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Source link: http://archive.mises.org/13301/if-real-life-were-like-the-monopoly-game/

If Real Life Were Like the Monopoly Game

July 16, 2010 by

From here. See also Benjamin Powell on this game.

{ 48 comments }

fundamentalist July 16, 2010 at 9:33 am

This is funny, but I have often thought that the board game of Monopoly turned young people into socialists. The only way you can get ahead is to get a monopoly and charge outrageous rents. You have no competition in your area. Everything is based on luck. Money is wealth and you get nothing for spending your money because no one produces anything. And you get money for passing Go, regardless of your efforts. While it’s fun, it definitely teaches bad economics.

michael July 16, 2010 at 2:23 pm

“I have often thought that the board game of Monopoly turned young people into socialists. The only way you can get ahead is to get a monopoly and charge outrageous rents.”

Fundy: Isn’t that called capitalism? I thought Mr Marx had some issues with the rent seekers.

Or is this a part of the new re-dedication of all words? It’s going to take some getting used to.

fundamentalist July 16, 2010 at 3:50 pm

Michael, see “The Classical-Liberal Exploitation” article at http://mises.org/daily/4567 for the contradictions in Marx’s theory of rent seekers. And almost all monopolies are created by the state, not the market. Creating a monopoly in the free market is next to impossible, in spite of Marx’s ignorance.

michael July 16, 2010 at 4:08 pm

Perhaps… but that’s not what you said. You equated people who try to get ahead by getting a monopoly and charging outrageous rents with socialists. I’m finding that to be a curious inversion of everyone’s normal, pre-Austrian understanding of words and their definitions.

Besides, monopolies are easy to create and maintain in a free market (that is, one with no regulatory interference), due to efficiencies of scale. That is, a major competitor can drive out competition ruthlessly, until he’s the only one left in the game. Standard Oil comes to mind. Or let’s use a hypothetical phone company, who gets its grid up and running before the competition has gotten itself established. If it refuses to allow connectivity privileges, the newer grids can never gain a foothold in the market.

Daniel July 16, 2010 at 4:38 pm

I’d like to direct you to the following articles by historian Thomas DiLorenzo:

Anti-trust, Anti-truth
The Truth About the “Robber Barons”

Also, you should check out chapter 10, Monopoly Versus Freedom of Competition, from George Reisman’s book, Capitalism: A Treatise on Economics

Michael A. Clem July 17, 2010 at 3:57 pm

monopolies are easy to create and maintain in a free market
Except that there have been so few monopolies without the use of government power. Standard Oil at its peak (about 1878 or so) did have a large market share, but never was entirely free of competitors. They found that they couldn’t buy out competitors fast enough to maintain it. The more money Standard made, the more competitors who came out of the woodwork to get their share of it. Serious government concerns over monopolization didn’t really occur until after 1900, when Standard Oil was on the decline in the market.
To really have a monopoly, you’ve got to have government privilege and protection. Ask AT&T. Or even your local utility companies. Actual history negates your hypothetical phone company. If we go back to the startup of commercial phone service, about 1900-1912, we find that there were several startup phone companies, and that they were aggressively competing with each other to offer and expand service. Bell Telephone, one of the largest companies at the time, decided they didn’t like the competition and successfully argued in courts that phone service was a “natural monopoly”, which was BS, because the multiple phone companies were already working out agreements to share carrier lines so that mutiple lines and telephone poles would be unnecessary. They apparently thought it was more profitable to share lines than to put up their own grid and refuse access to other companies.
Once the government agreed with Bell’s position, however, local municipalities started doing what they do now with utilities, granting a monopoly position to one company. And Bell managed to get most of these monopolies, which effectively ended up slowing down the widespread availability and usage of phones, especially in rural areas. Sure, they eventually caught up, but it took longer than it would have without real market competition.
Furthermore, local monopolization caused problems that eventually led the government to grant AT&T the nationwide monopoly that was sustained for decades, leaving us with antiquated phone systems well into the 1970′s.

michael July 17, 2010 at 7:48 pm

Your point, Michael, is kind of hard to prove… but also irrelevant to our situation. There is no advanced nation without a government, and advanced nations are the only places you might encounter a monopoly. Therefore when you assume that big government is complicit, you find that everywhere there are monopolistic practises there are also big governments. Proves nothing.

We did pass the Sherman Antitrust Act. And since then we’ve made it a practise to cut the big boys down to size whenever they get too big. Standard Oil, Ma Bell, Microsoft, etcetera. So in our case, big government seems to devote itself to breaking up monopolies. Not to preserving and promoting them.

And we really have none in modern life. Instead, many of our problems stem from having oligopolies: industry domination by a handful of very large companies, in some cases companies “too big to fail”.

One very good rule that should have been included in the newly passed financial regulatory package is the stipulation that whenever a company “too big to fail” gets into trouble, it is to be allowed to fail. And broken down into assets that may either be sold off to pay debt, or just drowned in the bathtub. Had we taken that approach in 2007 we’d have many fewer huge investment houses to worry about today. They’d have died out as thoroughly as the dinosaurs.

Bala July 17, 2010 at 8:54 pm

michael,

” Your point, Michael, is kind of hard to prove… ”

It all depends on what you mean by “prove”. If, as usual, you mean facts as they exist in the world today, I have to give up. It means you still haven’t understood why your empiricism is hare-brained.

michael July 18, 2010 at 10:20 am

Bala: You indeed present a refreshing view. So theories no longer have to depend on relevance, to any facts as they exist in the world today? That’s quite a breathtaking gust of fresh air.

Today we essentially have no problems with monopolies. And that’s because whenever a company gets so big it becomes an impediment rather than an asset to commerce, the federal government chips it back down to size. To me, that indicates something like the very opposite of the contention that federal regulation facilitates and perpetuates monopolies.

But I suppose I’m hopelessly reality-based. In the new era, words can mean whatever we say they mean. And it’s reality itself that has become irrelevant. Right?

Peter July 18, 2010 at 8:00 pm

Today we essentially have no problems with monopolies. And that’s because whenever a company gets so big it becomes an impediment rather than an asset to commerce, the federal government chips it back down to size.
Really? I can think of one very big monopoly the federal government supports wholeheartedly. Can you guess what that is, michael?

Bala July 18, 2010 at 8:36 pm

michael,

It looks like you still do not get it. The reason empiricism is hare-brained is that good theory needs to start from axiomatic foundations and them use reasoning to develop the rest of the theory. In the specific example of economics, Austrian Economic Theory starts from a truly axiomatic foundation that takes human action as its basis. Very simply put, man acts. No one can deny that. All action is purposeful action. Purpose implies working towards ends. Action implies the application of means (failing which it is not action) to attain ends. Acting man prefers. He chooses one set of ends over others and thus one set of means over others. Thus, in acting, he expresses his valuations. Value is subjective (meaning each person values on his own) and not measurable. Even acting man can only speak of valuing one over another, not in terms like “7 apples are 7 times as much value as 1 apple” (utility please, not price). Value can only be arranged on an ordinal and not a cardinal scale for analysis.

These plus a few other basic points form the foundation of Austrian Economic Theory. Every one of these points is truly axiomatic in nature or derived using reasoning from basic axiomatic concepts. From here, it (AE) uses reasoning to arrive at all its other specific conclusions. Now, please tell me which of these is out of sync with reality. If you can’t, then shut your trap and start thinking for a change. Maybe reading will help. Start with Human Action. It can redeem even a hopeless case such as yourself. I know it is long, but enlightenment is not easy business.

On the other hand, your entire approach involves taking a small subset of reality, finding that the theory does not address that small subset of reality that you have arbitrarily chosen and then claiming that the theory does not make sense. This is not your personal error but that of your your empiricism simply because when you go around collecting facts to rebut a theory (especially in the social sciences), you can rarely (probably never) be sure that you have collected all the facts necessary to rebut the theory. That is when Bastiat’s Broken Window Fallacy comes to the surface to haunt you again – what’s unseen vs what’s seen.

However, you insist on doing so, i.e., to take a few facts out of context and then claim that that refutes the theory. It can’t get more hare-brained than that.

Mike V July 19, 2010 at 2:14 am

@ michael

I found your quote here a little ironic:

“One very good rule that should have been included in the newly passed financial regulatory package is the stipulation that whenever a company “too big to fail” gets into trouble, it is to be allowed to fail. And broken down into assets that may either be sold off to pay debt, or just drowned in the bathtub. Had we taken that approach in 2007 we’d have many fewer huge investment houses to worry about today. They’d have died out as thoroughly as the dinosaurs.”

This is you arguing for a particular aspect of free, unfettered markets, really, and what you’ve described is a situation where government regulation is merely attempting to ensure what would otherwise be a normal outcome of a freemarket. It’s like government trying to re-legalize gravity.

Monopolies aren’t necessarily evil or bad. Many government services are monopolies, and while they may not be as efficient as private alternatives could be, their predictability and familiarity is nice and I can’t say they are evil, in most cases.

Do you remember when your grade school and high school teachers would introduce the class to certain debates and debate-styles? One kind of debate they would always bring up was the debate where folks were told to find the best way to best achieve some end result for society. The teacher would then ask if the end result was more important or, was it the method USED to achieve the end result more important. Along the way to the end result, the Austrians and Libertarians are holding the standard for ethical and moral behavior all along the way where the socialist can be rightly viewed as taking those morals and ethics and tossing them aside in order to achieve the final result NOW. But there will never be that ‘now’, just the journey. Libertarians just don’t ever see something like a final outcome ever happening since all well-being and satisfaction is subjective, both to those experienceing it and to policy makers trying to constantly make things ‘better’. In techno-speak, people will always bitch at the margin. :-)

But most Austrians and Libertarians would not be in the camp of “holding up the flag for moral behavior along the way” if they did not truly believe that whatever the ‘outcome’ of choosing freedom over coercion, society will somehow be better than it would be by not doing so – in both material and moral well-being. They perhaps think this applies ESPECIALLY to modern society where communication about resource distribution cannot happen fast enough without freely emergent prices (including interest rates), which you cannot have when government tries to steer those resources around to its favored groups instead of to where some individual is most willing to purchase the next available unit.

Also, last time I checked, 99%-ish of the nation-states in this world had governments. I don’t think that because the united states or England has a government is that that’s why we’re rich. It certainly could be part of it, but A does not cause B in this case. Just having freedom doesn’t cause wealth, either. There’s a mysterious combination of factors that bring prosperity and I don’t think we know what that is, or we’d all be at the same level of wellbeing.

michael July 20, 2010 at 12:38 pm

Peter, the only monopoly I can think of in our society is that of government itself. Our government reserves the right to govern exclusively.

And Bala, thanks for taking a moment to offer me a founding rationale for Austrian philosophy. It’s very useful to take things from the beginning. Yes, people act purposefully and rationally, toward perceived ends. Most often, toward ends that benefit him directly, possibly at the expense of others.

But as there are all sorts of people, some decide it suits their purposes to promote a weak and impotent government. Constraints might get in the way of their personal ambitions. While for others, a world in which personal ambitions are limited in favor of a fuller expression of collective rights is to be sought. Such people are prone to saying things like “We hold these truths to be self-evident…”

So the subjective preferences of free agents freely deciding upon a personal philosophy can be very varied. And the sentiments you express can be used to justify, not just a preference for Austrian philosophy, but every sort of preference imaginable. And that’s fine. When it comes to matters of belief, you are (or should be) indeed free to choose.

Where this view does not hold up, though, is in the making of specific claims about our economic reality that are not supported by evidence. You can’t just say of such a claim that it’s true because you choose to believe it. And so, when someone states (to choose a random example) that privately owned roads are more beneficial to the public than are publicly owned roads, I have to ask them to show me some evidence.

You are free to believe that they do. But if you want to convince someone from the outside world, you have to offer something sufficient to persuade him. And for most of us out here, ideology alone fails to do the trick.

Bottom line: “..your entire approach involves taking a small subset of reality, finding that the theory does not address that small subset of reality that you have arbitrarily chosen and then claiming that the theory does not make sense.”

Not really. My approach is that if you have a theory you think explains everything– and I find one place where it’s wrong– I have falsified that theory. And if I find lots of specific instances where the theory doesn’t apply, I’ve weakened it pretty badly. I find that, just like the theories of Sigmund Freud, it doesn’t really explain much of anything. Many years ago, most people thought Freud was right on target about most things… because he had that northern European gift of explaining things persuasively. Now? Hopelessly antiquated, and mostly just plain wrong. He didn’t even know that the testimony from neurotic young women he based most of his grand thesis on described actual incidents of sexual molestation rather than fantasies and projections. He couldn’t imagine.

But I will grant you that there are some things the Austrian approach will describe fairly well. So it remains a useful color to retain in the entire pallette of economic ideas.

Bala July 20, 2010 at 9:36 pm

michael,

” Not really. My approach is that if you have a theory you think explains everything– and I find one place where it’s wrong– I have falsified that theory. ”

You are wrong on multiple counts. Firstly, the theory does not explain everything. Neither did I claim that it does. It explains how things work on a free market. It only deduces outcomes based on a rock-solid foundation of axiomatic concepts.

Secondly, your claim that you have found one place where it’s wrong is completely wrong. To prove the theory wrong, you have to first take on board all its premises and then show that the conclusions drawn by the theory are incorrect. In this particular case, you are guilty of ignoring fundamental premises of the theory, taking up convenient facts and claiming that the theory is falsified.

As a small instance if this, take your repeated refusal to grapple with the premise “in a free market” and your blanket refusal to recognise that what exists today is not a free market. Every example you take from your “real world” is an example taken from an interventionist economy and not from a free market. From there, you go on and claim that the theory which explains how things work on a free market is falsified. You have completely failed to realise that ALL your facts and data are “tainted” because they stem from an interventionist economy and not a free market.

Thanks for helping me demonstrate how hare-brained you are.

michael July 21, 2010 at 10:53 am

Bala: The point remains that the very topic of this conversation has been that government enforces monopolies. And I’ve observed that in our economy I know of no monopolies– for the reason that when one arises, the government knocks it down.

That would seem to make the point everyone’s urging on me to be off-base. Is it that your theory predicts that government MUST reinforce monopolies, and that the reality is of no importance if it gets in the way of the prediction?

The only monopoly I know of in our society is that government insists on having the sole right to govern. Other than that, if you know of any government-enforced private monopoly, come to me. Show me.

Bala July 21, 2010 at 9:08 pm

michael,

” Show me ”

Here’s the biggest of them all – The Federal Reserve

Bala July 17, 2010 at 8:52 pm

” Isn’t that called capitalism? I thought Mr Marx had some issues with the rent seekers. ”

As usual, you do not read properly or think. If you notice what he said (I am repeating it for clarity)

” The only way you can get ahead is to get a monopoly and charge outrageous rents. ”

The word “only” has a lot of significance out there, you see. That’s because there are other ways (like running a good ship) you can “get ahead” (even if you can “get ahead”, you can’t “stay ahead” unless you continue doing the right things) in a capitalist system but none in a socialist system. That apart, he is also referring to the impossibility of establishing a monopoly and thus charging outrageous rents in a capitalist system as against the ease of doing so in a socialist system. Michael A. Clem’s examples demonstrate that too.

But then, you’re michael (the one with infinite wisdom) and we are all fools because we insist on using reason to understand the world.

michael July 18, 2010 at 10:32 am

Bala: I’ve gone over your comment several times now, with a fine toothed comb. And it still does not make one lick of sense. Is this how you “use reason to understand the world”?

My point stands.

Fundy: “I have often thought that the board game of Monopoly turned young people into socialists. The only way you can get ahead is to get a monopoly and charge outrageous rents.”

Me: “Isn’t that called capitalism? I thought Mr Marx had some issues with the rent seekers.”

Maybe I should explain it further. Marx disapproved of a capitalism that charged rents and created Monopolies. So if we associate Marx with those practises, we speak inaccurately. Therefore it is not socialism but capitalism of which we speak.

Also, there’s this: In a system of “pure” capitalism, in the sense of a complete absence of regulation, it’s pretty easy to create monopolies in most fields just by being first. With your head start you can buy out all the competition as they appear. Or, just crush them out with a quick price war. Then, once they’re out of the picture, raise your prices.

Let’s say we had no public highways. Truck traffic would have to use toll roads. The entrepreneur having a head start would crush or absorb all the competition, then end up owning all the roads. Naturally, he’d then raise the use rates so high every truck company would go out of business. Then he’d buy them all at pennies on the dollar, and own all the trucks PLUS the roads in America. So anyone wanting to move anything anywhere would have to come to him. He’d end up owning all of America.

A century ago, wise legislators foresaw this and enacted laws against the creation of monopolies. And to this day, those laws have worked pretty well.

Yet another elegant theory undone by an inconvenient fact.

Thinker July 18, 2010 at 4:41 pm

michael

I’m afraid Bala has effectively answered your point, and your “rebuttal” doesn’t hold water.

In the game, the only way to get ahead is to acquire a monopoly and charge enormous rents. You don’t even seem to be disputing this. In fact, you haven’t presented even a single “fact” in defense of your claim that establishing a monopoly without government regulation is easy that has not been effectively rebutted. Rather, you have proffered hypothetical situations full of absurdities and based your argument on them. If you could provide a historical example of a monopoly that arose and survived without government assistance, that would support the idea that it is possible (leaving the “easy” part out) to establish a monopoly on a free market, something no one is disputing. However, since you have not done so, I assume you don’t have any such examples…meaning that you are actually the one thinking and speaking without reference to facts in the real world.

Your hypothetical example of a monopoly on roads has a particular absurdity that bears pointing out. It assumes that the first road producer has enough of a head start that he essentially corners the entire market before any competition can arise in the production of that good or any substitute good. Even supposing various technological restrictions, there is one very obvious problem with your example: the world is big. There are an enormous number of people in an enormous number of locations, making it impossible for a potential monopolist to provide something for everyone everywhere or even a sufficient number of people and places to make a monopoly feasible. Perhaps your scenario would be realistic in a world that drops off sharply at the edge of town…but that’s not the real world.

Another thing, “wise legislators”? Where exactly have you encountered this rare breed? They must have died out a long time ago.

Bala July 18, 2010 at 8:57 pm

” Where exactly have you encountered this rare breed? They must have died out a long time ago. ”

A small mistake. Your last sentence implies that they could have ever existed. You are unwittingly giving him room to claim that the failure of his vaunted system is a result of the frailties of those currently in charge.

michael July 20, 2010 at 12:48 pm

Thinker: Think on this. I can’t think of one single business monopoly in our current economy. So if none exists, how then can you say that “In the game, the only way to get ahead is to acquire a monopoly and charge enormous rents.”?

Where is there a provider of goods or services who is so locked in that the government will not permit competition? Isn’t it a fact that Mr Bill Gates was so close to having a monopoly that the USG slapped him down?

Give me something to work with. So far, it looks like this complaint about pervasive monopolies is wholly imaginary.

mpolzkill July 20, 2010 at 12:57 pm

“Another thing, ‘wise legislators’? Where exactly have you encountered this rare breed? They must have died out a long time ago.”

Well of course not, they have always been here, “Thinker”. Just look, a 100% success rate in never allowing a company to become a monopoly! Reminds me of my magic rock I use to ward off bears. 100% success!’

Hundreds of hours of study and some Logic 101 this prat needs and yet he demands the world in explanation.

Thinker July 20, 2010 at 1:25 pm

michael

Read it again (with emphasis added): “In the game, the only way to get ahead is to acquire a monopoly and charge enormous rents.” In this statement, I’m talking about the game Monopoly, not the real world.

mpolzkill

Cute and illustrative.

mpolzkill July 20, 2010 at 1:30 pm

Thinker,

Thanks. Yeah, it *is* cute, I stole it from Lisa Simpson.

michael July 21, 2010 at 10:57 am

“Read it again (with emphasis added): “In the game, the only way to get ahead is to acquire a monopoly and charge enormous rents.” In this statement, I’m talking about the game Monopoly, not the real world.”

So all this time we’ve just been talking about the rules of a board game? One which apparently has no relation to the actual workings of our economy? Then why are we wasting time on it? I thought it was supposed to be relevant to something.

Next thing you know, we’ll be talking about the game of checkers, and how it endorses monarchy through its use of ‘kings’.

Thinker July 21, 2010 at 12:22 pm

michael

Normally I wouldn’t feel the need to answer this, quite frankly, silly question, but you seem to be in earnest, so…the answer is yes, and no.

Mr. Tucker posted this piece for laughs. The point was to show an economist overreacting to a common economic fallacy arising from a board game. This is funny. Perhaps Mr. Tucker was intending it to be a commentary on the impossibility of effectively modeling an economy…but my money’s on the former. Maybe someday there will be a post on this blog about the evils of other board games, but they also will be just for laughs.

The discussion has been on two different subjects: the game Monopoly, and monopoly in an economy. The first is related to the real world only in as much as does the game: not very. The second is related to the real world in as much as the premises with which we begin and refine our reasoning are related to the real world and in as much as facts that we use are correct. If you wish to know which parts of the discussion have been on what, feel free to go back through and analyze all the comments.

Bala July 18, 2010 at 8:55 pm

” Marx disapproved of a capitalism that charged rents and created Monopolies. ”

And I disapprove of teetotallers who drink. And non-smokers who smoke. And blind men who can see. And deaf men who can hear…….

Numbskull….. The simple point (which you do not seem to be getting) is that what you describe, a system that creates or permits/allows for the creation of monopolies, is NOT Capitalism.

So, you are (as usual) talking rot.

Daniel July 19, 2010 at 9:38 am

The funny part is that if it were possible for one to “buy out” all competition, that just increase the demand for more competition :D

Curt Howland July 16, 2010 at 10:27 am

“Monopoly” is, indeed, a game of forced scarcity, “monopoly”.

As such, it’s winner-take-all, static wealth, destructive competition, everything bad about “monopoly” in real life.

Maybe it’s not such a bad game after all?

fephisto July 16, 2010 at 11:24 am

What especially makes it funny is that the economist looks like Bohm Von Bawerk. :D

junkcafe July 16, 2010 at 11:48 am

LOL! Thanks Jeff for posting it.My own experiences playing Monopoly are mixed. I always enjoyed playing the game but with loosening the rules. Before the game started, the players (usually my brothers and friends) agreed to certain terms about property and lending that we’re not the official rules. I guess you could say we were experimenting with the free market. I rarely played the game “by the book” since it just seemed too restrictive. At my Catholic middle school, the social studies teacher used Monopoly to (as I can best recall) teach us about the economy. Ugh! What a waste! Having played the game as a “free marketeer” I found this class exercise boring and downright anti-intellectual. During one of the sessions, another player and I attempted to broker a deal involving cash and property. The teacher caught onto this and scolded us for breaking the rules. (Today, that teacher is employed as a banking regulator :D ) In all fairness, the teacher attempted to do something “out of the box” but wasn’t prepared to challenge us in a way that could have made a lasting impression. I don’t recall a definition of monopoly ever mentioned during the class.One of the lessons I learned was that the banker role seemed to be too powerful and that the rule granted such authority and privilege was always a point of resentment by the other players. It was too easy for the banker to be the adjudicator: impartiality was apparently NOT in the job description. Sometimes, as a matter of play, we’d find ways to undermine the banker’s influence through bartering. One player would offer their Freedom card (Get Out Of Jail), properties, and cash in exchange for some other assets. The game just was more fun that way. Often, we chose this over the laborious tasks of obtaining a loan from the bank, keeping track of the interest owed, and dealing with banker’s rules. In hindsight, we were practicing the kind of sound economics in our game board fantasy that the real world seems to ignore or admit even exists.

michael July 16, 2010 at 2:25 pm

The way to win in Monopoly is by trading immunities.

It’s landing on expensive properties that bankrupts you. So if you trade immunities with another player, everyone but the two of you quickly loses. Then you can duke it out with him for the prize.

Bruce Koerber July 16, 2010 at 12:01 pm

‘Economists’ like Krugman and Bernanke would not take such a stance!!!

Mike in MI July 16, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Hilarious. I went through a solid year after getting into econ that I couldn’t have many conversations with my friends without getting pissed off. I still can’t watch most tv or read some of my favorite books without grumbling. But, I’ve learned to just shut the hell up, and am better off for it most of the time.

J. Murray July 16, 2010 at 12:14 pm

I actually enjoy stirring the pot.

fephisto July 16, 2010 at 12:23 pm

I’m much the same Mike.

junkcafe July 16, 2010 at 1:24 pm

Man, I know it.

Remember, it’s you that stopped drinking the statist kool-aid. It’s intoxicating effect can leave you with a bit of hang over, but being the only “designated driver” (thinker) at the party can get old fast.

JFF July 16, 2010 at 5:08 pm

That means you’re thinking and your brain is working just fine. It happens to all of us.

Mike V July 19, 2010 at 4:17 am

It is frustrating. Even the most basic notions agreed to by economists are still of course ignored by pols everywhere. Did you see recently that Hong Kong is moving towards a new minimum wage law?

If you want to puke, see Bloomberg’s take on the matter.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-07-17/hong-kong-lawmakers-approve-minimum-wage-after-debate-effective-in-2011.html

Sorry for posting from Bloomberg. It makes me feel kinda dirty, anyway.

Guard July 19, 2010 at 6:38 am

Agree Mike. The opinions held by those around me are, unfortunately deadly in their effects. There are those who are ready to kill me to get what I have, and those who are not. All the rationalizations – the greater good, national defense, public utilities, etc. – do nothing more than identify my deadly enemies for me. The enemies so outnumber me that I must fight a guerrilla war. That means hiding from the enemy, and never attacking them head on.

Lee July 17, 2010 at 8:56 am

Geez, I wish there was a Karl Marx edition of Monopoly. The entire board would be red properties named after politicians, you’d have no money, and to stay true to the abolition of private property you’d have to borrow it from your local library in order to play it. *Sigh*

Rob July 17, 2010 at 10:00 pm

@Lee

On sale now! Communist Monopoly!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yfIpnd7wN8o

Lee July 21, 2010 at 6:36 am

HA! Awesome.

Clawfoot Bathtubs August 10, 2010 at 11:50 am

Monopoly was always one of my favorite games growing up. I would almost always win. It takes a real keen sense of what to buy and what to pass on. Plus, you have to be willing to make timely trades or you are going down the tubes.
Same thing in the Clawfoot Bathtubs business. In this tough economy, it is all about timely decisions!

50PlusSam August 24, 2010 at 5:08 am

Monopoly is one of the means to teach our younger generation what real life looks like.
lifestyle-after50

Cheap Bathtubs December 14, 2010 at 3:35 am

To me, “Monopoly” is actually a game of forced scarcity, “monopoly”.

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