Saturday, December 24, 2011

No. 0063 - Occupy Death Star

The eggshell has never been thinner for the government to walk on than ever. It seems like no matter what they do these day, someone or something or some group or some entity from all walks of life WILL be offended. Well embrace yourselves reader because I'm about to vent.

Why do I feel like I'm the only one who is paying taxes these days? Correct me if I'm wrong but doesn't the government requires me to pay more just to compensate for other people who doesn't? (Actually wait a minute, doesn't health care works the same way too? I think I'm onto something here!).

But wait, there's more. Last night I learned from NPR about who is going to pay for this two month payroll taxcut. At first I was going expecting them to say the "top 1%", you know, the evil empire ran by Darth Vader himself. And guess what, nope. Not Darth Vader, but the mortgage lenders. And guess who really ends up paying for it? Yep, the ones taking out the mortgage or refinancing (aka people like me). Here is the scenario NPR posed, a $200,000 home on a 30 year fixed rate of 4.25% will be effectively be paying an extra .1%, that equates to about $4000 (and that only pays for the next two months of payroll taxcut).

THAT'S IT! No more of this! We need to have a rebellion. Fuel up the Millennial Falcon because we are going to the Death Star. We will dock all of our spaceships on their docks, that will show them. We will harass all of the storm troopers. "Hey there, you know I have siblings too, but guess what, they don't look like me 'cause I'm NOT CLONED". Where's Luke? Where's the Princess? Where's Hans Solo? Someone should bring Jabba the Hutt too because I think this type of movement should fit pretty well with people (or aliens) like them. Now this is truly what I call the 99% (that's 99% of all living, breathing, crawling, sliming, tenacle-ly things). I can see how these movements are going to play out already. It will take us 6 rounds to successful overthrow the government (and then we'll go back digitally remaster the first three afterwards). Watch out Darth Vader, Palpatine and the rest of Galactic Senate, you may find your Death Star occupied real soon!

No. 0062 - Recessionopoly

Editorial Note: So I've outsourced my blogging to an unpaid (but highly valued) employee, Sarah Chow aka my wife. Please note that the first-person mentioned has been tainted with the writer's perspective.

I am a big fan of Monopoly. I've already developed two Monopoly inventions on this blog: Invention No. 0043: Monopoly Extended Play and Invention No. 0019: "Communist: The Game. So my natural instinct when I woke up on my own at 5:30 a.m. Saturday morning was to play Monopoly on my iPod. And my wife's natural reaction when she woke up to me playing Monopoly at that hour was to tell me 1) go back to sleep and 2) that game doesn't make any sense in today's economy anyway.

Actually, Monopoly is a perfect game for today's economic climate, given that it was first invented in the Great Depression. But I have to agree that some of the details for how to get rich in the game aren't necessarily relevant to the Great Recession. Which is why I'm proposing a few modifications to update Monopoly for today.

Recession Monopoly starts with everyone having property, with each property square having 3 mortgaged houses on it. The goal of the game? Have no mortgages. The first person to either pay off or discard all their homes wins. When you land on someone's property, you have to take their mortgage. And if you land on your own property, you have to take out a second mortgage.

In Recession Monopoly, borrowing money is easy and spending it is encouraged. Things will be a little more interesting with the Chance and Community Chest cards, too. They'll include cards such as "CEO parachute: collect 50% of all other player's cash and spend half a turn in jail"; "Invent an Apple iProduct: collect $500 from other players"; "Discover your investments are in European bonds: pay $750 to the bank"; "Sue for miscellaneous damages: collect $500 from the bank"; etc. And in addition to losing to the ordinary tax cards (which already go straight to the bank and not into the schools and roads they claim to), you can cash in big with a government bailout card (applicable only to the player already in the lead).

Would a game this painful be successful? It shouldn't be, but do the right thing for the economy: increase your consumer spending and buy it.