letter to the editor

Keep socialism and capitalism

Posted:  Monday, April 15, 2019 - 3:30pm

Dear Editor:

It seems that both capitalism and socialism are becoming dirty words. This is too bad as both are needed in a healthy society. People need an incentive to work to improve their lives, benefit society and be adequately compensated for doing so. We do not need a population waiting, like a bunch of farm animals, to be fed. This eventually becomes unsustainable for the system and is not good for people. This helped cause the downfall of the Soviet Union. The people did not do too well but no one starved. They had an expression, “We pretend to work and they pretend to pay us.” This was the problem with state socialism. There were also others.

Socialism, at its best, insured that no one fails unnecessarily, that those who try get a hand up and that those, the elderly, the too young, and those mentally and physically disabled, are provided for. State socialism, as in the USSR, is unfortunately the image that flashes before some minds when you hear “socialism.” A more recent example would be Venezuela in the midst of a change in its government. The gentleman who aspires to the presidency is desired by most of his people and acclaimed by most of the world. Trump opposes Maduro’s government, not because Madurd is a lousy president, a tyrant and dictator, but because he’s a socialist. A socialist is the least of the problem. But all the other things Maduro is or isn’t.

There is no way you can compare socialism as practiced by Maduro with that of Bernie Sanders or the ideals of Elizabeth Warren or most of the Democratic party.

Take away Social Security and other parts of Roosevelt’s New Deal and you have Charles Dickens’ England where you could end up in the workhouse, in prison or dying of neglect on the street. Go in the other direction – the USSR model – and you’re asking for mismanagement, over dependence and final defeat.

What we have, a meshing and cooperation of capitalism and socialism, has served us well. Let’s keep these two forces, socialism and capitalism, working together.

Frances Bredeau

Boothbay Harbor