A doctrinaire visitor from a Marxist nation is not impressed by the vast quantities of merchandise on display at a shopping mall. "Under capitalism" s/he says, "workers are exploited --- they are not paid the value of what they produce, and so the stores are full of things which they cannot afford to buy. Under communism we do not have that problem!"

(an old joke, paraphrased from something seen in Reason magazine ca. 1982 ... )

TopicHumor - TopicSociety - 2004-06-27

Comment 27 Jun 2004^ at 15:36Z

Though it should be noted that Boris Yeltsin was essentially converted from (shocked out of) strict party belief when he made his first visit to the U.S. and experienced first hand both the material excess/availability and freedom of movement of the supposedly oppressed working classes.

(correlates: CryptoQuip, ArtificialScarcity, AsimovOnLibraries, ...)