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I've been writing these three for six years now. It's gotten pretty natural for me to just sit down and let the dialogue flow.

And hey, while I'm still BSing about economics... you wanna know what gets on my nerves? I get annoyed when people insist that hard work is essential to building character - or, more specifically, that receiving money for anything other than backbreaking labour is somehow damaging to one's moral fiber. (This criticism, of course, is usually levelled against recipients of various forms of government welfare, but I've seen it applied more generally to any sort of tax-funded payout.)

I would dearly like to see these work=virtue types attempt to turn their puritanical scorn towards veterans, or disabled people, or aboriginal people, or retirees, or families that receive child tax credits, or farmers who receive agricultural subsidies, et cetera, et cetera. More importantly, though, I'd like to see them confront the fact that their insistence on the virtue of work is actually profoundly anti-capitalist.

You see, capitalism is more than the idea of working for a living. Capitalism, as the name suggests, requires the concept of capital, and the investing thereof. Without a market where capitalists can put their capital into new projects and new companies and new resources, you do not have capitalism.

And unless you're going to claim that the act of handing over a portfolio to one's financial advisors is somehow character-building work, you'd have to confront the issue that you're not only anti-welfare, you're anti-investment. You're anti-interest, you're anti-dividend, you're anti-stock, you're anti-market, you're anti-trade.

Anyone who wants to scold people who receive money they didn't earn at a job should start at their local bank, shaking their fingers at anyone who opens a savings account that pays interest.

Which is not to say, of course, that I don't agree that the drive to do difficult things and the impetus to improve the world are virtuous. I would certainly encourage everyone to cultivate such character traits. I simply disagree that the only way to do so is to toil at something menial, and I disagree that anyone who can't or won't work therefore deserves to suffer and starve, and I will always, always, always disagree with the idea that poor people need to be kept poor in order to incentivize them not to be poor any more.

(Tues afternoon, INT: EB and JH's place, EB, JH and MH are all at the table)

EB: Okay, the bank is running low on spirals. Nobody discard any more spirals or loopies.
MH: Well, you've got everything you need, but I'm still behind, I've only got six tokens in my hand.
EB: That's because you haven't been playing optimally. If we all converted so that we gained at least one token per turn, we could be done in five rounds.
MH: If I'm not playing optimally, it's because I've been facilitating you playing optimally!
JH: And also possibly because we've been discussing things like the global economy and prostitution instead of focusing on gameplay.
MH: Is that a good sign or a bad one, game-design-wise, that we keep talking about the implications of the game, rather than the game itself?
JH: I think it says less about Polymono than it does about us as a group.
MH: We do have a tendency to take each other on tangents.
EB: And you are still doing it right now, would you please take your turn already!