When you hear the words “fair” and “fairness,” you know you are hearing Marxism wrapped in a velvet-covered brick. Fairness, as President Obama is using the term, is the center plank of Marxism:
From each according to his ability, to each according to their needs.
The slogan was popularized by Karl Marx in 1875. “The phrase summarizes the principles that, in a communist society, every person should contribute to society to the best of his or her ability and consume from society in proportion to his or her needs. In the Marxist view, such an arrangement will be made possible by the abundance of goods and services that a developed communist society will produce; the idea is that there will be enough to satisfy everyone’s needs.”
Marx’s slogan and Obama’s fairness rhetoric are like Silly-Putty. There is no specificity attached to them until it’s too late. They can be shaped to mean anything. When asked how much is enough to pay in taxes and what’s the definition of “fair,” politicians give blank stares. To most of them, it means “more taxes” so they can buy more votes from envious voters. Most politicians already have money. What they don’t have is power. They can use other people’s money to get the power they crave.
The voting public that wants fairness won’t benefit one dime from the higher taxes imposed on the rich. In fact, if history and economic theory can to be trusted, and they can, the people who want these higher taxes will be hurt most.
When the United Sates was in a similar economic crisis in the early 1990s, Liberals wanted to raise taxes on the rich, believing that the economy would magically revitalize. Congress believed it could painlessly raise taxes and help the middle class by applying a 10 percent luxury tax on yachts priced at more than $100,000 and on private planes that cost more than $250,000. The 10 percent tax applied to the amount of the cost above $100,000, so that a boat selling for $300,000 carried a $20,000 luxury tax in addition to any state or local sales tax (sales tax in California was 8.3 percent).
Keep in mind that these luxury items were being purchased with after tax income. Even rich people will say no to a purchase when the cost exceeds a certain price threshold, a threshold that cannot be determined by bureaucrats and congressmen, especially in a bad economy.
Congress believed that rich people who can afford the 10 percent tax would be helping the average tax payer who needs a tax respite. But it didn’t work the way Congress had hoped. The boating business was hit hard with numerous layoffs and bankruptcies. The rich people kept their money, bought something less expensive, or invested it while “Overall employment in the industry, including the makers of smaller, less-expensive boats, has dropped to 400,000, from 600,000 in 1988.”1 In their rush to fix the economy by making the rich pay their fair share, Congress created innumerable other problems.
Building luxury yachts was only one business damaged by the tax fairness doctrine. Like a good Marxist, Obama wants to destroy every profit-making business. He wants to make life “fair” for everybody. This will mean having everybody share in the misery of mediocrity except the politburo that will be called on to manage the disintegrating economy. They will become even more powerful as the nation disintegrates into despair. There will be calls for even more government intervention.
In the end, fairness would have prevailed, but people like Obama and his social engineering friends will still be dining on lobster while the rest of us will be fishing for potatoes out of a boiling pot.