How ‘Monopoly’ Perpetuates Myths About Capitalism
The classic board game models the Left's view of the economy.
August 7, 2013 - 8:00 am
Monopoly plays according to rules designed to force an outcome. The design intends each player to go bankrupt, save the winner. To the extent this model applies in the real world, it is the product of governments intervening in what would otherwise be a free market. Such a market would enforce only those rules necessary to protect individual rights. Hartmann and Sacks reference the bailouts of 2007 and 2008 as a consequence of government allowing corporations and banks to become “too big to fail.” Yet, many government interventions created the Monopoly-like conditions which led to those bailouts and the global recession. The solution presents as greater liberty, not more control.
As an analogy, Monopoly actually indicts statist intervention rather than capitalism. The game models a command-and-control economy driven by mandate rather than value. The number of competitors remains limited, as do the type and arrangement of property. Consumers are compelled into transactions by chance and issued a strictly limited income. Once the preset amount of wealth has been claimed, no more can be created.
A free market would look nothing like Monopoly. Transactions would never be compelled. Wealth creation would not be capped. And competitors could freely enter and exit the market. The “game” would continue as long as people continued pursuing their values and creating wealth. A free-market economy would not be limited to a predefined pool of resources, but propelled by the unlimited resource of the human mind.
The Left has mastered the art of projecting its flaws upon a capitalism which does not exist. Capitalism rests upon individual choice. True monopolies can only manifest when protected by force. Remove the force, and you remove the monopoly. If players could choose whether or not to pay rent when landing on Boardwalk, the game would never end.