Own it all!

Steen Videbeck
Insights Newsletter
9 April, 2021

After much finger-pointing, the Government has finally found the real culprits behind high house prices. Yes, it was the evil ‘speculators’ all along.

But what would drive seemly normal people to want to own two, and in some extreme cases, three properties? How do speculators become speculators?

The surprising answer is Monopoly. Yes, the beloved board game, enjoyed by millions worldwide, has been secretly corrupting Kiwi children for years. It makes perfect sense when you think about it. The game is literally about buying up all the properties and charging high rents to unsuspecting tenants.

Thankfully, Hasbro, the makers of Monopoly, have seen the error of their ways. Fresh from their successful Potato Head rebrand, they have now set their sights on making the world’s most popular property trading board game more caring.

How? By modernising the Community Chest cards. You can even vote for your favourites here.

On the way out are boring real-life events like, “Doctor’s fee — PAY $50”, “Bank error in your favour — COLLECT $200”, “You inherit $100” and the plausible, but unlikely, “You have won second prize in a beauty contest – COLLECT $10.”

In come new ‘it’s cool to be nice’ cards.

Unfortunately, the proposed cards have left me feeling a bit confused.

And it’s not just the “Meow! You knit sweaters for the hairless cats at your local animal shelter–COLLECT $20” card. There are deeper problems.

And yes, these are all official proposals.

Take, for example, “You volunteer to run the social media accounts for a non-profit art centre, and you meet some pretty talented people! – COLLECT $100”. Wait, isn’t the whole point of volunteering that you don’t get paid?

Then there is “You help your neighbours clean up their yards after a big storm–COLLECT $200”. Profiting during a disaster. Nice one!

And what about “You didn’t shop local! – PAY $50”. I wonder if buying a Chinese-made American board game counts as shopping local.

This is followed by “You organise a bake sale for your local school–COLLECT $25”. Charity embezzlement isn’t cool.

The turtles will be pleased with the “You help a neighbourhood party – but you didn’t recycle your trash – PAY $100” card.

But the final straw is, “You rescue a puppy – and you feel rescued, too! – GET OUT OF JAIL FREE”

This has gone too far. It is time to take back our favourite game. So, I urge you to play unadulterated Monopoly with your children over the school holidays. Let them experience the thrill of exorbitant rents and untaxed capital gains. While it is not as fun as real life, it’s still fun.

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