A drag called Moan–opoly !
The idea here is not to bemoan, but a nudge to make things better. Because, we are all in it together. Remember, one of my earlier blogs- collective flourishing?
It will not be far fetched to say that monopoly is a metaphor for inequality.
Marx predicted that competition among capitalists would grow so fierce that, eventually, most capitalists would go bankrupt, leaving only a handful of monopolists controlling nearly all production, business and markets.
Our utility company, especially if it’s a monopoly, locks in an inherent, unfair and perennial advantage, giving it ample power to ignore customers and all of us suffer because of that. They actually send you emails with subject line screaming THIRD REMINDER, ten days before the due date and makes you feel that you have defaulted on their payment by months. So, what if you are a customer with them for 15 years plus? You can moan till the cows come home.
If all of the housing real estate in a locality is owned by one landlord, little surprise that rents go only one way – north. The less said about the service, security and the facilities, the better.
When the state or federal government controls the education of all of our children, they have the dangerous and illegitimate monopoly to control and influence the thought process of our future citizens.
“Google illegally maintained a monopoly for far more than a decade,” Kenneth Dintzer, a lawyer for the US Justice Department, argued in opening statements in the State VS Google antitrust case. He added that Google’s dominance has allowed it to ignore privacy criticism and become sluggish when it comes to innovation, including in the development of AI products. That’s the other fallout of being a monopoly– complacency and taking customers for granted.
“Own it all“. The official monopoly slogan- So, yes, Adam Smith (often identified as the father of modern capitalism), nailed it. He added ” The essential feature of capitalism is the motive to make a profit. It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest.”
A bit of a backstory if you permit me. Don’t miss out on the irony of it all. In 1903, Lizzie Magie, an American board game designer( and part time political activist)filed for a patent for her latest creation, The Landlord’s Game. Magie also taught political economy and held the belief that a single tax system should prevail for all owners of property. She believed that the world around her at the turn of the twentieth century had become more unequal because of rapacious mercantilism, and wanted to spread the message that a more equitable form of taxation would be a remedy to societal ills.
Magie’s The Landlord’s Game picked up some steam amongst the politically progressive demographic but never got into the mainstream. Until such time in 1932 when Charles Darrow who was playing it one night(and desperately needed money) decided to tweak the game and decided to sell it. Parker Brothers bought the rights to the game, under a new brand name Monopoly.
Magie was initially thrilled to see her version of the game in production but having been paid just US$ 500 and no royalties, she became increasingly disappointed. She spent the rest of her life as a receptionist, earning barely above minimum living wage.
Monopoly remains one the most popular and profitable board games there is today and Darrow died a multimillionaire.