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Monopoly…… The American 21st Century Version

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Author: johntmay

It never fails to amaze me how many Americans still believe in the American Dream, in the notion that an honest work ethnic and a bit of luck is all one needs to be successful in the USA.  I’ve tried numerous ways to show them why they are wrong, but I have not had much success, as is evident by the number of American laborers still voting Republican or worse yet, supporting Democrats who are not pro-labor.

So I have an idea but I am waiting to hear back from the attorneys at Parker Brothers to see if they will allow me to introduce a new version of Monopoly that I call the American 21st Century Version.

I believe that most Americans view our economy and the rules that govern it to be similar to Monopoly.  We all take our turn, we manage our money, we play by the rules and along the way, some win and some lose.  The American 21st Century Version has a few modifications that may help to illustrate what’s wrong with the USA.

For starters, in standard Monopoly, all players start out with $1,500.  In American 21st Century Version, this is not the case.  Here are the new rules.  If there are 10 players, the amount of money that is divided among the players is $15,000, but unlike the old came, the new version distributes the wealth along modern lines.  Players draw straws to see who gets each amount. One player gets $9,750, or 65% of the pot.  The remainder is divided on a sliding scale between the remaining nine players.  The player at the bottom receives $1 and as an added condition, instead of starting at GO, that player starts in JAIL.

Secondly, in the standard game, each time one works ones way around the board, one earns $200 as one passes GO.  In the American 21st Century Version, players gets the option to buy GO for $1,500.  Of course there is only one player with that much to spare and it would be foolish not to buy GO for the following reason:  When a player passes GO, that player only gets to keep 35% of that $200, or $70, the owner of GO gets the balance of $130.

Of course the owner of GO thinks this is fair and says to anyone who balks, “All you have to do is roll bigger numbers, lots of doubles, and try harder and eventually you can win”…not unlike the advice from Republican Presidential hopeful Jeb Bush who wants all of us to “Work Harder” and the American Dream will become a reality.

Finally, each time the player with the most money passes GO, that player gets to rewrite some of the rules of the game, but they must be careful not to make it look as if they are doing so for their own benefit.  It must appear to make the game fairer and give all the players the illusion of possible success.   For example, the player with the most money might change the rule to read that all “Two Property Monopolies” will now have their rents doubled.  This will be presented as an effort to boost the income of the one poor player that owns Baltic Avenue &Mediterranean Avenue, but of course the player making this rule owns Boardwalk and Park Place.

I’m not sure if people would enjoy playing this new version but then again, they seem satisfied with it in real life.

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