Tag Archives: Monopoly

How to play a REAL game of Monopoly.

MONOPOLY was invented by an anarchist who wanted to demonstrate the folly of capitalism. She called it The Landlord’s Game. Virtually unchanged, Parker Brothers’ Monopoly still teaches that the land grab end game always results in a monopoly. Players don’t consider such an outcome objectionable because board games need a single winner, and since everyone starts at square one, all have a chance to drive the rest of humanity bankrupt. You don’t have to tweak Monopoly much to render a perfect forecast of a child’s prospects in the real economy. Start the game with all the properties fully populated with hotels and houses, all owned by the player who won last time. Now go.

Just kidding.

But dispense with the New World homesteading delusion. Unless you’re planning fresh conquest and genocide, land ownership today is sewn up. Fully populate the properties and distribute them in advance, to one or all of the players, it doesn’t really matter. The real monopoly lies with the bank.

The banker in this tweaked version of Monopoly doesn’t play at all, as far as rolling the dice to progress around the board. The banker’s token doesn’t need the wage earned by passing “GO”, nor does he need to risk going to jail. Yes the banker is a white male. The banker’s token lies idle wherever it wants on the board, while the bank doles out the money and reposesses the properties whose owners go bankrupt.

Actually in the tweaked mode, the banker doesn’t distribute the money, he lends it. Every $200 to pass GO, he keeps a share. Every property and building is actually on loan, so he collects interest. What’s lent and what’s collected are secretly recalculated every round to leave the bare minimum which players need to keep circulating the board.

That’s the game. Enjoy!

If it doesn’t sound fun to you, too bad. Keeping a player’s interest in an unfair game is unimportant because monopoly is compulsory.

Brewing your competitor’s beer

Acquired by Carlsberg Heineken
Family owned breweries keep getting bought up by the beermeister conglomerates. It’s very easy to illustrate why this is a bad thing, in terms we can all savor at the tip of our tongues, to lament as they slip from us.

Say you’re a tomato farmer who’s perfected the tasteless red orb. It looks nice, held up to the light it has no imperfections, it has a shelf life of uranium (not by coincidence), with your advertising budget you’ve dubbed it the King of whatever, and your huge outfit is selling gangbusters.

Say there linger still some small-timers growing old-tyme tomatoes that still taste of whatever inspired people to eat tomatoes in the first place. In comparison they make your tasteless thingies look bad. No one’s buying your dismissive tomayto – tomahto rebuke, your toMAHtoes taste like buffalo piss, excuse me, like stalks of tasteless ruffage.

It’s not your fault, the growing market, the demands of mass distribution, the lower expectations of middle of the road taste buds have dictated less dramatic flavors and aromas. Your product is what the doctor ordered, which explains hospital food.

But upstarts and throwbacks reminding your customers of the savors of yore is the last thing your tomato and his deservedly fragile self-esteme can handle. Buy those damn farmers out and serve up their moldy oldies like the inconsistent, pungent manure patch kids they are. Tweak ’em to make sure they only ever appeal to the fringe. Like buttermilk and salted meat, you’ll see the last of ’em.

If you’re a beer executive, and you’ve got a cheap beer. It’s inexpensive to make, easy to sell and yields the profit margins that made you a powerhouse in the first place. Say you’ve finally acquired that damn boutique beer but that it is less profitable. Which would you rather be selling to your customers? What if the less lucrative beer threatened to cannibalize the sales of the other? What are you going to do about that?