The Economy Is Not A Board Game

Dave Johnson

The elites who make policy, write about it, have dinner parties where they cluck their tongues about it, mostly have good-paying jobs, health care and secure retirements. They are not affected by it. The elite commissions don’t include unemployed people. The Congressional hearings don’t hear from regular people. The news shows don’t spend a lot of time talking to regular people. The newspapers don’t run op-eds written by regular people because the corporate-conservative think tanks don’t hire regular people regular people to write them.

So the elites think about what is happening in the economy like it is a video game, a TV show, an academic exercise.

This concept struck me back during the “run up” to the Iraq war when I was talking to a conservative supporter of George Bush. He didn’t even try to claim, as Bush did, that Iraq had attacked us on 9/11 or there were WMD in Iraq. He asked if I had ever played the board game Risk. In Risk, he said, it is good to capture countries and surround the enemy. He Meant Iran. So hundreds of thousands of Iraqi people were killed, we spent what will add up to trillions of dollars, and all of the other terrible consequences of this lie, for what? Because people thought it was a board game?

Unemployment, low wages, union-busting, foreclosures, refusing to prosecute elites for real crimes — all of these have real consequences for real people and for our country. This is not a board game. The elites should get their heads out of their board-game asses and look at what is happening out here in the real world that exists outside of DC and NY and the high-end malls.

Just drive around the midwest, going from one former manufacturing town to the next. Jeeze, drive around Detroit. We are becoming a third-world country, except where the elites live. The elites would never let that happen where they live, and they move when it starts to happen. But they never fix it — because it doesn’t effect them, and because the rules of the board game say it can’t be happening..

Regular people are being affected, and the elites need to get some regular people onto their commissions and into the hearings and onto the boards of the companies and organizations that make a difference to regular people. The economy is broker – the whole system is broken – but not for the elites. Get some input from regular people and you’ll know that.

And no, I do not mean regular banker people.

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