United Press International reports the death of Korney I. Chukovsky, “the grand old man of Soviet literature,” whose fortune exceeded a million dollars. This he had gathered during a lifetime spent in a socialist society that frowns on capitalistic enterprise and supports the Marx-Engels thesis of the graduated income tax that would eliminate private wealth.

That Chukovsky was able to leave this fortune to his daughter and grandchildren is of interest also. And even more surprising to the provincial mind is the fact that in the Soviet Union the income tax is nominal—a maximum of 13 per cent of income, reports UPI, and a writer can keep most of what he earns and draw 3 per cent interest if he deposits the money in a savings bank.

If the Soviets keep this up, they will eventually become a capitalistic country; and if we keep on the way we are going, we will become socialists. History affords us the spectacle of strange ironies.

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