The Problem With America’s Economy…

…Is the New Monopoly

Alexandria, Virginia, USA

Since we were snowed in, and Bob’s fiancee hates Monopoly, we tried out his new game, Monopoly Here And Now: The World Edition. It’s got some pretty cool stuff. The houses and hotels are from 6 different continents, the prices are more realistic, and the Chance and Community Chest cards are pretty cool.

But the money is gone. Instead, the banker assigns each player a credit card, and you stick it into the machine and the gadget keeps track of how much everyone has.

Seems like a cool gimmick on the surface, but it makes it much harder to keep track of how much money you have. It also makes most of our family favorite house rules impossible, like paying your Chance and Community Chest fines and your taxes into Free Parking for a tidy little lotto….

(Bob will probably just tell you that I’m sour grapes because I lost.)

It also seems emblematic of the understanding of money that got us into this financial crisis in the first place. When it’s all plastic, the numbers just don’t seem to matter so much….

Not to mention the pedagogical losses it represents. Every time I shop for bargains at the grocery store, I remember Dee from next door hoarding her $1s and saying, “Every little bit counts!” She often won … though she was sometimes handicapped by her reluctance to invest….

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