Cumberland Times-News

Editorials

December 8, 2013

U.S. in middle of a Monopoly game that will end badly

To the Editor:

Our United States is in the midst of an economic implosion that could make our Great Depression look like child’s play.

We may soon disintegrate enough to reveal our third-worldly rotting core where corporate and billionaire power and greed have replaced “democratic” infrastructure and governance.

Our once-enlightened political and economic systems have been manipulated to ensure the success of only a fraction (1 percent) of our population at the expense of everyone else.

Remember playing Monopoly? Strategy: scoop up Park Place, Boardwalk, NC Avenue, Pacific Avenue, both utilities, all four railroads, and a few other properties. GAME OVER

The other players (once middle-class property owners) will eventually go bankrupt, being forced to pay higher costs for rent, services, utilities, and transportation. Finally, monopolists will have all the money and everyone else is left out in the cold.

Suppose the game doesn’t end there. The (once-upon-a-time but now broke) middle class keeps rolling the dice around the board using credit cards or other lines of credit to stay in the game.

The monopolists will find it collectively difficult to collect enough income from increasingly impoverished Americans who can’t afford to pay rent, mortgages, utilities, etc. The monopolists won’t be able to sustain their opulently arrogant lifestyles.

This is how real-world economics suffers when economies are deprived of their buying-crazy middle class. Today’s global inequalities of wealth are a reflection of Monopoly’s corrupting strategy.

How can we patriotically and morally correct this ecodilemma? Retry progressive taxation. Some of you may remember when FDR hiked the top income tax rate to 90 percent.

While in effect (30 years) the bottom 20 percent saw a 116 percent income growth. The middle 20 percent saw a 117 percent increase and the top 5 percent saw an 85 percent increase.

All income classes shared in the prosperity when the top rate was above 70 percent. Center for American Progress studies show that when the top marginal rate is above 50 percent, economies prosper.

With more revenue coming into our government thanks to progressive taxation, citizens could be adequately protected (from gross corruption(s) by a Christian-like safety net.

Minimum wage doubling would boom this economy as a way to shrink wealth’s inequalities and embrace the moral motive over the profit motive if the correct reforms are financed and the moral choices made we can avert disaster and make our nation whole again by creating millions of infrastructure jobs.

And, raising the minimum wage has not been shown to cost jobs.

And, the Pope said trickle-down is a myth.

Bill Arnold

Romney, W.Va.

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