Boardwalk is Too Important to Fail


The Bush-Obama economic recovery plan is largely based on the philosophy post-great-depression, economist Charles Darrow and a couple of brothers named Parker. I kid you not, just read some of the actual rules of the game:

  • The object of the game is to become the wealthiest player through buying, renting and selling of property (note that you are not able to become wealthy by actually working).
  • Each player is given $1500 (we’ll be getting less than that through tax rebates) and all remaining money and other equipment go to the Bank.
  • Select as Banker a player who will also make a good Auctioneer.
  • Besides the Bank’s money, the Bank holds the Title Deeds, and the houses and hotels prior to purchase by the players. The Bank pays salaries and bonuses. It sells and auctions properties and hands out the proper Title Deed cards when purchased by a player, it also sells houses and hotels to the players and loans money when required on mortgages.
  • The Bank collects all taxes, fines, loans and interest, and the price of all properties which it sells and auctions. The Bank “never goes broke.” If the Bank runs out of money, the Banker may issue as much as needed by writing on any ordinary paper.
  • If you land on Income Tax you have two options: You may estimate your tax at $200 and pay the Bank, or you may pay 10% of your total worth to the Bank. Your total worth is all your cash on hand, printed prices of mortgaged and unmortgaged properties and cost price of all buildings you own. You must decide which option you will take before you add up your total worth.
  • Even though you are in Jail, you may buy and sell property, buy and sell houses and hotels and collect rents.
  • Unimproved properties can be mortgaged through the Bank at any time. Before an improved property can be mortgaged, all the buildings on all the properties of its colour-group must be sold back to the Bank at half price. The mortgage value is printed on each Title Deed card.
  • You are declared bankrupt if you owe more than you can pay either to another player or to the Bank. If your debt is to another player, you must turn over to that player all that you have of value and retire from the game. In making this settlement, if you own houses or hotels, you must return these to the Bank in exchange for money to the extent of one-half the amount paid for them.
  • Should you owe the Bank, instead of another player, more than you can pay (because of taxes or penalties) even by selling off buildings and mortgaging property, you must turn over all assets to the Bank. In this case, the Bank immediately sells by auction all property so taken, except buildings. A bankrupt player must immediately retire from the game. The last player left in the game wins.

Most of us have played the game. Most of us have lost. While the makers represent that it requires the skills of negotiation and resource management to win, it is basically a game of chance. In the real version of the game, the money isn’t distributed evenly at the beginning and some players start with hotels of a matching color group.

So here we are winding down toward the end of the game. Some suggest the game should just play out. Others suggest that each of the players just get more money so all can continue playing. Those with heavily mortgaged properties want mortgage relief so they can start collecting rents again. All those going to jail, of course, want to get out free. There are even voices who dare to suggest that the rules need changing and there be regulation. So here’s what the Treasury plans to do: just keep giving the bank(s) more money. An odd choice. The banks will have the money, but no one will be playing.

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