söndag 3 februari 2008

Should Brighton be on the Monopoly board?

An article by Simon Fanshawe in the Brighton local newspaper, The Argus, yesterday, suggests that Brighton deserves a place on a new World Monopoly board. Of course. It follows naturally from the real history of the game.

The Argus says that it was designed in 1934 but it actually goes back to 1904, when Elizabeth Magie, a Quaker from Delaware, USA, was granted a patent for a game called The Landlord's Game. She was was a supporter of the Single Tax proposal of the political economist Henry George and the aim of the game was to show how property owners became rich at the expense of impoverished tenants. The present Monopoly game was based on the Landlord's Game, with more up-to-date graphics and the addition of the Chance and Community Chest cards.

Henry George, who died in 1891, had devoted his life to trying to explain the paradox whereby some people lived a life of poverty in the midst of great wealth, and his theory had drawn on the work of the famous English economist David Ricardo, whose family had strong connections with Brighton.

And so a city where some people dine in five star hotels whilst only yards away are others who rely on the soup run can have no better claim for a place on a world Monopoly board.

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