November 18th, 2010
03:47 PM ET
3 years ago

Winning Chamber's new board game is 'easier said than done'

Washington (CNN) – The U.S. Chamber of Commerce is hoping the freshman class of lawmakers, who arrived in Washington for orientation on Tuesday, will drive America to regulation-less "Prosperity Park."

Not so coincidentally, that's the goal of a politically-charged new board game the Chamber gave to more than 500 representatives and senators in Washington and all 50 state governors this week. Inside the box: a cacophony of regulatory disasters that could only be described as a businessperson's worst nightmare.

Game pieces you don't want to pick up, after the jump:

Also inside the box: The point of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

CNN obtained one of the games from the Chamber to give it a go. It wasn't easy.

But it's not supposed to be. A press release notes that "like the unfortunate reality facing America's job creators, getting [to Prosperity Park] is easier said than done."

Especially when 74 of the 90 game cards tell you to move backwards.

A number of daunting spectacles dot the pathway to playtime prosperity: labor lagoon, lawsuit lake, energy edge, financial reform falls and health care reform hill. But as the box notes, the pursuit is "more than a game-it's an
unfortunate reality."

"Until our elected officials embrace the free enterprise principles upon which this country was built, millions of unemployed and underemployed Americans will never reach Prosperity Park," the game's box reads.

The game is a reminder to newly-elected Republicans from the Chamber, which spent millions of dollars on television ads that greatly benefited conservative candidates in the midterm election season, to follow through on free market
principles in the nation's capital.

Chamber spokesman Bryan Goettel said 1,025 of the games were made, but wouldn't disclose how much money the organization paid for them. The group also launched a website for anyone not influential enough to receive one of the
physical copies.

Some of the game pieces you don't want to pick up:

An environmental group sues your proposed 3,200-cow dairy farm under state National Environmental Policy Act regulation citing the cows' methane emissions for their contribution to climate change.
-Go back 2 spaces.

You fired two employees because you have video evidence of them taking illegal drugs on your property. The National Labor Relations Board orders you to rehire the employees since you didn't bargain with the union about the location of the video camera.
-Move back 1 space.

You didn't realize until two months after you increased your co-pay by $5 that your health plan will be entirely reevaluated under the "grandfathering" regulation. You owe $100 per enrollee, per violation, per day until you fix this issue.
-Move back 5 spaces.

The National Labor Relations Board prosecutes you for violating labor laws, but the court rules in your favor, finding the union charges that led to the prosecution were false. You still owe $100,000 or more in attorneys' fees.
-Lose your next turn.

You actually do the proper written analysis for each employee indicating why he or she is not qualified for overtime in accordance with the Fair Labor Standards Act. You are then sued in a class action lawsuit challenging your determinations and seeking millions of dollars in damages.
-Move back 3 spaces.


Filed under: Congress • U.S. Chamber of Commerce
soundoff (10 Responses)
  1. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    Yes, by all means, let's remove all regulations on all businesses. That'll work out great because businesses can always be counted on to do the right thing and would never cut corners or cheat the consumer to make an extra buck. Have a nice day!

    November 18, 2010 03:54 pm at 3:54 pm |
  2. Wes B.

    Sweet Mother of Pearl!!

    What is the matter with this country!?

    November 18, 2010 03:59 pm at 3:59 pm |
  3. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    The U.S Chamber of Commerce makes a game of how they sold America to the highest bidder. They are treasonous traitors!

    November 18, 2010 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  4. Realistic

    Oh boy.

    November 18, 2010 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  5. Peter s

    Its pay back time! and screw the American people! because who cares? kick out democracy out of the day and usher in plutocracy through the window!!

    November 18, 2010 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  6. JoeT

    The game is wrong– if we follow the path of deregulation, it should be a cycle without end. And with lots of pollution as corporations soil the commons.

    November 18, 2010 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  7. Rob

    Really. We have serious problems and they want our legislators to LITERALLY play games?
    I believe a LACK of regulation in the banking industry is pretty much what created the finanical meltdown in the first place.

    I am not saying that we need to over-regulate, but its also obvious that when you let big banks and businesses do as they please, they will do whatever they can to make the most money at the expense of the consumer.

    And somehow our growing under-educated public continues to fall for the lies and deception of the Republicans.

    I mean, anyone with half a brain can figure out that you can't continue tax cuts for everyone AND pay down the deficit at the same time. The CBO even says that extending the tax cuts is the WORST option for long term economic stability. We would actually be much better off providing additional funding of unemployment benefits and reducing payroll taxes.

    The Republicans say that unemployment benefits are an excuse for people not to work. Really? I can tell you that if I lost my current $106,000 a year job, there is no way I could live on unemployment. It would barely cover my mortgage. I'd be spending every waking hour trying to get back to work.

    So STOP with the games and do some REAL work.

    November 18, 2010 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  8. disco stu

    This country is so much in the hole and I'm paying my taxes so they can spend it on producing board games?
    If this is any indication of what the next two years is going to be like - I wouldnt unpack your luggage Congress.

    November 18, 2010 04:46 pm at 4:46 pm |
  9. PalmReader

    CoC is already lobbying those they supported, I see. Wonder how many out sourced jobs THIS episode in American politics will cost. Lost 8 million under GWB. I suspect we will see the same during the New Republican reign as well. It's about all the GOPers ARE good at: out sourcing jobs.

    November 18, 2010 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  10. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert, but...

    They should do a version of Operation (TM) where the patient is refused treatment and the insurance adjuster removes his wallet anyway. Or perhaps Sorry (TM), where the senior citizen is eating catfood because her social security was taken away. Sorry! Have a nice day!

    November 18, 2010 05:18 pm at 5:18 pm |