Invitation to Karl Marx’s 200th Birthday Bonanza

Joel Hernandez
Insights Newsletter
18 May, 2018

The candles have barely dimmed since his last birthday and we’re already celebrating Karl Marx’s 200th birthday, capitalism’s arch-critic.

Over the past couple of centuries, capitalism has come to dominate a large part of the Western world.

If Marx knew, he would be rolling over in his grave.

Or would he? Because our new version of capitalism goes hand in hand with Marx’s famous dictum “from each according to his ability, to each according to his need”.

In many countries, including New Zealand, the Government readily hands out and distributes wealth across the country as it deems fit. It may still be capitalism, but it is capitalism with a Marxist touch.

Once you are born, the state provides free health and education well into your early adulthood. This was recently topped up with a free year of tertiary education.

Then, when you retire at 65, they give you a SuperGold card with access to free public transport, including to and from Waiheke Island.

The bonus gift from the government is free ongoing advice on how to live our lives.

The Government really takes good care of us, but there are still some deplorable gaps over our lifetime where so far, we have to pay for our own stuff and make our own decisions.

This is where the Resolution Foundation comes in. The UK think tank recently recommended a £10,000 ($19,400 NZD) government gift to every citizen turning 25. It argued that such a ‘citizens inheritance’ would reduce the intergenerational gap between Baby Boomers (born 1946-65) and Millennials (born 1981-2000).

That’s obviously a good start. But in celebration of Karl Marx’s 200th birthday, let’s do things properly. Given everything in place, we are already half-way there. So let’s just fill in the gaps.

Starting from 25 you get your government gift of $20,000 to spend on a first home deposit or on an overseas experience.

Then again at 50 you get another gift from the government to help you deal with your mid-life crisis. Harley Davidsons for everyone!

And at 65, the government will also load your SuperGold card with a free cruise once a year to thank you for your contribution to the country.

You can imagine Karl Marx cheering in the background “you get a gift, you get a gift, everyone gets a gift!”

Hang on, but that was Oprah!

There is just one difference between Oprah and Marx: Under Marxist capitalism, everyone pays for their own gifts with their taxes.

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