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Monday, January 5, 2009

Das Bailout: A Conversation With Karl Marx

James Pinkerton has had a conversation with Karl Marx, and you can read about it at HuffPo.

An excerpt is below:

KM: "So what do you want to know about this crisis of capitalism?"

Me: "Well, first off, are you happy with the recent turn of events here in the United States? The stock market has crashed, government spending is soaring, power is concentrating in Washington in a way not seen for 70 years. So are we moving closer to your communist vision?"

KM: "Funny you should ask. In fact, I have just been sitting here re-reading my favorite pamphlet, The Communist Manifesto, which I published back in 1848. I am going through my ten-point action plan that I wrote back then, which I called 'first steps' on the road to communism."

Me: "So how are you doing on those 10 steps?"

KM: "Well, some good, some not so good. One of my points, #2, was "a heavy progressive or graduated income tax"; unfortunately, tax rates are way down in recent decades. I was a lot happier when the top income rate was 90 percent or more in your country." He paused and frowned. "Damn those big tax-rate cutters, John F. Kennedy and Ronald Reagan!"

Then Marx brightened again. "But there are other points in my Manifesto plan that are coming along nicely, especially lately. Such as #5, 'Centralisation of credit in the hands of the State, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly.' Can you spell 'Troubled Asset Relief Program'?"