Marx my words
By Hope A. Pasztor
"I'll help you out and relieve you of that 'burden', good sir," said the dashing young man in green tights. Unwillingly, the velvet-cloaked rich lord handed down his fat purse of gold, a grimace of anger searing across his wicked, scarred face. With a cocky bow, the sprightly young man took the clinking bag of money. Swiftly, he began to hand out the round shining coins to the crowd of starving peasants. A feeble child in a tattered tunic clung to the ragged skirts of his mother in joy and ecstasy. The sight of those bewitching gold coins meant that there would soon be food filling his empty stomach. "Mother," whispered the child, "who is he?" The young woman looked down at her small son, a weak smile playing over her pretty, tired features. "My dear," she said, "that is the wonderful Robin Hood. He robs from the rich and gives to the poor."
Robbing from the rich. Giving to the poor. It sounds wonderful, doesn't it? The gallant Robin Hood strikes again as once more, he redistributes money from the clutches of evil domineering lords to the hands of pitiful starving peasants. While the green tights and bows and arrows of Robin Hood's historical era have disappeared long ago into the past of Medieval England, the economic and political aspects of this redistribution can be seen quite plainly in present-day America.
Who do we have to thank for this? Mr. Karl Marx, political economist and founder of Marxism. Born and raised in Germany in the 1800's, Marx was interested in a number of great topics, and was considered to be not only a political economist, but also a historian, philosopher, and social scientist. He believed in a society where everyone was on the same social level, a society of complete communal harmony. Today, we know this as Communism. Much in the same way as Robin Hood's idea of "robbing from the rich and giving to the poor" seems charitable; Marx's theories seemed placid and harmonious. What's not to like about a society of equality? There would be no social boundaries, no evil lords, and no starving peasants. Everyone would have plenty to eat, and everyone would be happy, right?
In truth, Marxism simply tears a society apart. To achieve this sense of equality, anyone of prominent standing must be taken down to be on the same level as their poorer fellow citizens. While Marx's ideas claimed that everyone under this structure would be equally rich, it reality, it turns out that everyone is equally impoverished. High government control and taxes reign supreme; redistributing money from one pocket to another. Marxist-influenced governments, such as Hitler's Fourth Reich possess a certain ironic quality. If everyone under this Marxist-like rule is perfectly equal, then why do the leaders of such movements seem to possess unlimited luxury, while those in their control suffer so miserably? There's nothing equal whatsoever about Adolph Hitler possessing his fancy Eagle's Nest chateau in the Alps, while the rest of Germany writhed in muck of his Marxist-influenced policies.
Even if the leaders of such Marxist movements were wholly good-hearted, Marx's theories would logically be impossible. The previously-mentioned high taxation laws would drag the economy into a pit of hopelessness. There's nothing to motivate a person to work hard, if they're going to receive their pay check directly from the government. No matter how diligent or sluggish their labor, they get paid the exact same amount. Manufactures aren't going to produce quality goods. Both the supply and the demand for such goods will fall; the manufactures aren't going to have the drive to produce the goods, and the people aren't going to have the money to buy goods aside from bare necessities. Unless the human mind magically changes, Marxism will never be successful. People will always work for their own self-interest, not for the benefit of society.
You would think that such an idea as Marxism would have been long-abandoned. But, as they say, history repeats itself. We can never seem to learn from past mistakes, can we? We insist on trying out disasters for ourselves. Much in the same way as Marx promoted such philosophies of "equality", does America's very own president encourage the idea of redistribution. President Obama's idea of national, government-paid healthcare is an example of Marxist philosophies. Some people can afford to pay for healthcare, others cannot. Obama's idea to resolve this problem is to tax everyone, then redistribute this money out as the government's disposal. Sounds familiar, right? While Obama's personal intentions are great, his mode for carrying them out are ridiculous. CNSNews.com reports that "By 2012, nearly $1 trillion from the top 30 percent of American families will be redistributed among the bottom 70 percent if Obama's proposals on taxes, health care, and climate change become law, according to the Tax Foundation…when spending is included, the lowest-income households gain more than $2,200 while the highest-income families lose more than $127,000."
In the same way as Robin Hood stole from the wealthy lords, and gave to the poor peasants, does Obama want to tax American citizens with higher incomes, and give this money to those of us in the lower income class. However, there's a great difference between Robin Hood's method of redistribution and that of Obama. The peasants of Merry Old England were literally dying of starvation, and had no one to turn to for help. The "Salvation Army" of that day, monasteries and churches, were in just as much tribulation as the peasants themselves. Desperate times call for desperate measures; it was vital to redistribute the wealth in such a situation. However, in the 21st century, the poorer class of American citizens has a multitude of voluntary organizations and programs on which to rely on financial aid. Salvation Army, Volunteers of America, and countless local rescue missions and charity houses are all available for those who are in true need. People who seek such aid should turn to self-promoting voluntary organizations, instead of government-initiated programs.
On top of that, the Americans who make the most yearly income are not in any way comparable to the evil, conniving lords of Robin Hood's time. Whereas many of Medieval England's upper class gained its wealth by unjust and wrong ways, most wealthy Americans have gained their riches simply through the means of hard labor and personal initiative. Obama's idea of taxing the rich simply discourages the future generation from the idea of hard work. If having a high income equals more taxes, who will want to persevere in life? More likely, Obama's plan will actually discourage citizens from working their hardest. As was proved in the Communist economic systems of the previous century, government taxation creates government dependence. A society under Communistic or Marxist influence will end up in a sea of self-created economic turmoil. Robbing from the rich and giving to the poor may have worked in the days of Robin Hood, but it has simply failed in more recent times. Mark my words, it will certainly fail now.This is Hope A. Pasztor's first contribution to Enter Stage Right. Hope is a senior in high school and wrote this essayfor her Pennsylvania Homeschooler's AP Economics class. After high school she's like to purse fashion journalism after she graduates from Liberty University with a degree in English. © 2009
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