More from my brother

I am so glad that my brother started reading and commenting on my blog. In case you missed it, here is more of what he said on that state bank post, in dialogue with tODD:

Thank you Todd. It is true that I am new to this blog thing, but I am starting to really get into it now. So much so that I am becoming unproductive at work.

On a personal note, my brother (“Dr. Veith”) is four years older than
myself and my twin sister. We have always acknowledged that he is the smartest person in the family. However, we are so confident in the little bit that we do know, that we can have some vigorous debates. They are always civil. We use Risk and Monopoly to vent our sibling aggression.

[tODD boos Monopoly and recommends Settlers of Catan.]

Thanks Todd for the suggestion. But don’t knock Monopoly. It is the game that taught my big brother (“Dr. Veith”) to become a capitalist. Come to think of it, he always won! I was always the big loser, which might also explain why I became a socialist. (Just Kidding.) But I did grow up to become a consumer bankruptcy lawyer.

Hey, my life is starting to make sense.

The reason our arguments are civil is that we always make them humorous. Maybe I’ll get my brother to be a guest blogger one of these days when I’m gone. That would balance out this blog, making it fair and balanced, like FOX News. My brother is both a lefty and a Southern Baptist.

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Brady G.

    Settlers of Catan rocks! My wife and I would play until odd hours of the night with a LCMS pastor in the Baltimore area.

  • Brady G.

    Settlers of Catan rocks! My wife and I would play until odd hours of the night with a LCMS pastor in the Baltimore area.

  • trotk

    I knew there was a reason I liked tODD.

    For those who enjoy Settlers, and have not tried the expansions, try Cities and Knights. It makes an excellent game into a phenomenal game.

  • trotk

    I knew there was a reason I liked tODD.

    For those who enjoy Settlers, and have not tried the expansions, try Cities and Knights. It makes an excellent game into a phenomenal game.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Getting hooked on blogging in this economy could be killer for a bankruptcy lawyer! :^)

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Getting hooked on blogging in this economy could be killer for a bankruptcy lawyer! :^)

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    “lefty and a Southern Baptist” – now you don’t see “left” and “Baptist” in the same sentence all that often! ;)

  • http://theobservationtree.blogspot.com Louis

    “lefty and a Southern Baptist” – now you don’t see “left” and “Baptist” in the same sentence all that often! ;)

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    What is Settlers of Catan? Is it RPG like D&D?

  • http://enterthevein.wordpress.com J. Dean

    What is Settlers of Catan? Is it RPG like D&D?

  • Jimmy Veith

    “Fair and balanced like FOX news”? See? He just says these things to get me all riled up! Are there any younger brothers out there than can feel my pain?

  • Jimmy Veith

    “Fair and balanced like FOX news”? See? He just says these things to get me all riled up! Are there any younger brothers out there than can feel my pain?

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I’m hoping to play me some risk with my brother and dad this weekend. May have to check out that Catan game too sometime. Thanks for the recommend.

  • Bryan Lindemood

    I’m hoping to play me some risk with my brother and dad this weekend. May have to check out that Catan game too sometime. Thanks for the recommend.

  • trotk

    J. Dean, it isn’t role-playing. It is a strategy game that is more complex than Risk. It is decidedly more complex if you use the Cities and Knights expansion.

    The thing that makes it a beautiful game is the flexibility of the rules, which allow trading of resources. There is this additional dynamic of being able to compete on the board (like any other game) and around the table, as you attempt to persuade and finagle and trade.

  • trotk

    J. Dean, it isn’t role-playing. It is a strategy game that is more complex than Risk. It is decidedly more complex if you use the Cities and Knights expansion.

    The thing that makes it a beautiful game is the flexibility of the rules, which allow trading of resources. There is this additional dynamic of being able to compete on the board (like any other game) and around the table, as you attempt to persuade and finagle and trade.

  • Abby

    “My brother is both a lefty and a Southern Baptist.”

    Isn’t that an oxymoron?

  • Abby

    “My brother is both a lefty and a Southern Baptist.”

    Isn’t that an oxymoron?

  • Abby

    I meant to add: :)

  • Abby

    I meant to add: :)

  • S Bauer

    J. Dean at #5

    Settlers of Catan is a board game in which you attempt to outdo other players in gathering and trading resources (clay, wood, wheat, sheep, stone) which you then use to build and improve settlements and roads that maximize your ability to gather more resources while limiting the options of your opponents. It is a good mixture of strategic thinking and luck. It’s one of our family’s faavorite games.

  • S Bauer

    J. Dean at #5

    Settlers of Catan is a board game in which you attempt to outdo other players in gathering and trading resources (clay, wood, wheat, sheep, stone) which you then use to build and improve settlements and roads that maximize your ability to gather more resources while limiting the options of your opponents. It is a good mixture of strategic thinking and luck. It’s one of our family’s faavorite games.

  • Porcell

    Oh no, another lefty on the blog and a lawyer to boot. Following Frank’s advice, I shall get some popcorn and watch Jimmy and Don S have at it with their lawyerly minds.

  • Porcell

    Oh no, another lefty on the blog and a lawyer to boot. Following Frank’s advice, I shall get some popcorn and watch Jimmy and Don S have at it with their lawyerly minds.

  • DonS

    Welcome, Jimmy. We need a few more Baptists on this blog to balance all of the Lutherans, and we’ll deal with the lefty thing. I guess that’s balance as well ;-)

  • DonS

    Welcome, Jimmy. We need a few more Baptists on this blog to balance all of the Lutherans, and we’ll deal with the lefty thing. I guess that’s balance as well ;-)

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    No, Abby @9, that’s old school Southern Democrat!

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    No, Abby @9, that’s old school Southern Democrat!

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “My brother is both a lefty and a Southern Baptist.” Is no one in the Veith family in their right mind?! ;)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    “My brother is both a lefty and a Southern Baptist.” Is no one in the Veith family in their right mind?! ;)

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Well, tODD, since the left half of your brain controls the right half of your body, ALL lefties are in their right mind.

    At least until you get to politically. :^) Or something like that.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Well, tODD, since the left half of your brain controls the right half of your body, ALL lefties are in their right mind.

    At least until you get to politically. :^) Or something like that.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I also have to take issue with Jimmy’s statement that Monopoly taught Dr. Veith “to become a capitalist”. No wonder American capitalism is in such a lousy state, if that’s the case! Consider:

    Everyone is given $1500 from the bank to begin with, no questions asked. Did they all earn it? Equally?

    A direct quote from the rules:

    Besides the Bank’s money, the Bank holds the Title Deed cards and houses and hotels prior to purchase and use by the players. The Bank pays salaries and bonuses. It sells and auctions properties and hands out their proper Title Deed cards; it sells houses and hotels to the players and loans money when required on mortgages. The Bank collects all taxes, fines, loans and interest, and the price of all properties which it sells and auctions.

    Wow, that’s some bank! It does everything, even collecting taxes and fines! Kinda sounds like it’s just an arm of the government. And it’s the only bank we can do business with! Huh. That reminds me of an economic system, but it’s not capitalism…

    More from the rules:

    The Bank never “goes broke.” If the Bank runs out of money, the Banker may issue as much more as may be needed by writing on any ordinary paper.

    Well, that’s pretty much taking a page straight from today’s political playbook, isn’t it? Which everyone is rushing to label as socialism. Quantitative easing, right there in the Monopoly rules. And paper fiat money. Bah. This is capitalism? Really?

    And if you throw doubles (i.e. succeed in life, with a little luck), you get to go again (i.e. reap your rewards). But! “If you throw doubles three times in succession [i.e. if you succeed too much], move your token immediately to the space marked ‘In Jail’.” Really, this doesn’t sound more like Communism to you?

    Oh, and let’s see, everyone makes the same salary of $200, as determined by the bank, regardless of their performance. You can only buy property when the monolithic government bank offers it to you, and that only when you happen to land on it. If you don’t want to buy it, the bank will sell it, because it has determined that it wants to sell that property right now, regardless of the price it ultimately gets for it.

    There is a tight system of rent control, such that rent costs stay at the same, government-mandated levels, no matter how long the game goes on. Unless, that is, you purchase all the properties of the same color, at which point the bank, thankful that you have relieved it of its bad investments, will allow you to raise the rent. The bank will only allow you to improve your property once you have purchased the entire group, and it sets the building costs. It also enforces the law that you build properties evenly, not merely in the locations that would benefit you the most. When the bank, which maintains all building materials, runs out, you must wait for someone else to sell theirs. The bank will not meet this extra demand with extra materials. The bank also arbitrarily requires that you destroy all buildings on a property before you sell it, thereby creating a wasteful redundancy in home construction.

    Taxes, fees, and government subsidies are all doled out pretty much at random, as is encarceration. The only way out of the corner gulag, by the way, is either by luck or bribery.

    And the income tax is a total joke, in which you pay either a flat tax of 10% or $200, whichever is less! What’s more, the “income tax” isn’t based on your $200/turn government-mandated flat salary, but rather takes into account your property values and the amount of cash you have on hand.

    I could go on. But Monopoly is about one of the more aggressively anti-free-market games I could think of.

    You want a free market? Try Settlers of Catan.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I also have to take issue with Jimmy’s statement that Monopoly taught Dr. Veith “to become a capitalist”. No wonder American capitalism is in such a lousy state, if that’s the case! Consider:

    Everyone is given $1500 from the bank to begin with, no questions asked. Did they all earn it? Equally?

    A direct quote from the rules:

    Besides the Bank’s money, the Bank holds the Title Deed cards and houses and hotels prior to purchase and use by the players. The Bank pays salaries and bonuses. It sells and auctions properties and hands out their proper Title Deed cards; it sells houses and hotels to the players and loans money when required on mortgages. The Bank collects all taxes, fines, loans and interest, and the price of all properties which it sells and auctions.

    Wow, that’s some bank! It does everything, even collecting taxes and fines! Kinda sounds like it’s just an arm of the government. And it’s the only bank we can do business with! Huh. That reminds me of an economic system, but it’s not capitalism…

    More from the rules:

    The Bank never “goes broke.” If the Bank runs out of money, the Banker may issue as much more as may be needed by writing on any ordinary paper.

    Well, that’s pretty much taking a page straight from today’s political playbook, isn’t it? Which everyone is rushing to label as socialism. Quantitative easing, right there in the Monopoly rules. And paper fiat money. Bah. This is capitalism? Really?

    And if you throw doubles (i.e. succeed in life, with a little luck), you get to go again (i.e. reap your rewards). But! “If you throw doubles three times in succession [i.e. if you succeed too much], move your token immediately to the space marked ‘In Jail’.” Really, this doesn’t sound more like Communism to you?

    Oh, and let’s see, everyone makes the same salary of $200, as determined by the bank, regardless of their performance. You can only buy property when the monolithic government bank offers it to you, and that only when you happen to land on it. If you don’t want to buy it, the bank will sell it, because it has determined that it wants to sell that property right now, regardless of the price it ultimately gets for it.

    There is a tight system of rent control, such that rent costs stay at the same, government-mandated levels, no matter how long the game goes on. Unless, that is, you purchase all the properties of the same color, at which point the bank, thankful that you have relieved it of its bad investments, will allow you to raise the rent. The bank will only allow you to improve your property once you have purchased the entire group, and it sets the building costs. It also enforces the law that you build properties evenly, not merely in the locations that would benefit you the most. When the bank, which maintains all building materials, runs out, you must wait for someone else to sell theirs. The bank will not meet this extra demand with extra materials. The bank also arbitrarily requires that you destroy all buildings on a property before you sell it, thereby creating a wasteful redundancy in home construction.

    Taxes, fees, and government subsidies are all doled out pretty much at random, as is encarceration. The only way out of the corner gulag, by the way, is either by luck or bribery.

    And the income tax is a total joke, in which you pay either a flat tax of 10% or $200, whichever is less! What’s more, the “income tax” isn’t based on your $200/turn government-mandated flat salary, but rather takes into account your property values and the amount of cash you have on hand.

    I could go on. But Monopoly is about one of the more aggressively anti-free-market games I could think of.

    You want a free market? Try Settlers of Catan.

  • Jimmy Veith

    Hey DonS, Glad there is another lawyer on this blog. To tOOD, let me explain.

    It is true that I am also a Baptist, but not exactly a “Southern Baptist”. I married a Baptist about 30 years ago and joined a local congregation that was associated with the Southern Baptist Convention. About 25 years ago, the church was kicked out of the local Baptist association because we ordained a woman as a deacon, and had the policy of accepting what they called “alien baptisms”; ie, they accepted members that were baptized by immersion from Non-Baptist churches. (I was an “alien” myself, having been baptized as a youth by a pastor from the First Christian Church, aka, Disciples of Christ, which is the same church that my big brother, “Dr. Veith”, grew up in.) So any church that accepted the likes of me as a member could not be a “Southern Baptist” church.

    Out church is now associated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. We are considered to be “moderate” baptists. Any CBF people out there? By the way, my parents and sister are now Methodists. How my big brother (“Dr. Veith”) became a Lutheran is something our family is still trying to figure out.

  • Jimmy Veith

    Hey DonS, Glad there is another lawyer on this blog. To tOOD, let me explain.

    It is true that I am also a Baptist, but not exactly a “Southern Baptist”. I married a Baptist about 30 years ago and joined a local congregation that was associated with the Southern Baptist Convention. About 25 years ago, the church was kicked out of the local Baptist association because we ordained a woman as a deacon, and had the policy of accepting what they called “alien baptisms”; ie, they accepted members that were baptized by immersion from Non-Baptist churches. (I was an “alien” myself, having been baptized as a youth by a pastor from the First Christian Church, aka, Disciples of Christ, which is the same church that my big brother, “Dr. Veith”, grew up in.) So any church that accepted the likes of me as a member could not be a “Southern Baptist” church.

    Out church is now associated with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship. We are considered to be “moderate” baptists. Any CBF people out there? By the way, my parents and sister are now Methodists. How my big brother (“Dr. Veith”) became a Lutheran is something our family is still trying to figure out.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Also, from the Wikipedia article on Monopoly[1]:

    Monopoly is a redesign of an earlier game “The Landlord’s Game”, first published by the Quaker and political activist Elizabeth Magie.

    And, from a different Wikipedia article[2]:

    In 1903 , the Georgist Lizzie Magie applied for a patent on a game called The Landlord’s Game with the object of showing that rents enriched property owners and impoverished tenants. She knew that some people would find it hard to understand the logic behind the idea, and she thought that if the rent problem and the Georgist solution to it were put into the concrete form of a game, it might be easier to demonstrate.

    Seems like the game of Monopoly was, from the start, intended as a lesson against capitalism!

    [1]en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly_(game)
    [2]en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_board_game_Monopoly

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Also, from the Wikipedia article on Monopoly[1]:

    Monopoly is a redesign of an earlier game “The Landlord’s Game”, first published by the Quaker and political activist Elizabeth Magie.

    And, from a different Wikipedia article[2]:

    In 1903 , the Georgist Lizzie Magie applied for a patent on a game called The Landlord’s Game with the object of showing that rents enriched property owners and impoverished tenants. She knew that some people would find it hard to understand the logic behind the idea, and she thought that if the rent problem and the Georgist solution to it were put into the concrete form of a game, it might be easier to demonstrate.

    Seems like the game of Monopoly was, from the start, intended as a lesson against capitalism!

    [1]en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly_(game)
    [2]en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_the_board_game_Monopoly

  • DonS

    Well, I’m back! I went home to burn our Monopoly sets after tODD’s startling expose :-)

    Jimmy, there are several lawyers here — I’m probably the least “lawyerish” because I only do intellectual property, primarily patent, trademark, and copyright law. I mostly prosecute patent and trademark applications. Other lawyers include Kerner and Joe, both from the upper Midwest and both with strong libertarian streaks and very persuasive styles.

    I grew up as an “independent, fundamentalist Baptist”, but have liberalized a bit in my adult life. I have been known to have an occasional glass of wine (though I know nothing about wines), and to occasionally attempt dancing (though most who have seen that would say that I should return to my legalistic roots in that area). I now attend a Calvary Chapel church in southern California, which is baptistic in theology, but less dispensational and not at all legalistic.

    My parents were SBC when they lived in Florida, but I didn’t realize that SBC didn’t recognize “alien baptisms”. I’ll have to ask my mom about that (my dad has passed away since). Perhaps their prior Baptist church was close enough in doctrine to gain an exception.

    CBF — Clinton and Carter, right? Hmmmm …. :-)

  • DonS

    Well, I’m back! I went home to burn our Monopoly sets after tODD’s startling expose :-)

    Jimmy, there are several lawyers here — I’m probably the least “lawyerish” because I only do intellectual property, primarily patent, trademark, and copyright law. I mostly prosecute patent and trademark applications. Other lawyers include Kerner and Joe, both from the upper Midwest and both with strong libertarian streaks and very persuasive styles.

    I grew up as an “independent, fundamentalist Baptist”, but have liberalized a bit in my adult life. I have been known to have an occasional glass of wine (though I know nothing about wines), and to occasionally attempt dancing (though most who have seen that would say that I should return to my legalistic roots in that area). I now attend a Calvary Chapel church in southern California, which is baptistic in theology, but less dispensational and not at all legalistic.

    My parents were SBC when they lived in Florida, but I didn’t realize that SBC didn’t recognize “alien baptisms”. I’ll have to ask my mom about that (my dad has passed away since). Perhaps their prior Baptist church was close enough in doctrine to gain an exception.

    CBF — Clinton and Carter, right? Hmmmm …. :-)

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    tODD, this sounds like that State Bank that my leftwing brother was pushing! He tried to slip one over us! The combination of corporatism (in which monopolies are a good thing) and state finance sounds like another economic system that started taking over in Italy and Germany in the 1930s.

    Jimmy, what do you have to say about that? Banks that can never go broke. Untethered to objective value. Infinite money supply. Controlled markets. Going to jail. Getting out of jail free. Sounds like President Obama’s economic recovery plan.

  • http://www.geneveith.com Gene Veith

    tODD, this sounds like that State Bank that my leftwing brother was pushing! He tried to slip one over us! The combination of corporatism (in which monopolies are a good thing) and state finance sounds like another economic system that started taking over in Italy and Germany in the 1930s.

    Jimmy, what do you have to say about that? Banks that can never go broke. Untethered to objective value. Infinite money supply. Controlled markets. Going to jail. Getting out of jail free. Sounds like President Obama’s economic recovery plan.

  • Jimmy Veith

    But you don’t understand. Having been brainwashed by Hasbro Inc., since early childhood, I actually like all those things.

    However, since I became a lawyer, there is one thing that I do find to be morally repugnant. Getting out of jail free? What were they thinking about?

  • Jimmy Veith

    But you don’t understand. Having been brainwashed by Hasbro Inc., since early childhood, I actually like all those things.

    However, since I became a lawyer, there is one thing that I do find to be morally repugnant. Getting out of jail free? What were they thinking about?

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Well said, tODD. And I had thought previously that my aversion to Monopoly had to do with games where my little brother would try to play “Federal Reserve” in order to pay his debts–without actually being the bank.

    So my opposition to “little brother debt” was actually an affirmation of free markets and sound economics. Good deal. :^)

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com Bike Bubba

    Well said, tODD. And I had thought previously that my aversion to Monopoly had to do with games where my little brother would try to play “Federal Reserve” in order to pay his debts–without actually being the bank.

    So my opposition to “little brother debt” was actually an affirmation of free markets and sound economics. Good deal. :^)

  • Abby

    Dr Veith@9:

    That’s very funny! :)

  • Abby

    Dr Veith@9:

    That’s very funny! :)

  • Abby

    Also, Dr Veith, I’m glad you’re a Lutheran!

  • Abby

    Also, Dr Veith, I’m glad you’re a Lutheran!

  • SKPeterson

    Georgists as anti-capitalists? No. I don’t agree with his basic tenet regarding land, but Henry George was most definitely not a socialist, but firmly in the 19th Century Classical tradition. His economic thought was more of a reaction against the old British aristocratic system that locked up land and took it out of “productive” use and conferred rents on absentee landlords who did not work or produce.

    And, welcome Brother Veith! Interesting as to your background in the Disciples. My wife grew up DC and we were married at University Christian in Fort Worth. It was my one denominational concession to her. We could get married in her church, but we would remain always within the one true church, the Lutherans. :)

  • SKPeterson

    Georgists as anti-capitalists? No. I don’t agree with his basic tenet regarding land, but Henry George was most definitely not a socialist, but firmly in the 19th Century Classical tradition. His economic thought was more of a reaction against the old British aristocratic system that locked up land and took it out of “productive” use and conferred rents on absentee landlords who did not work or produce.

    And, welcome Brother Veith! Interesting as to your background in the Disciples. My wife grew up DC and we were married at University Christian in Fort Worth. It was my one denominational concession to her. We could get married in her church, but we would remain always within the one true church, the Lutherans. :)

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