What if Karl Marx was . . . half right?
Marx’s theory of history elaborated that, with each bust of the boom-and-bust cycle, the rich would nab ever more property — capital — until impoverished workers united to take all that capital for “themselves” (as a collective) and run it for the common good.
That’s dialectical materialism. It didn’t predict what happened even in Communist countries. But something vaguely Marxian is going on now.
Today, when there’s a bust, government bails out the failed rich guys — even buying companies.
Further, governments keep hiring more people to “stimulate” the economy. Government workers increase as a percentage of the workforce, with higher-than-average wages and benefits.
This used to be called “creeping socialism.” Politicians move us closer to total government — measure by measure, tax by tax, law by law. No revolution necessary.
Except . . . well, as politicians put more of our eggs into the collectivist basket, each down-swoop of the business cycle makes the whole system less stable — and (with increasing taxes and debt) more burdensome to sustain.
It could all lead to revolt — a taxpayer revolt.
Taxpayers, who’ve had to put up with a lot of nonsense over the years, aren’t even a tad bit interested in the foolishness of communism — or a corporate, fascist super-state.
That’s where Marx and his followers had it all wrong. Only the build-up of instability seems Marxian. Americans’ response is to seek limits on government.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.