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Monopoly Justice

Day two hundred fifty-four/365. I'm not into board games. But, when I was a kid, I used to play Monopoly with my cousins when we were all on vacation.


Back then, I couldn't appreciate the message conveyed by the layout of a Monopoly board. Now, it jumps right out!


The neighborhoods are divided by affluence. You can put up a house in the slums, or on some pretty exclusive property. As you hop around the board, you may have to pay income tax -- only if you're in one of the poorest neighborhoods. Folks in the more privileged section pay no income tax. There is a luxury tax among the wealthy, but it's nominal compared to the income tax paid by the poor.


On one corner is a police officer. If he catches you, you go to jail -- back in a poor neighborhood! The cop is there to protect a wealthy neighborhood against dogs, shoes, cannons, or other pieces moving through.


Was Monopoly invented by a very cynical person? Or, was it designed to convey a subtle message about economic justice?

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Uploaded on April 28, 2008