leader of the Wounded Knee siege) thinks that the term actually comes from "in Dios," which Columbus used to describe a people innocent and kind.
You need to read a book. May I suggest starting with BURY MY HEART AT WOUNDED KNEE?
 
 
+17 # Smokey 2013-02-03 19:07
[quote name="MidwestTo m"]"On a sinking ship, everyone tries to figure out how to survive. We are all on a sinking ship known as the United States. Our elected crew has sold the lifeboats to Wall Street."

COMMENT: The ship has "Titanic" written in big letters on the bow and stern.... Yeah, we're all in the same boat.... Some folks are in first class and a lot of families are stuck in steerage. Some workers are doing the dirty and difficult jobs that keep the ship moving. Meanwhile, there are bums
in the fancy restaurants who are drinking champagne and making more money.

What happens when the ship hits the ice?
Some folks will get "bail outs." Others will be told to sink or swim.




"Capitalism is the only system that motivates individual initiative, which is the key to success and why we have been a wealthy nation. China turned to capitalism twenty years ago and transformed their country."

COMMENT: Yeah, they made some changes in China... Now they've got an authoritarian government - which is officially Communist and atheistic - that can provide slave labor to Wal-Mart. Guys like Mitt Romney love China.

Dick Nixon gets the credit for bringing the big corporations into China. And, of course, the Reds have invested heavily in America.
 
 
-8 # FDRva 2013-02-04 11:25
The Left likes to lose. That is why Wall Street still funds it.

A few weeks back--Barry Obama was our lesser evil--a kind of Mitt Romney in Black-face.

Just now y'all suddenly discover that the guy is a lot more evil than 'lesser.'

And a lot more a Wall Street and Harvard man than a Black American man???
 
 
-28 # MidwestTom 2013-02-03 08:45
There are major adjustments coming in this country. I am familiar with the staff of a local Chinese restaurant. They have multiple families living in one house. A husband and wife team earns about $18,000, and they share two vehicles. This is much the same as Polish did in Chicago years ago. Americans are unwilling to live like that and insist that the government give them a higher standard of living without working. As state and Federal budgets get tighter and tighter there is a shocking adjustment coming.

As a nation we have been living by simply printing money, and using our military to force the world to accept our money. this cannot go on forever.
 
 
+55 # noitall 2013-02-03 12:37
"higher standard of living without working" rings inaccurate to me. I don't think Americans want more than their due. They want an even break, a fair share. They want pay akin to the value of their work. When they see CEOs earning more in a day than they do in a year, they know who's getting screwed and it isn't the CEO. They know where his profits are coming from, its from the monopolies and the control that they have over the market place. You republicans (or republican lites) who look at Americans that are working several jobs, made lousy decisions during their 'school years', deserve what they're getting. None of us Americans deserve what we're getting and this includes those at the top. Those at the top are getting some of what is owed to us but they want even more and are willing to spend their wealth to rig the game and own decision makers to assure that they get more. THAT is the problem with our society. Get that straight! Another thing that needs to be understood straight is that Social Security and Medicare, etc. are NOT "entitlements". We've paid for it just like we paid for our retirement programs that got pick-pocketed and now rests unspent in the HAVEs pockets. Our leaders and our courts have allowed our democracy to become a rigged poker game and the majority of the people are the schmucks that don't have the code to the marked cards.
 
 
+28 # Cassandra2012 2013-02-03 15:29
Yes, and add to that the way 'public' pensions (e,g,, in the state of Illinois) for which the state/city worker PAID IN all her/his working life are being demonized. The state looted the pension funds so that governors (of both stripes!) could 'balance their budgets', never fully funding the pensions, even though it was part of the 'contract' and written into LAW.
Further, in the case of state pensions for college and university teachers/profes sors,(and also nurses et al) one could not be even hired without signing away one's social security!
Now the media and politicians without conscience are blaming teachers and professors for being 'greedy' etc. (after paying most of them ca. $50-70 thousand a year or less ! depending on urban/rural ares rates — way below other professions with comparable education, degrees and hours!
And the public, ready to blame anyone they can, are buying these lies.
 
 
+26 # Smokey 2013-02-03 19:17
[quote name="MidwestTo m"]"There are major adjustments coming in this country. I am familiar with the staff of a local Chinese restaurant. They have multiple families living in one house. A husband and wife team earns about $18,000, and they share two vehicles. This is much the same as Polish did in Chicago years ago...."

Oh, yes, you're right with the above comments.... "Major adjustments are coming in this country." Lots of families that now consider themselves to be "middle class" will wind up trying to live on the equivalent of $18,000 or less.

Some folks will call this "progress." The workers who suffer will get blamed for their misery. This strategy is called, "Blame the victims."

EXAMPLE: Conservatives like Newt Gingrich say, "The reason that poor people get 'food stamps' is because they're too lazy to work."

In reality, many of the people who get "food stamps" have two or three jobs and they still can't earn enough to feed themselves.
 
 
+20 # F Michael Addams 2013-02-03 09:07
As long as we remain engaged... we might have a say in the next game...In the meantime... it reminds me of how everyday Russians used to live their lives around the edges of the monolith...
 
 
+69 # Working Class 2013-02-03 09:12
The modern CEO is expected to increase profits for the corporation he/she is responsible for each and every quarter. Whether or not society overall is served is not even a consideration. His/Her charge is simply put, growth for the sack of growth. The same philosphy of a cancer cell. Left untreated I think we know what cancer does to the host.
 
 
-50 # edge 2013-02-03 09:14
GROW UP!

The stock market is as high as it is because the Obama Administration is forcing investors to invest in the stock market!
By keeping interest rates artificially low people that would normally keep their money in CD's or regular bank accounts are losing money due to inflation so they must find places to get a higher return!
This IS PLANNED!
Ask Geithner, ask Bernanke they say it all of the time.

You want Corporations to pay heavy taxes, then they will put it in places that charge lower taxes, so don't cry when they put people to work overseas YOU TOLD THEM TO because of the Tax Code.

If you had a choice you would do it too!
 
 
+35 # noitall 2013-02-03 12:45
Quoting edge:
GROW UP!

The stock market is as high as it is because the Obama Administration is forcing investors to invest in the stock market!
By keeping interest rates artificially low people that would normally keep their money in CD's or regular bank accounts are losing money due to inflation so they must find places to get a higher return!
This IS PLANNED!
Ask Geithner, ask Bernanke they say it all of the time.

You want Corporations to pay heavy taxes, then they will put it in places that charge lower taxes, so don't cry when they put people to work overseas YOU TOLD THEM TO because of the Tax Code.

If you had a choice you would do it too!

YOU grow up, or smarten up. There are ways to deal with these companies that move out to avoid taxes (and it isn't by giving them a subsidity to help them move their plant out of the country). Our govt. hasn't taken any of those measures because as often as not, they have interest in the Co. that is moving! If the cost of moving outweighs the cost of contributing to our country and our economy, they'll stay here, pay their dues like all of us and pretend to be patriotic Americans instead of New World Order pirates. We have to get THEIR money out of OUR elections.
 
 
-15 # edge 2013-02-04 05:39
Quoting noitall:
SNIP.

There are ways to deal with these companies that move out to avoid taxes

SNIP.


YES, don't raise their taxes so high that they can't compete!!
This is a GLOBAL economy, so either ONLY buy from local domestic companies that source NOTHING overseas or you lower taxes on corporations so they have no incentive to build plants in foreign countries.

BUT you won't do either of those things so yeah, GROW UP! OUR laws and our politicians tell them to move so they do.

Americans voted for Obama and HIS people have been running things for over 4 years and are making the policies that encourage companies to move!! WE ARE RESPONSIBLE since WE voted him in!!
 
 
+12 # BradFromSalem 2013-02-04 07:28
Fine. Those companies whose goods are being transported back to the US must pay the US Air Force and Navy for the protection they provide to the shipping lanes and air corridors. When the factories in the 3rd world countries are required to meet the safety and environmental standards that they would in the US we can lower their taxes.
Edge, you are correct about it being a golbal economy. That doesn't mean that what happens in some foreign jungle doersn't affect the people in the US. It means that what happens there affect us and what happpens here, affects them. Start thinking globally, fix the problems locally, and if you don't understand how that works, then you are stuck in the failed top down monarchist based theories of the past. Step aside, the future is entering the present.
 
 
-15 # edge 2013-02-04 09:06
Quoting BradFromSalem:
Fine. Those companies whose goods are being transported back to the US must pay the US Air Force and Navy for the protection they provide to the shipping lanes and air corridors. When the factories in the 3rd world countries are required to meet the safety and environmental standards that they would in the US we can lower their taxes.
Edge, you are correct about it being a golbal economy. That doesn't mean that what happens in some foreign jungle doersn't affect the people in the US. It means that what happens there affect us and what happpens here, affects them. Start thinking globally, fix the problems locally, and if you don't understand how that works, then you are stuck in the failed top down monarchist based theories of the past. Step aside, the future is entering the present.


You are so childish!

So when an American goes on vacation outside the US they need to pay our Government for protection?

WE PAY TAXES, that covers us wherever we go.

Start your own figgin business and pay the highest salaries and buy only the most expensive supplies...then don't cry when your company goes bankrupt!
You do not understand how business works...try it if you are so smart...but I bet you won't.

If someone does a job that the market will pay 50k then he gets paid 50k, not 250k...that is how life works.
 
 
+3 # David Starr 2013-02-04 13:11
@edge: There's a song entitled "Sedated" by the Ramones which fits your need for it.

You say in your last line that if someone gets a job and paid 50k, he gets that, not 250k, then that's life. A person getting 50k would not, especially early on, expect to get 250k, and he/she understands that. Your exaggerated claim or glibness is weak.
 
 
+7 # PGreen 2013-02-05 06:51
Quoting edge:
If someone does a job that the market will pay 50k then he gets paid 50k, not 250k...that is how life works.

I think you miss the point. The "market" pays these sums because that is how the capitalist game is constructed, and the rules encourage it under selective conditions. Like a game of Monopoly. There is no NATURAL law that makes people rich in our system. If you want that, advocate for total chaos, a "law of the jungle" in which everyone fights to the death. Civilization is compromise whereby a set of rules are enacted to benefit the majority. It is well within our rights to enact different rules, either lesser or greater, to benefit more people.
We could change the rules, even write a constitutional amendment that says all income over $250,000/year is taxed at 91%. This was the top rate during the Eisenhour years, when the middle-class was most successful. (FDR proposed a total ceiling on all income over $21,000.00, but settled for a 94% rate duringthe war.) The point is that our economic structures must serve the people or they have no justification for existence. If you run a business that pays only minimum wages, society powes you ltitle thanks. It is like a slave being told to be thankful that he lives in a household which doesn't beat him.
 
 
+7 # warpig 2013-02-03 15:00
Your an ignorant douche, edge or just willfully stupid. WE didnt tell them to do anything. It was the elites like Bernanke and others. WE have no control over that.
 
 
-7 # edge 2013-02-04 04:07
Quoting warpig:
Your an ignorant douche, edge or just willfully stupid. WE didnt tell them to do anything. It was the elites like Bernanke and others. WE have no control over that.


WOW, nice mouth!

The COLLECTIVE WE!

RIF!!
 
 
+1 # David Starr 2013-02-04 13:15
Edge: Regarding mouths, politically-spe aking, you need a few bottles of Listerine.

Don't you know it's not polite to rant with bad breath?
 
 
+1 # Eliza D 2013-02-08 12:57
warpig-Using argumentum ad hominum along with foul language makes whatever you write utterly irrelevant and repugnant. Please don't bring the level of this forum down to the bottom of the pond.
 
 
+44 # tswhiskers 2013-02-03 09:27
You're right, Monopoly is a primer on Western capitalism. The more money you make, the more money you make. I have come to admire FDR more and more. He saved capitalism for the middle class, and then in the 1970's the modern robber barons felt their power and began to disband as much as they could of those 1930's programs until now we're back in the 1890's economically. Even Obama seems halfhearted in his speeches about increasing jobs. They ARE increasing but not nearly fast enough. Without govt. programs to provide badly needed public works programs and improved public education to meet the need for high tech jobs, we are and will remain in a bad way. The Reps. seem happy with the current economic climate incl. the lack of jobs and our weak education system. Until Reps. care more for the public good than they do for big money I suspect we will continue as we are. At times I hear that some of the older Reps. see the harm and want to change their no tax policies, but not the younger Tea Party members. Have we Americans gotten the govt. we deserve for our greed and laziness?
 
 
+40 # wwway 2013-02-03 09:48
American CEO's have recieved the highest compensations in the world for more than 35 years. Our economic system does not count that as "labor cost" and it should. The cost cutting at the employee end only lines the pocket of the CEO and big investors. Little investors get little. CEO compensation is skimmed off the top. All in the name of capitalism.
Many Americans don't understand economics beyond what they deal with to survive and are easily fooled with propaganda and social lies like "if you work hard you'll...." "Only the rich create jobs." etc. they are distracted with terms like communism, socialism in negative conotation to support their demise under unbridled capitalism. America's economic sysstem is not Capitalist, socialist, communist. It is Democratic Capitalist that supports public and private partnership. That partnership built canals, rails, expanded territory, built the freeway system, public education and so on. Republicans have hyjacked Democratic Capitalism for unbridled cpaitalism and convinced Americans it's in their best interest. Thump on the head folks.
 
 
-27 # john rusnak 2013-02-03 09:57
Mr. Gibson,
I do not agree with your stand.When government comes in arbitrarily without sound economic laws and good business practice all that results is chaos.It is as if they said gravity only works between 20 and 500 feet... ya I know crazy.Well the resultant activity tends to be just that,crazy.The laws of business and the rules of economy are not followed and things get all mushed up. Capitalism,Soci alism, Communism ad bla bla are poor excuses for understanding the laws of finance and money.Money is an idea backed by confidence and when it is printed at 80 to 100 billion a week there is no confidence.I do not trust the guy who asks me for a 100 dollar loan when it is seen he is 10's of thousands of dollars in debt and with no chance of paying.We must bite the bullet pay down debt make "made in USA" what people want and ensure the same occurs in other parts of the world and they adhere to same standards or we will not accept....that is a start
 
 
+21 # warpig 2013-02-03 15:04
We do not have to bite any bullet or should not have to. We did not crash the economy. The finance industry did. Quite trying to transfer the quilt.
 
 
+34 # Virginia 2013-02-03 10:17
"But the endgame scenario of Monopoly is a lot like the endgame of capitalism that we're witnessing today - no matter how the game starts, the wealth will eventually accumulate in the hands of one player, while the other players have to sell off their property to pay their debt to the owner and, eventually, lose everything they have."

This is what one woman in Congress, Rep. Marjorie Holt (MD) warned in the 1970s when the one world concept was being forced fed to politicians. Only one person stood up and spoke and voted against this political plight that has, as Rep. Holt warned, taken our country to it's knees with the rest of the world - and one person will likely emerge as the leader; however, it may not be an American.
 
 
+9 # Smokey 2013-02-03 19:26
[quote name="

"This is what one woman in Congress, Rep. Marjorie Holt (MD) warned in the 1970s when the one world concept was being forced fed to politicians. Only one person stood up and spoke and voted against this political plight that has, as Rep. Holt warned, taken our country to it's knees with the rest of the world - and one person will likely emerge as the leader; however, it may not be an American."

Starting in the early 1970s, Dick Nixon promoted "one world." He was very successful. Nixon went to China and global capitalism developed in a big way. Ecentually, even the KGB in Russia joined the capitalist game.

Who wins in this game? Forget about nations. Most nations in today's world are odd little places that can't even feed themselves.... Some - like Haiti and Somalia - are always on the verge of chaos. Others muddle along.

The big winners in the "one world" game are the global corporations.
 
 
+15 # James Marcus 2013-02-03 11:01
Corporations, Business Entities, are chartered for Efficiency; which often translates to maximizing profit.
This is why 'Control Mandates', Rules, Regs and Laws are a CRUCIAL parallel need.
Let's be clear. It is the COMPROMISE of this part that is problematical.
'The Money'... Buys, Corrupts, over-influences the Regulators and the Regulatory Process.
WE need the Corporations for production; efficient production.
But we MUST remove ANY undue influence on the Regulatory process. Remove the Corruption, not the Golden Goose.
I think this is not as impossible as it appears.
 
 
+19 # wrknight 2013-02-03 12:10
You have it backwards. Corporations are chartered to make a profit for the stockholders. Profit does improve with efficiency; but if you can produce cheaply with foreign and exploited labor and sell at a high price, you can still have large profits without being efficient.

We depend on competition to bring prices down and keep profits reasonable, but when the game is rigged to enable corporations to control and/or manipulate the market (e.g., monopoly or oligopoly), then competition fails. And without government intervention, the corporations are free to take all as in the monopoly game.
 
 
+8 # NOMINAE 2013-02-03 22:17
Quoting wrknight:
You have it backwards. Corporations are chartered to make a profit for the stockholders. Profit does improve with efficiency; but if you can produce cheaply with foreign and exploited labor and sell at a high price, you can still have large profits without being efficient.

We depend on competition to bring prices down and keep profits reasonable, but when the game is rigged to enable corporations to control and/or manipulate the market (e.g., monopoly or oligopoly), then competition fails. And without government intervention, the corporations are free to take all as in the monopoly game.


It seems to me that you and Mr. Marcus are on similar ground.
Properly regulated Capitalism, ala FDR, has been shown to promote prosperity in one of the most lucrative and long lasting "boom times" this country has ever enjoyed.

The bastardization of Properly regulated Capitalism, this "winner screws all" model of unregulated financial molestation that we witness today is, of course, not Capitalism under the Classic definition.

When we ignore banks that money launder over 800 billion dollars for no-shit, full-bore Columbian Drug Cartels, we are swimming in an ooze that has NOTHING to DO with Capitalism as formerly understood ! I'm not certain that even Lucky Luciano would enjoy the "smell" of this stuff.

And, how can one sensibly resist regulation ? An unregulated car on the freeway is a deathtrap for all. Brakes and "gas" are regulators.
 
 
+16 # Activista 2013-02-03 11:37
The Dow recently closed above 14,000 ... we had a high tech bubble, we had a housing bubble ... small greedy people "investors' trying to survive ...
Now we have stock market BUBBLE ... when it crashes (this year ..) the Dow will go under 10,000 and NASDAQ under 2000 ... guess who will sell with profit first ... not mama and papa ...
 
 
+8 # Activista 2013-02-03 14:20
Dow recently closed above 14,000 ...MOST of the present stock market transactions are computerized ... have $ million .. when stock is going up (trend) buy .... second later sell with 1% profit ... (+ 10, 000) second later again ...
Simple game ... fast computers, low risk, simple calculus ...
 
 
+15 # David Starr 2013-02-03 11:40
Carl Gibson's first paragraph reveals a real truth of what was called the "Landlord Game." Avid monopoly players should get the jist of this, to know the origins.

Capitalism, by its very nature = private monopoly at any cost. But this isn't just a game.
 
 
+19 # mh1224jst 2013-02-03 12:40
Good article, and the analogy is excellent. The increasing wealth is mostly economic rent, meaning it's land rent or excess profit taken in without any real economic gain. Wealth is siphoned to the top at the rate of about $500 billion/year (my estimate based on federal net worth stats).

We're at the edge of the inequality cliff, now, with the top 1% taking in almost 95% of all new income. There seems to be no way to fix the antitrust or trade laws quickly enough to save the 99%
from economic collapse.

My recollection of Monopoly games is that they lasted for many hours or days, until all players save one got sick of playing. Almost no one in America today is even that we're playing the monopoly game.
Sadly, we're going to have to change the rules -- higher taxation (there's nothing else)-- and if we can't do it, say hello to Great Depression II. I'd give this end-game another 4-6 years.
 
 
+5 # wrknight 2013-02-03 18:06
More people should play Monopoly and then observe what is going on around them. If they ever connect the dots, they might change how they vote.
 
 
+1 # Martintfre 2013-02-06 13:44
Quoting wrknight:
More people should play Monopoly and then observe what is going on around them. If they ever connect the dots, they might change how they vote.


Play monopoly - learn that no monopoly last unless it gets government protection.

That is protection from the consumer and protection from other producers.
 
 
+2 # robcarter.vn 2013-02-03 18:21
"flip the board over, scatter all of the winner's winnings, and try playing something else that everyone can enjoy."

Everything sounds right, but in real life they have removed their real mony from our board and shores, to Havens. The winners winnings you scatter are an illusion, and fiat money, that's all?

So starting a new game we all can play, is a great idea, but where can we get non-fiat money, (Non-monopoly money) for that task?

I suppose PORC will lend USA people that, to be rid of the "Capitslist Dominos" they have long feared, in their 'Domino theory"for Nationalization Singapore HDB/Tamasak/etc and these alternative boardgames?
.
 
 
+12 # Allen 23 2013-02-03 20:55
So where exactly are we?

We are living in a society where fear is quite pervasive

Where we have a chain of secret and not so secret prisons

Where we have torture accepted in law

Where we have surveillance of the population

Where we have random detainment and release

and on, and on and on

But don't let this new reality hit you.

We are free... we like to tell ourselves, since we can post here... with no fear

We are free, since we can go to work on Monday morning and not worry about it

We are free... since it has not affected us

In the meantime we have increasing measures closing our borders

Don't pay attention to the man behind the curtain

You are free and you should not concern yourself

After all, since you have done nothing, you've got nothing to fear RIGHT?
 
 
+3 # mikeandnettie 2013-02-04 08:48
I have always played my own version of Monopoly which squared better with Reality: corporations, which players holding all the streets in a certain neighborhood can form in order to suck dry and squeeze out the others. Any player who wanted to survive had to do likewise. The game devolved into a battle of titans, with property being pawned to prolong the struggle, till finally only a Trust was left, owning everything, including the bank - yes, just like in a capitalist system, everything on the board, including the board, was a commodity and had a price, which could be bid up or crashed down. Then the Trustees would turn on each other, of course, if by then the ruined former players hadn't already revolted and by majoritarian fiat outlawed and broken up the trust! The game was darkly educatory, like taking a swim in the River of Natural Law.
 
 
+2 # Activista 2013-02-04 11:59
And DOW is dropping ... and guess who will get cleaned at the end ... small investor who does not understand the system ..
 
 
+5 # frederico 2013-02-05 15:28
Carl, I'm proud of you, young Man. If only the vast majority of the other 20somethings could pull their heads out of their asses, we might just be able to manifest the critically necessary non- violent revolution of our governance and our economic systems. Please read Jerry Mander's excellent new book, which details your thesis in great depth. It's called "The Capitalism Papers-Fatal Flaws of an Obsolete System", Counterpoint, Berkeley. Keep up the good work, Bro.
 
 
+4 # heraldmage 2013-02-05 20:14
When are we going to take off the blinders of Cold War propaganda meant to keep the wealth & power in the hands of the wealthiest few? While today people are free to discuss different economic systems there remains a significant portion of population that continues to spread Cold War lies.
The USA government to appease corporate sponsors, funds coups & attacks nations who alter or change their economic policy or raise prices. Nations, like Venezuela, that have withstood coup attempts only to find themselves in the Axis of Evil, because they choose to use profit to meet the needs of the nation & its people rather than enhance the wealth of a few individuals. Iran has been under USA sanction for 33 yrs for nationalizing its resources & overthrowing the Shah.
Why should USA care about other nations economic policy? Because neo socialism works well. Private & public enterprise coexist providing government with funds necessary to meet the needs of the nation & the people.
Capitalism creates an impoverished, illiterate, homeless indebted society where government funded by the people benefits the wealthy. Nationalization of natural resources allows governments to use profit not taxes move people out of poverty to become productive members of society.
Unless we want to live as serfs it time we use our people power to change the direction of our nation & economic policy to a system that meets the needs of the nation & all its people, not just the privileged few.
 
 
-4 # Martintfre 2013-02-06 13:42
Ahh -- the typical blame the failures of fascism on capitalism tripe that daily adorns the pages of RSN.

FASCISM: is a corporate/gover nment partnership where government grants special favors to some at the expense of others.
For example: When Senator Obama and the Democratic majority in the house and senate voted to give tax payer monies to select market segments and select players in the market that is fascism. Later when President Obama hires on a variety of these corporate captains to help guide him -- that is clearly fascism

Capitalism: is PRIVATE PROPERTY.
In Capitalism when a company fails Larry the liquidator sells off their assets to the highest bidder.

In capitalism there is no government bureaucrat with the tax payers check book bailing out their low friends in high places.
 
 
+2 # fliteshare 2013-02-19 02:58
Capitalism seeks to externalise its expenses/costs/ failures. Hence a natural tendency to dump the problems on the taxpayers/emplo yees/environmen t. Without that tendency Fascism wouldn't exist.
 

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