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The Marxist economic mindset

November 19, 2008

We often think of Marxist economics as redistribution of wealth: from each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs. (Karl Marx, Critique of the Gotha Program, 1876; Barak Obama 2008.) It happens in a massive and violent way as in the Russian Revolution or in a slower way as in a “progressive” income tax.

Just as important is their view of economic value. According to Marxist theory, value is only added when labor is mixed with resources. Labor is the only measure of value. It’s called, not surprisingly, the “labor theory of value.” This is why Marxists hold “workers” in such high regard–why the Left in this country has allied itself so closely with labor unions. They are the heroes of socialist labor–a medal that was actually awarded in the Soviet Union.

The capitalist deserves nothing because, according to this theory, all he’s doing is robbing the laborers of what’s rightfully theirs. Profit is evil. So Obama and the other Leftists feel morally justified in taxing the rich: they’re just giving the workers their due. And they can feel like Robin Hood in the process.

Capitalism, of course, is different. Resources have intrinsic worth. It’s the combination of resources and labor that produces value. And when the capitalist puts them together to produce value, he’s taking a risk. Nothing guarantees that he will be successful. spent millions of dollars and operated at a loss for a long time in order to develop an entirely new way of doing business called ecommerce. The higher the risk, the higher the reward.

And then along comes Obama and the Left telling you that the risk and the resources you put into your venture doesn’t count; that you owe it to the country as a patriotic duty to pay more taxes. The progressive income tax creates a system where the more money you make, the higher a percentage of tax you pay. A glass ceiling on income. The harder you work, the less you get to keep.

The wonder of it all is that so many people bought into this and voted for him. Or did they just not understand? They will…

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