Report by Howard Myers
Dr. McQuillan’s main focus this evening was to take us through Karl Marx’s list of 10 things needed to overthrow western capitalism without firing a shot. This list was included in the Communist Manifesto published in 1848 and is compared to where we stand today in the US and in California. The ten ‘planks of the communist manifesto’ are:
In the US 40% of the land is owned by either the federal or state governments. In California the rate of government ownership is 52%, so less than half the land is owned by private citizens. With zoning and environmental restrictions, we still cannot use our land as we wish. He gives this one to Karl Marx.
Surprisingly, to some of us, the US has a more progressive tax than any other country. Scandinavian countries and even France have a much flatter tax rate than we do. California has among the highest corporate tax rate in the nation and even with Proposition 13 protection we still rank 15th highest in property tax. Again, Dr. McQuillan gives this point to Marx.
With the exception of a brief one year moratorium we have a large ‘death tax’ to prevent families from passing on their property to heirs. Uncharacteristically, California does not have a death tax. The abolition of right of inheritance is in progress.
This is largely in place with Forfeiture Laws. Many branches of local, state and federal law enforcement agencies and regulatory agencies are confiscating property, goods and money. Also, the IRS being the most aggressive collection agency in the country is actively confiscating property of people designated as rebels. This plank is also in place.
The Federal Reserve Bank has accomplished this completely. This point definitely goes to Karl Marx.
On this point we have made some progress. With the deregulation of the phone companies as an example we have actually moved away from this to some extent. The Net Neutrality act is a threat to our freedoms and a Social Networking Privacy Act being pushed in California wants to take our choices away from us. Also the California Air Resource Board controls much of our transportation systems public and private. Since we have deregulated some aspects of communication and the internet has not been take over yet Dr. McQuillan gives us half a point on this one.
The state has been taking over and controlling more and more industries which leads Dr. McQuillan to concede this point to Marx.
The modern version of industrial armies is labor unions. California is close to implementing a card check provision for agricultural workers, which eliminates the secret ballot when voting on a union. There is currently a 30% ‘over compensation’ for public employee union members, meaning they are paid 30% more than their private enterprise counterpart that is paying their wage. Karl Marx wins this one too.
Ethanol is a good example of combining manufacturing with agriculture. There are 5 – 7 ethanol production plants being constructed in California at this time. The fact that it takes 1.2 gallons of oil to produce one gallon of ethanol indicates how ludicrous this is. We must concede this point to Marx also.
This part has obviously been accomplished. As it stand now in California, as the schools continually ask for more money only 60% of the money given to schools ever reaches the class room. The point is that almost all of Karl Marx’s ten planks have been fully implemented, even more in states like California. In the 2011 index of economic freedom the USA ranks #9 pf 183 countries evaluated.
Within the US, in 2008 California ranked at number 47 of the 50 states. Dr McQuillan mentioned that Randy Barrett from Georgetown has recommended an Appeal Amendment which would give two-thirds of the states the power to repeal any federal law or regulation. There has been some interest by politicians but basically don’t hold your breath.
He closed his presentation by commenting that politicians only do what the judges allow them to do.
Dr. McQuillan’s presentation was well received and was followed by a lengthy Q & A session.
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