The Tale of the Two Monopolies

Monopoly is an extremely successful board game. Both from a popularity standpoint as well as an economic one. Which is somewhat ironic, as Monopoly was invented by anti-monopolist Lizzie Magie as an educational board game to show children the dire consequences of unconstrained capitalism. She had created a second version of the then so called Landlord’s Game that worked according to the principles of Georgism. Georgism propagates an economic system that redistributes economic wealth through the taxation of land. The basic idea is that all land belongs to the community and therefore whoever uses this land should be allowed to keep what he earns, but needs to compensate the community through taxes. Personally, I find many aspects of that idea very convincing, as it is rather easy to tax land. Its worth can be easily evaluated and landowners can hardly move their land to tax heavens. Also taxation of land introduces less economic inefficiencies than most other forms of taxation. For the Landlord’s Game, the wealth tax meant that all wealth created benefited all players. Instead of squashing their opponents, all players benefited to a certain extent from the wealth that was created. No bankruptcies, no crying children, no family reunions ruined. No wonder nobody wanted to play that version of the game and the capitalist one became so successful…

Seriously though, have a look at Georgim. It is really interesting and many agree it might be a way to much fairer taxation.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *