1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to sidebar
Source link: http://archive.mises.org/4945/the-monopoly-question/

The Monopoly Question

April 25, 2006 by

Here is an article on Monopoly, the game by Parker Brothers, written by Ben Powell, now of San Jose State, back in February 2004. It was posted before we had a blog that permitted reader reaction.

Out of the blue this morning, this email arrived to our offices, and the writer challenged us to post it. So I’m posting it.

You can criticize and contradict, and point out discrepancies between Parker Brothers reality and real reality, and so on, and so on…. What you miss, my less than obstute friend, is that in Monopoly, every player/challenger of the game, is forewarned of the rules, the odds, the risk, the advantages, and the rewards. So I suggest you shut the f*** up about anything else, because all you are doing is talking out of your ***. We do not get that set of rules when we enter this world. Some of us figure it out, and lord over the less fortunate. Some of us win a lottery, you forgot to include that in your less than insightful prattle.

Give me a break. Monopoly is and always will be, the best of the best. The test of time has proven your “why Monopoly is wrong” arguments to be nothing more than blog smoke. If we were given a set of rules, and a clear outlined playing field when we came on board, (no pun intended), I would agree with you, but your argument is so weak, I could care less about your reply.

So there you go! Such passion over a board game!

{ 18 comments }

David C April 25, 2006 at 9:35 am

That reminds me of how often I hear that free markets are only about competition and monopoly. But the truth is that it is often about not competing, and non monopoly. Like putting your gas station on a corner where noone has one, rather than on one with 3 other gas stations. Like by offering services and products that noone else offers, specializes in offering, or even wants to offer.

In the PC industry I renember how Amigas had a superior design, but the IBM compatable PC won out in the market place because they couldn’t monopolize the PCI, BIOS, and pin socket interface. Motorolla had better chips with 32 bit addressing, lots of registers, and a non segmented architecture, but the Intel chip with non monopolized design won out in the market place. The token-ring networking had the backing of IBM and made more efficient use of packets, but the less proprietary ethernet won in the marketplace hands down. Consider the success of the Apache web server and the industry centered arround it instead of the more monopolized Microsoft Internet Information Server.

Anyone else notice the market uptake of Linux in spite of Microsotfs half trillion market cap. Contrary to popular belief, Linux is actually more free market than Microsoft because the markets puts natural limits on the supply and demand of services, not artificial ones like licensing, copyrights, and information distribution. As society enters the information age and the service value of information becomes more valuable than the content value, the requirement to copy things freely will dominate.

Yancey Ward April 25, 2006 at 9:47 am

If only we could all be so “obstute”.

Christopher Meisenzahl April 25, 2006 at 11:02 am

Classy email.

Dr. Mark Thornton April 25, 2006 at 11:11 am

In the market economy you ARE given the rules, risks, rewards, etc.–not when you come into the world and all at once, but little by little as you progress in life–just when you need the information. What good would a dissertation on the costs and benefits of life insurance be to a 14 year old just entering the work force. It would be more important that the teen be told to show up for work on time and appropriately dressed for the job.

BillG April 25, 2006 at 11:57 am

the author wrote:

“Since being introduced in 1935, in fact, an estimated one-half billion people have played it. It has taught the multitudes what they know about how an economy works.

The problem is that the game seriously misrepresents how an actual market economy operates.”

BillG responds:

this is infact not true…

the game was actually invented and patented in 1904 by a Georgist named Lizzie Magie in the single tax community of Arden, PA. and was called “The Landlord’s Game” to prove the anti-social nature of monopoly and in particular the landlord’s monopoly on economic rent that was at the heart of the Georgist single tax solution.

the game’s idea was then “stolen” and changed by Clarence Darrow who played it with other Quakers in Atlantic City who then sold it to Parker Bros.

http://tt.tf/gamehist/mon-index.html

http://www.antimonopoly.com/original_boardgame.html

http://www.antimonopoly.com/the_book.html

cynical April 25, 2006 at 7:53 pm

BillG,

You go on and on in every thread about how no one should own any land (they must pay rent/tax to the “common”/collective).

Who decides what my land is worth? Everyone? How does someone/everyone value my land? Please don’t give me that “value assessment” crap.

Why do you think land is intrinsically valuable? Did it not take labor from myself, my family, the previous owner, etc. to make it valuable?

You say that this land tax should be shared with the “community”… why not the world? How much should other landowners get? Or do these tax monies just go to the “landless”?

Thomas J. Van Wyk April 25, 2006 at 8:48 pm

My, my.

Sounds like somebody needs to eat some fruit or something.

Funny…

Roy W. Wright April 25, 2006 at 9:50 pm

BillG certainly seems to have a lot of time on his hands. Too bad his every post makes the same untenable points over and over.

Eric April 25, 2006 at 9:56 pm

“Give me a break. Monopoly is and always will be, the best of the best.”

Board gaming has become an obsession of mine in the last year and I can say with confidence that there are hundreds of better games out there. Monopoly’s rank at the premier board game website, boardgamegeek.com, is an irrelevant 2,848. Some of the most impressive games in existence at the present time come from Germany. I recommend checking out some of the higher ranked games at boardgamegeek if anyone is interesting in the hobby. Here’s the list of rankings-

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/browser.php?itemtype=game&sortby=rank

BillG (not Gates) April 25, 2006 at 10:03 pm

cynical wrote:

“You go on and on in every thread about how no one should own any land (they must pay rent/tax to the “common”/collective)”

BillG responds:
and you should be a more careful reader…

anyone should own land just not at the expense of the right of self-ownership of others.

cynical wrote:

“Did it not take labor from myself, my family, the previous owner, etc. to make it valuable?”

BillG responds:

you are referring to improved land values…
I am referring to unimproved land values…

cynical wrote:

“You say that this land tax should be shared with the “community”…why not the world?”

BillG responds:

yes, equally and directly as you exclude those near you from what should be accessible by all as in a perfect state of nature.

cynical wrote:

“How much should other landowners get? Or do these tax monies just go to the “landless”?”

BillG responds:

anyone who has exclusive ownership rights pays all neighbors within a community you are excluding…

Vince Daliessio April 26, 2006 at 8:13 am

Bill G and the Georgists need to elucidate a method whereby these payments could be honestly and fairly assessed and distributed without a kleptocratic government. Otherwise, the Georgist position just defaults to a simalcrum of the current scheme of siphoning of money via property tax into government coffers.

BillG (not Gates) April 26, 2006 at 10:00 am

Vince wrote:

“Georgists need to elucidate a method whereby these payments could be honestly and fairly assessed and distributed without a kleptocratic government.”

BillG responds:

first of all, can we agree that “these payments” which I call economic rent would occur even in the absence of a “kleptocratic governemnt” (anarchy) when the enclosure of the commons goes beyond Locke’s proviso?

the only difference being that in your system the excluded pay the excluders and in my system the excluders would pay the excluded.

secondly, in your system the landowner has an asking price for access to the land but the market determines what the prices is based on the personal utility value of the eventual occupier.

in the system I advocate the assessed market value is not based on the personal utility value of the current occupier but rather on the aggregate effect of personal utility value of the excluder’s neighbors as it is their exclusion that is being measured.

so while the personal utility value of the current occupier is always subjective the aggregate effects are always easily measured to provide the market value.

Vince wrote:

“Otherwise, the Georgist position just defaults to a simalcrum of the current scheme of siphoning of money via property tax into government coffers.”

BillG responds:

you are somehow under the mistaken impression that I am advocating that the economic rent be paid from the excluders to the state.

let me assure you I am not because that would mean that the economic rent is owned collectively not in common.

what I advocate is that the economic rent be shared directly and equally between neighbors and they with you to uphold the absolute rights all of those being excluded by the excluders have to their labor products and hence self-ownership itself.

Tracy SAboe April 27, 2006 at 1:26 am

Bill G (Not Gates) is nothing more then a troll. He trolls almost every libertarian forum on the internet talking about the wonders of Georgism, appealing only to authority to make his case.

You’d do best to ignore him.

Tracy

BillG (not Gates) April 27, 2006 at 5:51 am

Tracy wrote:

“appealing only to authority to make his case.”

BillG responds:

you would think in an Austrian forum with such high caliber posters and postings I would have already been accused of that…yet no one has.

if your statement were true – why do you think that hasn’t happened?

the more topical problem is that people are making assumptions about what I advocate and then argue against them?

what is that called?

Peter April 27, 2006 at 6:32 am

I’m sure we all recognize you as a troll, BillG; there’s no need to “accuse” you.

If people are still “making assumptions” after this, your .. what is it, 10000th? .. posting of the same content, what does that tell you? The fault is with you, my friend, for not being clear! Of course, I don’t think you can do much about that – the muddiness is in your mind, not your writing. Please stop posting the exact same words 50 times a day, now.

Geoffrey Allan Plauche April 27, 2006 at 6:55 pm

Has anyone here heard of or tried the Monopoly add-on called InflationDeflation? Here’s a link: http://www.inflationdeflation.com/.

Paul D April 28, 2006 at 9:15 am

I agree, I simply avoid all comment threads in which BillG takes part. He has nothing interesting or new to say, and regurgitates the same comments over and over without satisfying the legitimate objections to his land tax scheme (which actually isn’t developed well enough to be a scheme yet).

jeffrey April 28, 2006 at 9:21 am

BillG has received a note about his hobby-horse riding.

Comments on this entry are closed.

Previous post:

Next post: