Two guys in Maryland have come up with a great new game about welfare. $1It's called "Public Assistance." Super!
It's a board game like Monopoly. It's just full of great things, like the fantastic life on the promenade of "Able-bodied Welfare Recipients" who get to loot, gamble, drink, and have illegitimate children. Wow. They get an unending stream of stolen good and ride around in Cadillacs and Lincolns. Yeah.
There is no such promenade for the taxpayers. Instead, they reside in a "Working Person's Rut." Tsk-tsk. They are bedeviled by affirmative action and busing. Their children live in fear of being beaten up by "ethnic gangs." Truly terrific stuff. I love it.
Now, Patricia Roberts Harris says the game is racist and sexist. Vicious, say the feminists, who are trying to stop it from being sold.
But I am so taken with the idea of a welfare game that I would like to propose another one, a spinoff, if you will. My game spotlights the real welfare recipients, those who have to be getting many, many times more taxpayer dollars in glorified welfare payments than the one percent of the budget used for the mothers on AFDC. I'm talking ab out welfare recipients like Penn Central, Lockheed, Chrysler, the farmers. Their welfare is called "subsidy." Super. Great stuff. On with the game.
I call it "Bailout." It is a Monopoly-like board game about welfare for the wealthy.
In Bailout, the players circle the board in either the "Able-Bodied Captains of Industry Promenade," a fast lane of lush living, government loans and import quotas, or in the "Taxpayers Handout Rut," a depressing uphill battle against increased tax bills, double-digit inflation, shrinking government services and soaring unemployment.
The only salvation for the taxpayer is to land on the Boardwalk and become a truly rich person who pays virtually no income taxes. If you make the arrogant error of filling out your own income tax forms because you happen to be an economist, you go to audit to be taught a lesson and miss one roll of the dice.
When a Captain of Industry makes a bad decision an auto company continues to produce large cars, for example -- and gets into a financial squeeze and loses $500 million, he goes to the Federal Government for help against the Japanese bullies. The feds give him a $1.5 billion loan which is promptly paid by the players in the "Taxpayers Handout Rut."
The bonus for the taxpayers, who are so happy to be paying welfare to the deserving rich instead of the undeserving poor, is a chance to recite the following litany as they pay:
"The corporations should not have to fend for themselves. What's good for the corporations is good for America. I will happily work 60 hours a week so the corporation can fare thee well. Saving the corporations is the moral equivalent of peace throught the land."
The Captains of Industry start out with a $1 million welfare grant and get richer. Shoot seven or eleven, and an oil company gets to raise the price of oil, make a 250 percent profit, and still collect taxpayers' handouts when it decides to diversify to make even more money.
My game also contains cards similar to those used in Public Assistance.
If you land on a space marked "Burden," you might have to turn in your foreign-gult economy car and buy a mammoth Chrysler New Yorker to help out the domestic market. Pay $100.
Or, make a mistake on your tax for, try to get as many deductions as the corporations and enter an endless maxe of tax double-talk and insane penalties. cPay $20 and lose your turn.
By contract, if you land on a card marked "Benefit," you collect a million dollar welfare grant and get richer by borrowing from the Canadian Government. Collect $1,000 and roll the dice again.
Close a plant and idel 3,000 workers -- collect $1,000 and $100 in subsidies from each player.
If your token lands on the government handout square because you shot doubles, you are refused a welfare grant. Not to worry.Throw doubles three times in a row and you have successfully alleged discrimination on the basis of wealth. Your creditors get $750 million in corporate paper, substantially reducing your liability. You collect $750 and move ahead three extra spaces.
Every time you pass Go, you collect $500 and get a card worth $50 million in legal fees -- enough to pay lawyers to find a tax loophole and save your company from financial collapse.
I would deny any suggestion that my game is unfair to the elite or that it borders on reverse classism. I haven't done that yet, however, because nobody has asked me to appear on national television as the creators of Public Assistance were asked to do.
I haven't even received any calls from national distributors willing to put my game on the shelves in time for the Christmas rush. Life just doesn't seem fair.
But I'm not in a Sarcastic Columnist's Rut. Maybe some incoming Republications will get a copy of my game in the mail and want to play it on Inauguration night.