By Cameron Soltis
In “Park Avenue: Money, Power, and the American Dream,” I found that the most intriguing, as well as disturbing concept portrayed was the way the game of Monopoly was compared to income and wealth inequality.
The comparisons between how wealth is distributed in the game and how it is in real life reveals the sad truth of how unequal the opportunity of success really is.
In the game of Monopoly, the successful player is essentially random, just as how the family you are born into is random. However, the game has been purposefully rigged. The rich player receives two times as much money, and is able to utilize the pair of die, as opposed to the less fortunate person, who receives half the money and can only role one die. The disadvantaged player has to slowly but surely make his or her way around the board with one die, while the more advantaged player cruises along, often lapping over the other player.
The rich player shows little remorse for the poorer player, and even starts to exhibit a sense of entitlement. Those players begin to believe they deserve to win.
The basis for the American Dream is that everyone has an equal chance at success, when in reality, the opportunity is not there. The money is already in the hands of the rich. This documentary opened my eyes to the sad reality of the already established that the less fortunate must abide by. The way wealth is distributed in this country makes it extremely tough for those who are born in less fortunate circumstances. As the “disadvantaged player” in life, improving one’s lifestyles proves to almost be impossible. It seems as though The American Dream is now nothing more than an illusion in society; a prehistoric skeleton that can be found in a museum.