If America were a game of Monopoly the rules would be a bit different. The following example considers race only to keep it simple. Adding class would be interesting too, but for now I leave that as an exercise for the reader.
1. There are four players: one white, one red, one black and one yellow.
2. The white player is the banker.
3. Starting amounts: Before play begins give each player the following amounts to start with:
- $1500 white
- $1085 yellow
- $105 black
- $75 red
(Based on median household net worth in 2000.)
4. When passing Go: Each player will get the following amounts when passing Go:
- $200 white
- $170 yellow
- $140 black
- $120 red
(Based on median personal income for 2000.)
5. Settling disputes: If there is a dispute between players, it is put to a vote. (See Voting below).
6. Changing rules: If a player asks for a rule change, it is put to a vote (See Voting below).
7. Voting: To win a vote a motion must get at least 5.1 votes. Each player gets the following number of votes:
- 8.2 white
- 1.3 black
- 0.4 yellow
- 0.1 red
(Based on those reporting one race on the 2000 census.)
8. Speaking: The white player can speak at any time. Other players speak only when spoken to. They are allowed to raise their hand to try to get the attention of the white player to ask a question.
(Based on media ownership.)
- Going to jail: Red and black players go to jail if they land on any corner square except for the Just Visiting Jail square. (Blacks are three times more likely to be stopped by the police and have their car searched. Both blacks and Native Americans are way more likely to wind up in prison than whites.)
- Getting out of jail: To get out of a jail you must pay $1000 or wait five turns. (Prison is way more damaging than in Monopoly. Also, it is way easier for the rich to avoid prison altogether.)
10. The red player: Decisions to build or sell houses must be approved by the white player. The white player can build on any of the red player’s squares and keep all income for himself.
(Based on the government’s management of remaining Native lands.)
11. All other rules are the same.
Advice to white players:
If the other players complain that the rules are unfair, say “Get over it!” Point out that the game is fair and democratic: they can always ask for a rule change and put it to a vote. Also point out that the white player does not always win, so if they lose it is their own fault.
Most white players act as if the same rules and conditions apply to everyone, as if everyone starts with $1500 and gets $200 for passing Go, etc. If anything, they think yellow players get more for passing Go, that black players get more turns and that red players are too noble to care about winning.