Little Known Fact: The board game Monopoly was originally created, not as a party game, but a way to teach people a specific economic theory--that unregulated capitalism ends up with the .1% getting everything while everyone else gets the shaft.

Over the years, Hasbro has done its best to cover up Monopoly's roots as a liberal object lesson, electing instead to morph it into a series of uncritical celebrations of various aspects of the business world, like branding ("Monopoly Empire") and ecommerce ("Monopoly Electronic Banking Edition.")

Earlier this week, though, Hasbro appears to have returned to its progressive roots a bit with "Ms. Monopoly." The firm explains:

"From inventions like WiFi to chocolate chip cookies, solar heating and modern shapewear, Ms. Monopoly celebrates everything from scientific advancements to everyday accessories - all created by women. Ms. Monopoly is also the first-ever game where women make more than men - a fun spin in the game that creates a world where women have an advantage often enjoyed by men. However, if men play their cards right, they can make more money too."

As with the original 1903 Monopoly, Ms. Monopoly is tries to teach through reverse illustration. By creating a world where female entrepreneurs get the advantage, Hasbro is pointing out that in the real life the opposite is the case. (Few female-led startups get funding, for instance.)

Anyway, now that Hasbro has got all woke (or re-woke), I have a humble suggestion. Why not create a version of Monopoly that actually represents the financial world as it actually exists? Same rules as the regular game but

  • One player starts with $10,000 and half the properties.
  • Two players start with $1,000 and one property.
  • Everyone else starts either with nothing or a student loan debt of -$500.

In this version, the game ends when the poorer players finally get fed up and start a political revolution that distributes the money and property more equitably. Then everyone wins, except the rich player, who must sell one of his yachts.

Published on: Sep 11, 2019
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