Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Karl Marx: Is it good or bad? Prosperity and Equality for all.

Kate asked if sounding like Karl Marx is good or bad. I've been thinking about that. And Mr. Obama will be talking tonight about how he (the government) will provide prosperity and equality should he be reelected.

Prosperity should appeal to everyone. Everyone, that is, except the environmentalists who might infer that if we have more then the environment will be further depleted. Prosperity is a goal for many. We believe that we'll be a little happier and will suffer a little less with prosperity.

How can the government provide prosperity for all? I doubt it will be from taking from the rich and giving to the poor. That will (superficially) help the poor, but will not contribute to the prosperity of the rich. We'll hear tonight how the government will increase prosperity. Most of what the government does, when it does anything, is spend money. Whose money? Our money, of course. So to increase prosperity, there must be a "value added." They must spend our money more efficiently than we can. For example, when I go to the grocery, I get $10 of fruits and veges. If Uncle Sam takes my $10 and buys me groceries, the inference is that I'll get $11 of fruits and veges. My suspicion is that I'll end up with about $3 of corn syrup... but we'll see.

Equality. That's a big one. Are we talking opportunity or assets? Robin Hood provides equality of assets. Superficially, I believe, because Robin Hood destroys incentive. Why should I try so hard if so much will be taken from me? Or should I hide my $$$ on the Cayman Islands so that I can take care of myself on a rainy day. Equality of opportunity sounds great to me. I suspect that we have more of that in America than has ever existed in any country ever... and we have a long way to go. I'm hoping Obama will have some good suggestions on how equality can be provided. Equality of opportunity infers better access to education, health care, fresh air and water, etc. for all.

I can't think of communist/socialist societies that have provided prosperity and equality of opportunity. So I'll say that Karl Marx is not good. But more importantly (in my view) is that the shortcoming of the planned society is that we have less freedom to pursue our aims. I might have tremendous skills to practice medicine, but tremendous interest in making bad art. I'd rather live where I can pursue bad art. In a planned society, my life will be dictated by the boss. Kennedy had it wrong when he said, "...ask what you can do for your country."

3 comments:

Reese Forbes said...

You seem to equate prosperity with money - but it not as the word comes from the Latin meaning "doing well". You could have very little money and do well. In fact, the environmentalist would enjoy prosperity from an abundance of trees, clean water, etc.
Robin Hood never destroyed incentive, because the incentive was already destroyed by the private land owners that demanded more be given to them by the serfs than they could produce. Robin Hood added incentive in forming a union to demand a fair share from what would now be considered private corporations.

Kate Freeman said...

Prosperity should appeal to everyone. --- Mr. Kim

True. By definition, being prosperous is good. How individuals define prosperity might be different.

I doubt it will be from taking from the rich and giving to the poor. --- Mr. Kim

Is ‘taking from the rich and giving to poor’ different from ‘redistributing resources more equitably among all peoples’?

Are we talking opportunity or assets? --- Mr. Kim

Assets equal resources. Access to resource is opportunity. The absence of resource is lack of opportunity.

Equality of opportunity infers better access to education, health care, fresh air and water, etc. for all. --- Mr. Kim

Education, health care, fresh air and water are resources. Access to resource is opportunity. Equality of opportunity is Equality of ‘resource’. Resource equals assets.


I can't think of communist/socialist societies that have provided prosperity and equality of opportunity. So I'll say that Karl Marx is not good. --- Mr. Kim

I can’t think of any society were there is peace and goodwill toward all beings. Does that mean Buddha is not good?

Kennedy had it wrong when he said, "...ask what you can do for your country." --- Mr. Kim

Because he should have said . . .

Anonymous said...

"Kennedy had it wrong when he said, "...ask what you can do for your country." --- Mr. Kim" I am in virtually complete FASCISTagreement with you here. That Kennedy quote was pure Fascism. He must have taken that from dad, who was a proto- Fascist. H.