Monday, September 15, 2008


Adam: Can I trade you for a steak for a few pounds of potatoes?
Karl: (brandishing a gun) No, I need those potatoes, and that steak. Good luck with dinner.


Karl: (brandishing a gun) How many steaks can you give me today?
Adam: I didn't bother making any. What's the point?
Karl: This is the point. (cocking the gun) Get cracking!

When we divorce production from rewards, we do not get any production. Make way for the guys with guns.

Joseph Stalin perfected the extreme version of socialized fairness. Maybe you think that Stalin was a horrible socialist, but, in the end, he was the only kind of socialist leader that could get people to work. If I can contribute according to my professed abilities and consume according to my professed needs, then I'll claim that I am able to work for thirty minutes a day if you can feed me enough rib eye steaks.

Today's politicians want "fairness lite." "I'll just take a few more percentage points of your income to help some deserving person, wasting half of it with my horribly inefficient program."

This is not a polemic focused on being fair to Bill Gates or Donald Trump. My focus is on enabling the little Gateses and Trumpses to innovate, so that they hire my kids--or maybe my kids will become little Gateses and Trumpses.

Karl Marx married the daughter of a Prussian baron. He sponged off his father-in-law, wasting a fortune while he wrote stuff that nobody wanted to buy and lived beyond his means until "Papa" cut off the money. Then Marx continued to write his unsuccessful books while his family suffered from malnutrition and inadequate medical care.

It is no wonder that Marx's idea (that profoundly affected the early 20th century) involved society paying Marx a lot of money to write unwanted books. And it is no wonder that Marx's brilliant scheme did not work for the countries that adoped it.

Animal Farm, anyone?

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