As some of you know, this blog is listed in the fantasy blog stock market at Blogshares.com. Here, the spirit of capitalism is alive and well….at least until the Obama Redistribution of Wealth Stimulus Plan hit one of the last refuges of a totally free market. Below is an announcement from the Board of Directors:
Currently, the world economy is experiencing a serious downturn. Lots of people have lost their jobs, their homes, and their life savings because this condition.
The Blogshares economy is no different. Every player has noted the extreme loss of value in the shares market, from the highs of last year to today’s worthless scrap paper. In just six months, 73% of the market’s value has been wiped out.
In order to help the struggling masses yearning to breathe free, the Board of Directors has directed the GIC to implement the following actions:
- 25% of the total wealth held by the top 10 players will be confiscated. This tax will be used to fund the recently increased B$5,000,000 starting stake for new players, until the crisis has passed.
- All corporate assets will now be controlled by the Board of Directors to dispense as they see fit. Administrative tools that allow corporate owners to distribute funds and chips will be temporarily suspended until this crisis has passed.
- Idea transaction fees will be increased from the current levels to 10% of the total value, until the crisis has passed.
- A new chip transaction fee will be initiated. All private sales of chips will be taxed at a temporary rate of 2%, until the crisis has passed.
To allow for a period of adjustment, these changes will be effective starting at 1500 BST, 09 Feb 2009.
Of course, nothing in this stimulus package is going to help me one stinking bit. So I’m steeling myself for a virtual bloodbath, ready for my holdings to drop through the bottom like my real-life 101K.
Then, something profound happened:
Ladies and Gentlemen of Blogshares,
1) People want to keep what they have earned. It is theirs, through the sweat of their brow and the cramp of their mouse-clicking fingers. Blogshares respects that. There will be no confiscatory taxation. Not from the top 10, and not from anyone else who plays the game fairly.
2) As many of you pointed out, government control of corporations would eliminate their utility. Freezing those assets and dictating by fiat what might be done with them is wrong, and no different than the confiscatory tax scheme from item number 1.
3 & 4) Draconian user fees that exceed the cost of operating the market put a drag on free trade. They force people to look for alternate ways of stashing and using their money, and make the public markets nothing more than a place to be trapped by the government.
Your voices have been heard, and I want to thank each and every one of you for the positive ideas you’ve contributed in this thread over the past several hours. Your inputs are helpful in understanding what is really important to the player base. In most cases, you’ve confirmed what we already know.
So if you haven’t figured it out by now, the “stimulus” measures at the beginning of this thread are a fraud. There is no move afoot to do anything of the sort. The things that were listed – stealing from the wealthiest few to give to the “poor,” taking control of private corporations, and creating new taxes but calling them “user fees” – are the opposite of stimulation for an economy.
I created this idea to make a couple of points — that the players of this game are passionate about their belief in a free market, and that direction of an economy by fiat can not work.
I think I’ve made the point.
Some of you may call for my head on a platter over this. That’s fine, and I take full responsibility for my action today. If the BoD, in whose name I posted without their prior knowledge, want my resignation as the chairman of the GIC, then I will give it freely.
If any of you have been motivated by this exercise to want some positive change, the GIC could use your help.
Reading through the threads of the Blogshares forum, you would think that Ken stole someone’s wife, ate the pizza, drank all the beer, AND shot the dog because of this spoof. To which I would say – it’s only a game, not life and death.
However, the real life version is racing through Congress at light-speed. Anyone who thinks that the government can “stimulate” the economy by increasing government programs with $790 Billion without consumer spending without credit wasn’t paying attention in Economics 101 in their high school.
Worse yet, there was an alternate stimulus package that cut out the garbage and would cost the taxpayers $170 Billion, and was proposed by (hold on!) by a Democrat!! Who would have thunk it? From dcexaminer.com:
While President Barack Obama goes on the road to shore up slipping popular support for the $1 trillion stimulus porkfest that he ordered up from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Rep. Walt Minnick, a freshman Democrat from Idaho, is pushing a better idea: The Strategic Targeted American Recovery and Transition Act (START).
Minnick is a member of the Blue Dog caucus of occasionally conservative Democrats. His START plan is a $170 billion “bare bones” pure stimulus approach that would put $100 billion immediately into the pockets of low- and middle-income Americans, then use the other $70 billion for basic infrastructure projects that create jobs. START requires that all funds not spent by 2010 be returned to the Treasury. START also stops stimulus spending when the nation’s Gross Domestic Product increases in two of three previous quarters, and all START payments are required to be posted on a public website.
A better solution than the bloated pig of a bill that is supported by the Democrats…
In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem. From time to time we’ve been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the capacity to govern someone else? — Ronald Reagan, January 20, 1981
Where is there a Ronald Reagan when you need him?