Thursday, September 18, 2008

Macro-hoo ha!

My Republican friend sent me an e-mail with his "tax plan."

-Eliminate all corporate subsidies for profitable companies
-Do not raise cap gain taxes
-Lower taxes across the board for Upper and Middle Classes(in lieu of the Bush tax cuts being eliminated.)
-Lower corporate taxes, only Japan has a higher tax rate......

I respond with a Teddy Roosevelt quote:

"I believe in a graduated income tax on big fortunes, and in another tax which is far more easily collected and far more effective - a graduated inheritance tax on big fortunes, properly safeguarded against evasion and increasing rapidly in amount with the size of the estate."
- Theodore Roosevelt Osawatomie, Kansas on August 31, 1910

He then responded by saying:

“income reallocation = Marxism...”

Now, I love when people use words they don't understand... I responded with:

Holy oversimplification Batman! That is like a CNN assessment. Thank you, Brett, for breaking the tenets of Marxism into a soundbyte, which, while entirely worthless and factually inaccurate, is tasty and easy to digest.

If I was going to break Marxism into a one sentence soundbyte, I might prefer to say that it is:

Marxism = A belief that capitalism is based on the exploitation of workers by the owners of the means of production and that this dialectical historical process will ultimately result in a replacement of the current class structure of society with a system that manages society for the good of all, resulting in the dissolution of the class structure and its support.

There is no macroeconomic theory there. You are likely referring to Socialism. Marxism is sociological, anthropological, and philosophical theory.

You call Socialism wealth redistribution. A Marxist would say that it is workers simply laying claim to just compensation for the one part of the capitalist process that they own. That is the Labor Theory of Value, in case you were curious.

Marxism is generally wishful thinking, pie in the sky, rubbish, but the Labor Theory of Value is spot on and quite compatible with the Capitalist system.

Henry Ford (and no one would dare call him anything but a Capitalist) understood this when he voluntarily paid his employees a living wage and reduced the length of their work week. The Wall Street Journal called him a Communist. The joke was on them. He bred loyalty in his workforce and by paying them well he expanded the market for automobile ownership.
I do not believe that humans are capable of a Marxist system. It neglects the flaw of humanity, which is inherent greed. Social democracy on the other hand is a system of fairly compensating workers (without whom the Capitalist system would fail) for their role in society. Social democracy calls for living wages, adequate work-life balance, universal health care…

But I am wasting my breath on you. You are a social Darwinist and believe that everyone should be able to succeed like you succeeded. You ignore, like Ford's critics, that the tenets of social-Capitalism or social democracy are in the interests of all and that when done in unison a rising tide really could lift all boats. It means that the rich have to pay a higher percentage. The rich get richer and the poor move out of poverty creating a whole new class of consumers for the shit the rich people make and sell.

Your thoughts?

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