Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Does a friendly game of poker accurately explain our economy?


Three good friends came over one recent evening for a game of poker.  We each started out with $1,000 in chips and played until dawn.  The game flowed fairly evenly for hours.  Then,  I get a string of hot hands and wipe out all my friends.  I'm sitting with all the chips.  They have none.  Game over.

How is this friendly game of poker not unlike the current day American economy?  If you ask me,  the poker game does a pretty darn good job of explaining why our economy is so screwed up.  Wealth concentration killed our game,  just like it killed our economy.  And when you get severity in wealth concentration,  when one guy holds all the chips,  then there's not much that can be done to resolve the problem and keep the game going, at least not based on current rules.  When this happens though,  my wife usually steps in to resolve the problem.

My wife sometimes plays the role of the FED, injects liquidity into our poker game - lending us money on very inexpensive terms if we put some of our chips up as collateral.  But I'm the only one with chips.  So,  I'm the only who can borrow cheaply from my wife.  Game still over.

Although she doesn't do this,  my wife could act like the government.  She could swoop in every couple hours,  collect a tax on each person's existing pot,  and redistribute those chips.  But if her taxing policy is like our current day government's policy,  she's not going to get many chips from me.  And no one else has any chips to be taxed.  Game still over.

To keep this game going,  the rules need to be changed.

Let's face it.  There's only one way that my poker game stays alive.  My wife kicks me in the nuts,  takes away a good number of my poker chips,  and gives them back to my friends.

Why can't our government bring itself to act like my wife?  To jump start our economy,  our government needs to kick the wealthy in the nuts,  take some of their money,  and redistribute it.  Yes,  that's heresy to a Republican.  But we must take the actions that are dictated by the circumstances.  And right now,  the wealthy in our country hold all the chips.  And they're sitting on those chips,  doing nothing.   The only way out of this mess is a swift kick in the nuts and redistribution of the chips.

And that's how our American economy is similar to my game of poker.

Our current day Republican politicians don't know poker,  don't have a practical wife,  and can't bring themselves to kick rich people in the nuts.  So, we're all going to sit around looking at the guy with all the chips,  and not do much of anything else.

North Carolina deserves better than our worthless Republican Senator Richard Burr.

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