Karl Marx had been caught in a time warp. You know, the ones we see on old Star Trek episodes. He was “beamed” into the 21st century. I heard he was recuperating at a local hospital . I managed to get in and find his room. As I walked in I noticed he was grinning with delight and nodding his head in agreement to some TV show.
Me: Hello, Karl. What do you think of the 21st century?
Marx: Excellent (laughing). Finally. Finally the worker’s paradise has arrived ! The capitalist behemoth of the USA has a real communist leader. At last.
Me: Karl, why do you say that ?
Marx: Look. Look. At this Fox News . I have been watching for two days. This President Barack Obama is a communist. Thank god…oops..there is no god…thank the proletariat for electing this communist ! Workers of the world unite!
Me: Well, Karl, I wouldn’t get too excited.
Marx: Capitalist stooge! Look at this Obama and what he has done for communism. No more wars of imperial domination ! He is afraid to use military force. No more using the proletariat for capitalist wars!
Me: Well. He did bring most of the troops back from Iraq. But, he also sent even more to Afghanistan. And the US does have military bases in about 100 countries around the world.
Marx: Oh…well..but now all the “means of the production” are in the hands of the people. The workers control the banks. The bankers no longer gouge the proletariat.
Me: Uh…well, Karl. Not exactly. There was a depression caused by the financial sector. True. So, Obama and Congress did give billions of tax dollars to save the economy.
Marx: Yes. A classic “redistribution of wealth ” from the bankers to the workers! Communism triumphs. As I predicted.
Me: Actually, Karl. It was a “redistribution of wealth”, but it went the other way. The tax dollars from the workers went to bail out the bankers who then took that money and loaned it back to the workers at a profit. Banking profits at an all time high. Wages very low.
Marx: OK. But now the people own the factories, not the bourgeoisie. I saw on Fox News that the government bought the auto industry. For the people !
Me: Yeah…about that one Karl. The US taxpayers DID bail out the auto industry. But then Obama gave it back to the private sector. Another “redistribution of wealth” thing. From the proletariat to the capitalists.
Marx (getting a little glum): At least in the area of health care the people are now in power. Since this communist Obamacare, like they call it on Fox News, is now the law. Everyone gets free health care. And the proletariat government controls hospitals, doctors and all medical facilities. All are equal at least in that regard. All paid for with higher taxes on the wealthy.
Me: Sorry, Karl. But while the ACA did bring more of the …uh…proletariat into the health care system, millions are still not covered. And the government does not control health care. Another “redistribution of wealth”…from the working taxpayer to the health insurance companies.
Marx: …So…there has been no people’s revolution? No equality ? This Obama has not taken money from the wealthy and given it to the worker? “To each according to his needs” ? But Fox News says that Obama is taxing the rich out of existence. Power to the people !
Me: Actually Karl, the income disparity between the workers and the elites is greater than ever. About one-third of the major corporations pay no tax at all. But the workers still have taxes deducted automatically from their checks. And the part about “according to their needs” ? Well, you know, maybe the Koch Brothers just NEED more than a single mother working at Wendy’s ? Maybe?
Marx: So, this Fox News tells me Obama is a communist. Yet he redistributes wealth the wrong way. Are there other TV channels I can watch to get a more accurate picture?
Me: If you want a more accurate picture of politics than offered on Fox News, I suggest you start with the Cartoon Channel.
Marx: Hmmm…The wealthy are wealthier than ever. Obama bails out bankers. Gives the car factories to the capitalists. Sends billions of tax dollars to health insurance companies. Continue wars of imperialistic aggression ….One last thing. Can you get me back into the time warp. I want out of here. This President Obama…The Worst Communist Ever !