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Saturday, March 1, 2008

Karl Marx and the Democrats: Why I hate Class Warfare

Whatever one thinks of Karl Marx the economist, there is no doubt that he was a marketing and political strategist genius. He took a flawed economic system and was able to sell it to the masses. He did it by taking advantage of two universal truths. The first is strength in numbers, and the second is that the less successful always have a natural envy and resentment of the more successful.

Thus, in the 1800's, he created a populist message that appealed to the proletariat. He told them that they were being exploited by a rigged system that favored the bourgeoise. That system of course was capitalism. In a sense he was right. Capitalism ultimately favors the few at the expense of the many. That's because capitalism forces competition, and in any competition there are mostly losers and only a few winners. It is of course this competition that has lead to most of the innovations that we enjoy today.

None of that really matters in being able to sell a principle. The proletariat may have been weak and powerless but they were plentiful. Most of them had a natural envy and resentment for the bourgeoise. Marx used both and sold a failed economic system that took over much of Europe for years.

Ultimately, what Marx did was practice old school text book class warfare. He pitted the proletariat against bourgeoise. He demonized the bourgeoise and the system that made them successful and he started a revolution. For the most part, his marketing and political strategy worked. His flawed system gained a great deal of popularity for a while. It is for this reason that class warfare is among my biggest political pet peeves. I have seen with Marx the corrossive effect that it has.

Today's Democratic party uses class warfare just as liberally as Marx once did. I see their class warfare used in four different topics: taxes, trade, employment, and health care.

1)Taxes

The phrase tax cuts for the rich is so popular in many circles that it is a part of our lexicon. Ever since they were passed, Democrats have tried to paint the tax cuts as overly favoring the wealthy. This is of course a dubious arguement for several reasons. The first of which is that it is difficult to pin point exactly what the cuts did and didn't do. The second is that the tax cuts cut each tax bracked by three percent. Thus, everyone not only got the same tax cut but the same tax cut as a percentage.

This hasn't stopped any of the Democrats from demonizing the tax cuts as advancing the interests of the wealthy at the expense of the middle class and the poor (very much like Marx once did to capitalism itself). The Democrats have effectively used class warfare to demonize the tax cuts and the wealthy by extension. Furthermore, besides reversing the tax cuts, most of the Democrats want to spend that money in very Marx like socialist ways. Here is how Barack Obama characterized it.


The Bush tax cuts — people didn't need them, and they weren't even asking for
them, and they ought to be relaxed so we can pay for universal health care and
other initiatives."

In fact, this is the mantra of the entire Democratic party. The Democrats have already targeted income taxes, capital gains, and the death tax as taxes they would raise in order to spend on numerous domestic programs for the poor and middle class. By demonizing the most successful, they can put themselves on the side of the little guy and effectively they have updated class warfare that Karl Marx revolutionized.

2)Trade

On trade, the Democrats use class warfare in a different manner. This time they pit American workers against all other workers, and they blame free trade from taking jobs from Americans and giving it to the foreigners. It is a slightly different spin on class warfare but it is no less effective. Here is how Barack Obama characterized NAFTA.


It's a game where trade deals like NAFTA ship jobs overseas and force parents to compete with their teenagers to work for minimum wage at Wal-Mart. That's what happens when the American worker doesn't have a voice at the negotiating table, when leaders change their positions on trade with the politics of the moment, and that's why we need a President who will listen to Main Street – not just Wall Street; a President who will stand with workers not just when it's easy, but when it's hard...

They take this populist message to states like Ohio and they blame the evil free trade deals for all the workers losing their jobs. With taxes, they blamed the rich for the troubles of the poor and middle class. With the issue of trade, they blame the foreigners for the same failings. Either way, it is an effective use of class warfare. (It should be noted that on free trade the Dems even surpass Marx himself who was in favor of free trade)

This arguement is of course just as dubious on a rational level. Free trade has consistently shown to raise everyone's quality of life, and it is dubious at best to link job losses in Ohio to free trade. Still, the correctness of the arguement is not now the issue...the effectiveness is. Whether or not free trade cost anyone their job is not the issue, if you are a struggling manufacturing worker in Ohio, someone preaching protectionism and telling you they will bring back the jobs those dirty foreigners stole is effective.

3)Employer/Employee

Unions have long been a major constituency of the Democratic party. Thus, it is only natural that the Democrats side with the workers against management every chance they can get. No company has faced the wrath more than WalMart. The main reason is Walmart's refusal to unionize. Because Walmart won't unionize, the Dems have made them their enemies. Here is how one group allied with both John Edwards and Barack Obama editorialized it...


The national conference call, entitled a “Call for Change”, will highlight two of the Democratic Party’s brightest stars, Senator John Edwards and Senator Barack Obama, who will be speaking out and calling on Wal-Mart to put families first and become an employer that reflects the best of American values. During the conference call, Senator Obama and Senator Edwards will also encourage the 285,000 supporters of WakeUpWalMart.com, and all Americans, to continue the fight to change Wal-Mart and change America for the better.

WakeUpWalMart.com will also announce the start of its 6-week 2006 Holiday Campaign, entitled “Hope for the Holidays,” The goal of this year’s holiday campaign is to build community pressure on Wal-Mart to put families first and end its anti-family business practices and policies which hurt its 1.39 million workers, their families, and America.

Now, let's never mind that WalMart employees nearly two million Americans and provides splendid savings for millions more. The so called "anti family business practice" actually means that WalMart sells their goods for less than the family businesses can. Furthermore, WalMart is a private company that is trying to maximize profits. Their goals shouldn't be to take care of the American worker or family. They certainly shouldn't be forced to. Only the free market can do that.

None of this actually matters because WalMart offers the Dems another opportunity to practice class warfare. This time it pits management against employee. Because WalMart refuses to unionize and drives out smaller shops by undercutting them, Walmart can effectively be painted as taking advantage of the little guy. That is the hallmark message of class warfare...the powerful take advantage of the weak. Then, the messenger steps in to right a wrong, and in this case the Dems want to force WalMart to unionize.

The second part of the Dems strategy of class warfare in management vs. employee, is the salaries of CEO's. Here is how Barack Obama characterized the issue.


In 2005, the average CEO in the United States earned 262 times the pay of the average worker. Put another way, a CEO earned more in one workday than an average worker earned in a year. In 2005, the average CEO of a Standard & Poor’s 500 company received a 16% increase in CEO pay over 2004.

S.1181 neither caps nor limits CEO pay but merely requires that firms discuss and debate pay packages for CEOs on a case-by-case basis with their shareholders. If a board of directors disagrees with the nonbinding vote of shareholders, the board can still go forward with the pay package. But at the very least, shareholders would have had the opportunity to voice their opinions about whether the pay package is appropriate.

Hillary Clinton sees the issue largely the same.


It is inconsistent with our values to allow CEO pay to skyrocket while workers’ wages and benefits are under threat. There needs to be greater public scrutiny of CEO pay, and more independence of Boards of Directors.

Now, Obama's idea is absurd. There are many times millions of shareholders in publicly traded companies and many don't hold the stock for any significant time. Furthermore, there are already regularly scheduled shareholder meetings where issues like this can be discussed. How in the world are thousands if not millions of shareholders supposed to add their input? Hillary, on the other hand, comes up with vague and undefined solutions.

Again, their solutions are besides the point for this discussion. What is important is that they have identified an easy target, fat cat CEO's, and they have demonized them. This is another classic Marxist technique. This merely updates the proletariat vs. bourgeoise war, and only isolates the CEO to represent all of the bourgeoise. Once again, the Democrats play on the natural envy and resentment that most workers have for their bosses, and they use it effectively to practice class warfare.

4) Health Care

Forty million people are uninsured in this country. This is another nugget that has become a part of th lexicon because it has been said so often. On the issue of health care, the Democrats have again effectively played class warfare pitting the poor against the greedy drug companies, doctors and insurance companies. Here is Barack Obama on the insurance companies.


The insurance business today is dominated by a small group of large companies that has been gobbling up their rivals. There have been over 400 health care mergers in the last 10 years, and just two companies dominate a full third of the national market. These changes were supposed to make the industry more efficient, but instead premiums have skyrocketed by over 87 percent.

Here is the key phrase for me...

There have been over 400 health care mergers in the last 10 years, and just two companies dominate a full third of the national market.

This is classic Marxism. Obama attacks capitalism, using mergers as the representation of capitalism itself. Of course, Obama would have to do that if he is to sell a socialist system.
This sort of imagery is powerful because most stiffs know that mergers involve huge dollars and most have probably never benefitted from one directly.

Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and most of the rest of the Democrats similarly blame the combination of greedy doctors, insurance companies, drug companies, as well as capitalism itself for 40 plus million people not having health insurance.

Their solution is of course universal health care, or socialized medicine. This is classic Marxism. In this case, the drug companies, insurance companies, and doctors represent the bourgeoise and the uninsured are the proletariat. Once again they preach about a system that is rigged to exploit the weak and they will swoop in with a system that is for everyone.

It is classic Marx to preach that under this system everyone will benefit. That is exactly what Marx promised, a system for everyone and not just the fat cats. Here, the Democrats preach naked socialism dressed up by the word, universal health care. It is classic Marxism leading to classic Marxist solutions.

22 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice post - but how do you propose countering a Marxist strategy?
The Baby Boomers are the first generation to actually rip our country apart, rather than advancing security and financial freedom for future generations. "Baby" Boomers is, in retrospect, is a surprisingly resounding label.
The previous generation didn't hold corporations with such contempt.
Are the Republicans so deeply beholden to the "powers that be" that they can't address the "change" that Obama inspires?
Of course, he won't deliver. But that's not the issue.
The problem is that, if the "middle class" continues to evaporate, I'd suggest that we'll actually see real "class warfare" in our lifetime, bloodshed and all.
Since you seem to have such a firm grasp on the history of all of this, I'd be interested in what solution you'd suggest for ending the "Aristodemocracy" that has taken such a firm hold.
Socialism is a horrible alternative, but corporate serfdom isn't panning out so well for the middle class either.
Nepotism and upper-class social networking reward status over talent, rendering corporate management extremely weak.
In this system, only an entrepreneur can control their own destiny. And these entrepreneurs represent the workers passed over by management in favor of this Aristodemocracy.
Americans have no faith in corporations, no faith in their leadership, and no faith in their government.
So, barring a racist verdict, my guess is that change will defeat experience (experience="bad experience" for the middle class).
Either way, if something doesn't change, we're all doomed.
Ask not for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee.
Unless you do own a private island :)

mike volpe said...

With free market ideas, and most importantly, by calling a spade a spade. If someone is trying to get votes through class warfare, then they need to be held to account.

The corporate system may not be perfect, but it is certainly better than socialism.

You said something very important. You said that in our societies only the entrepeneurs make it. That is frankly true of every capitalistic society.

If people are unhappy with where they are at, they need to take matters into their own hands.

Anonymous said...

"in our societies only the entrepeneurs make it. That is frankly true of every capitalistic society."

Gee, with friends like you, why does capitalism need enemies? Capitalism's MORAL superiority over socialism is that it makes everyone better off than they would be otherwise, since in a free society, no producer can make any profits until/unless they offer something that someone wishes to voluntarily part with their dollars to acquire. Sam Wall became a billionaire only by offering millions of workers and millions of customers a better deal than they could otherwise have gotten. Unlike the government, entrepreneurs have no gun they can hold to the head of their workers or their customers. That the POOR in this country have roughly the equivalent standard of living as the lower middle class in most European countries is real world proof that capitalism works: compare S. Korea to N. Korea, Chile to Cuba, pre-1989 W. Germany to E. Germany: socialism in the real world has repeatedly FAILED MISERABLY when put in "head-to-head" competition with capitalism.

Romius T. said...

From a Marxist persperctive the "competition" that capitalism produces is itselef class warfare. You admit as much when you say that capitalism has winners and losers. If you oppose class warfare you can't be for a class based economic system like capitalism.

I'm not suggesting that socialism is the answer, for Marx it was, but he would deny your right to suggest that the winners of capital's games are not themselves ingaged in class warfare. They are and so are the poor and deomocrats. Democrats and Marxists have chosen the side of the majority, you may disagree with that position, because you think it will result in lower productivity, but your choice to allow "winners" is a social choice valueing certain productive values over principles of eqaulity.

mike volpe said...

Let me reply to both at once.

First, I agree that capitalism does make everyone's life better, however it does reward the entrepeneur in a way that is quite tilted from the regular worker. If you think that the regular workers at WalMart made out like Sam Walton you are mistaken.

What you are talking about is Adam Smith's empty hand theory which I also agree with. That said, in capitalism it pays to be the entrepeneur not the worker, and frankly there is nothing wrong with that.

As to the second comment, Marxists may in fact claim that capitalism is in fact class warfare in and of itself. I don't much care, and I would wear as a badge of honor if a Marxist said that. That is frankly beside the point.

My point with this article is that the Dems are using the exact same tactics that Marx used to sell his brand of economics, class warfare.

Richard said...

I liked your post, but another thing that might be noted is what marxism traditionally does to those who disagree with the philosophy. Class warfare eventually turns to eliminating the structure that provided the economic basis to begin with. They will need another scapegoat when universal healthcare does not work, when curtailing CEO salaries doesn't increase workers wages, ect...
Marxist dogma usually reverted to silencing voices against it. The lack of incentive to increase productivity stagnated socialist economies. But hey, everyone was equal right? Wrong. Those at the top will always benefit the most no matter what system. But at least capitalism has never had gulags.

mike volpe said...

That's an interesting point, and I want to make it clear that I see the Dems practicing class warfare in much the same way that Marx did. I don't want anyone to think that I see the Dems the way I see Marx, however on this strategy they use it as effectively as he did.

Joshua said...

I'm interested in knowing what you people think of the socalled "scandinavian model". Breafly put, it's is a system of government that tries to equalize the demands of the collective and the demands of the individual. It's a system that has been highly praised, that we in scandinavia are fond of, that works and that has the scandinavian countries on the top of every list that mesures standards of living, education, trust in government, lov crime, economy you name it. It is also a system that you would call deeply socialist (i guess it's because you only know wery few words to describe political reality). But just consider this: Our economy is doing WERY well right now. And, something die-hard capitalists don't understand why happens, there is ever increasing investment and return on investment despite our relatively high taxes. Seams that having a "collective parachute" that takes care of the weak and provides support to the people actually helps the economy by making it stable.

You yourself admit that there is such a thing as a poorer class or working class, a middle class and - as you put it - "the successful people". Three "classes" that have sometimes opposing interests. Are you saying that the first two classes shouldn't fight for their interests?

Also, I would like to comment:

"That the POOR in this country have roughly the equivalent standard of living as the lower middle class in most European countries is real world proof that capitalism works"

Sir, you need to travel. Or read a book. Or just admit you don't know what you are talking about. I, a Norwegian, have lived in several European countries, including the poorest country in western Europe (look it up), as well as in the states (NY). Take my word for it, in case you are too lazy to look it up yourself, what you're saying is just not true.

Also, Romius T makes a excellent pint that you can not simply dismiss.

mike volpe said...

I never said each class shouldn't fight for what is theirs. What I said is that I distrust it when a politician appeals to one class by demonizing another. That is the class warfare that I am talking about. Karl Marx effectively used it to sell nothing more than a bill of goods.

We can get into a discussing the best and worst systems of economics however that is a topic only loosely related to my piece.

Joshua said...

As a person with a minor in philosophy, I'm not going to call myself a expert, I'm not. But this should be said: Marx did not "use class warfare" as a tool to further his evil plans of world domination. Karl Marx didn't "discover", or "think-up" class-struggle at all, he merely pointed to it. Saying, and rightly so, that a society that has children and slaves working in mines for 14 hours a day (as his had) is not a "successful" society, regardless of how much the mine-owner makes or how fancy his house is. The point is that morals apply to the economy as well, and not only to gay marriage and abortion as many would prefer it to. And morals apply collectively, not individually. It's not "be kind unto thyself" and "love thyself", but "love thy neighbor". Easy stuff, "Judge a society by how it treats its weakest" (Ghandi - if I'm not mistaken).

In our society we no longer have child labor or deadly working conditions or slave labor. This is a good thing. Might mean that GM is missing out on some revenue, but it's nevertheless a good thing. We do, however, have other issues to solve and address. And maybe 100 years from now people will look back at us and wonder, as we look back at London anno 1900 and ask; How the hell could they condone of children cleaning chimneys?

mike volpe said...

I doubt that Marx created class wafare, however to deny that he used it effectively is to deny reality. He pitted the proletariat against the bourgeoise and he blamed the capitalistic system for the travails of the proletariat. He told them that in his system they would share in the pie that capitalism left them out of.

If he wanted to speak out against long working hours that is one thing. You don't need to play class warfare to expose poor working conditions. He painted an entire class with one brush.

Joshua said...

I'm not sure that I agree. However, I'm not sure that I disagree either. To say that Marx "used" anything implies that he had a agenda. He did have an agenda, but I get the feeling that you are referring to communism - which is not something Marx invented or even orchestrated. Marx, an economist, was also a political figure, thats true. But more like a union-man or a voice of the "people" than a Lenin type leader and organizer of revolutions and creator of complex and (un)practical political systems.

"He blamed the capitalistic system for the travails of the proletariat"
Thats true, but also Locke did that! Actually, Lock and Marx agreed on a number of things, and a deep distrust in the capitalists (the people with money) was something they shared. The difference is that Locke believed that capitalism was the best of several evils, and was at least democratic in comparison to the monarchic past. While Marx, a strict egalitarian, believed that the workers could do better if organized as a political counter-pole. So one believed in a economical solution, hoping for the best in people, the other believed in a political solution, thinking that otherwise nothing would ever change. They both wanted the same thing, the wellbeing of the common man. But Marx believed in the free marked too. The idea was that one worker is not worth anything on the marked, but a million workers organized can barter with their capital (labor). Just that the "free marked" of Marx and of Locke looked nothing like the marked we have today. And to bring it all home: Thats why the scandinavian model works. And that's why it's not socialism, even though the state provides healthcare and regulates business through taxes (i.e. tax on over-pollution, tax on wages paid that go to secure pensions etc.). The marked is free to do whatever it wants within the borders set by a democratic senate. At the same time, the state must answer to the courts, so something like a patriot act is not possible, even if it has senate majority, and this also makes it possible for business to challenge state directly. A kind of middleground, so to say, between the left and the right. That's why I think america shouldn't be scared to move a little to the left, you'd still be right of center by far. That may explain why business is positive to Obama. Not so much because of his voting-record, but because a carrot to the American people is needed now. If the economy is becoming unstable, a "uniting" (as in someone people like and are not threatened by) charismatic leader can do wonders to quiet unrest, and instill sense of hope and security. Remember, in business terms "Hope" means = people are positive about their future thus they spend more money. Doesn't matter if the Hope is "real" or not, whatever that means, because if people feel secure and spend money, invest and are happy, the economy will better!
For instance, lowering taxes help business in the short term, but increasing them and investing in the populous may help in the long turn (healthier people, more spending, more working hands, etc.). The wealthiest nations of tomorrow will be the ones who create the best balance.

PS.
I apologize for the way too long post.

mike volpe said...

First, there is no reason to apologize for the length of your post.

I think we are now getting into wording and terminology that is sort of minutae.

Call it what you want, however Marx played the proletariat against the bourgeoise effectively. I can it class warfare. If you think he was doing something else that is fine, however there is no doubt that he sold communism as a system where everyone shared whereas in capitalism the bourgeoise were getting all the gravy at the expense of the proletariat.

Those are exactly the sort of tactics that I see the Dems using. I notice no one is challenging me on what the Dems are doing.

Marx is a side issue to this discussion because I employed him to explain why I hate class warfare. What Marx did or didn't do is not nearly as important as what is happening now.

Joshua said...

Look, I'm just trying to put some facts right. Also, since you are attacking Democrats, I thought I'd take the time to write a word or two about why the D vs. R thing in my opinion is stupid. But main thing is, and this is just an example, you wrote: "Ultimately, what Marx did was practice old school text book class warfare. He pitted the proletariat against bourgeoise. He demonized the bourgeoise and the system that made them successful and he started a revolution. For the most part, his marketing and political strategy worked. His flawed system gained a great deal of popularity for a while. It is for this reason that class warfare is among my biggest political pet peeves. I have seen with Marx the corrossive effect that it has."

Practically none of that is true. You're making Marx seam like a monster. He wasn't. You seam to think that he not only invented communism, but plotted and schemed to enact it. Neither is true. No one person put the proletariat up against the capital holders. Dude, look up 1848 - the biggest revolution of all time, cross almost all European countries. Is that because of Marx too? Go back and you'll find a revolution almost every decade to Napoleon and all the way back to the American revolution and beyond. Class war founded America! Have you ever read Tom Paine? How much more revolutionary and class-warlike can you get?

I understand your point. Democrats focus on class and sometimes they have a populist rhetoric that favors one class over another. But when you in order to make that point walk like a bear into a glass house smashing everything in your vicinity, the glass house representing facts here and the bear-shape representing your disregard for history, then maybe you should reconsider your arguments.

Also, if the Democrats are pitting one class against another in a campaign duel, that doesn't mean that communism is overtaking America. I guess it boils down to me not understanding the resentment between political parties in the US. Weather R or D wins in november, you're going to be fine. Mccain is a nice guy, Obama is a nice guy, Clinton.. Wel, ok maybe Clinton is not so nice but you'd still be just fine.

Ps.
Check out www.politicalcompass.org and make sure you take the test, you might find yourself surprised.

mike volpe said...

Apparently, you just said that I should get my facts straight and then pointed me to Tompaine.com, the left wing outfit, run by Bill Moyers son.

I didn't call Marx a monster, but rather a demagogue. I said he was an effective politician and salesman because he perfected the art of class warfare, and he did.

I never said the Democrats are trying to take us to Commnunism though many of their policies are socialistic. I said that the reason that I hate class warfare is that it was used effectively by Marx to sell a flawed economic system. I see the Dems doing the same thing and I gave the examples. You never challenged any of the examples specifically, but rather went on a long rant that defended Marx and talked vaguely about communism.

Anonymous said...

Excellent post Mike. I view capitalism as "equal opportunity" in that everybody has the same equal opportunity to succeed. The appeal of Socialism or Communism is the promise of "equal outcome" which can only be guaranteed by government control. Equal outcome is a very appealing proposition that has been tried over and over through history only to repeatedly fail and prove once again that theory and reality are not always the same.

Joshua,
IMO, the reason socialism works in countries like Scandinavia and Denmark is the population. When there is only a few million people, the implementation and management of socialist agendas is much more feasible than larger numbers like the U.S.A. ABC 20/20 ran a special about a month ago about the "Happiest places on earth" and Denmark ranked the highest. But, the show did point out the smaller population and the fact that nearly all the population shared the same demographical traits such as race, religion, etc. That leads to much less "tension" and baiting from politicians. How many times have we heard from Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson stirring up emotions based on difference? Mike also points out the same things happens with Democrats stirring up emotions on economic class status. It's easy and it works.

Hey Mike, along with "power in numbers" and "envy", don't forget ignorance which means:
n. The condition of being uneducated, unaware, or uninformed.

We can thank our government schools for this and creating the perfect trifecta!

Long live Capitalism.

Anonymous said...

Mike:

I can't tell whether or not you were joking when you alluded to tompaine.com. Just in case, I believe Joshua was referring to Thomas Paine, writer of Common Sense and other pamphlets that were extremely influential in inciting the American Revolution. I don't know anything about the site, though.

By the way, this is an interesting post, although I feel that that comes mostly from Joshua's contributions and your rebuttals in the comments section. Although you do have some interesting insights and ideas, your ultra-right viewpoints tend to interfere with the legitimacy of your arguments. If, instead of merely attacking Democratic principles and practices, you recognized (at least perceived) faults in Republican ones as well and sought to defend them, I would find your articles, especially this one, far more interesting and engaging. I cannot say, though, that what you write does not challenge and inspire me to think about such issues.

Shane

P.S. I realize this site is The Provocateur, and God knows you're doing a good job writing to provoke. In that regard, your articles are extremely impressive.

mike volpe said...

I am a Conservative and I won't hide that. That said, I took the conservative establishment to task for their hatred of McCain because he dared not be conservative enough.

That said, I haven't found that Reps practice much class warfare and so I focused on the Dems in this piece.

As to Tom Paine, I realized after I published the comment he meant the real person. I don't know what specifically Tom Paine did as far as class warfare, but that doesn't change what Marx did and that is why I hate class warfare.

Anonymous said...

The youth of this country are being indoctrinated by Marxism in liberal academia. To counteract this here needs to be readily accessible counter education that explains the merits of capitalism to the social whole as opposed to appealling to the youthful sense of victimhood and other psychological handles that Marxist Democrats grab.
The youth of this country is smart enough to see which economic system is better as long as they have the opportunity to compare the two in an educational and non-political forum.

Anonymous said...

One thing that has not been said here is the prevalence of entertainment available to society today. Even the so called poor today has access to more entertainment (that could be translated into happiness - circus for the Romans) than during any other time in human history. We should be a lot happier!

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