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Is The Monopoly Game Teaching You To Go Broke?

Apr 23, 2008
Monopoly is a zero sum game based on competition. Since the money supply cannot increase, the players can win only by taking money from other players. The fundamental belief behind Monopoly is lack of money. This means that the only way to get more money is to take it away from others.

This fundamental reality of Monopoly is that one player wins while the others lose. This reflects the experience of the Great Depression. Thousands stood in breadlines while a few people became very rich.

In the game of Monopoly, partnership is prohibited. Players cannot create joint ventures. Players cannot loan money to other players. Players cannot borrow money from other players.

As a result, Monopoly teaches you that you are on your own. Your goal is to force other players to go bankrupt. As a player, you learn that helping someone else might cause you to lose the game.

This game teaches that fierce competition is the only way to create wealth. This is the way the world is. You will succeed only at the expense of others.

This belief is deeply engrained in our shared consciousness about money and success. The game of Monopoly reinforces a common belief that the only way to win is to defeat your competitors.

What kind of success model is this game based on competition for a limited money supply? You don't have to look any further than the statistic that 96% of the population will reach 65 without enough money to be financially self-sufficient. Instead of congratulating the 4% who somehow manage to create financial freedom for themselves in this economic system, you need to ask: Why do so many lose the money game?

The short answer is that our economic models teach competition for limited resources as the foundation of wealth. The model itself demands that almost everyone must end the game broke.

Attempting to create wealth according to the Monopoly model is a lonely struggle in a highly competitive game. There is always a winner in Monopoly. You might be the one to win. It is much more likely that you will be one of the majority of those who lose.

This Depression era game is stuck in the mindset and beliefs of a game that doesn't create money. The winner takes money from others, but does nothing to create more money through transactions.

Mr. Monopoly had it wrong when he thought that the only way to win was to drive competitors out of business. It's true that business is full of "black knights" and hostile takeovers from people who still treat business as a game that allows only one winner. But the Great Depression ended more than sixty years ago. It's time for a new game with a new understanding of money. The fact is, you'll make more money in transactions than you will in takeovers.

In this era, the most enlightened business people understand that you will make more money in joint ventures with others than you will by competing against them. When you take off the Depression era Mr. Monopoly glasses, you can see a new vision of money and business. Money is not currency. Money is an idea, and the only limits to money are the limits of your vision.
About the Author
Kalinda Rose Stevenson, PhD. Want to learn the money secrets investors use? Uncover the secrets in a real estate investing book about the world's most popular board game, Monopoly. www.NoMoneyLimits.com.
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