Comments about ‘Letter: Socialism, like salt’

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Published: Wednesday, April 16 2014 12:00 a.m. MDT

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Sandy, UT

I wish people would understand the definition of socialism before they state this nation is becoming a socialist nation.

embarrassed Utahn!
Salt Lake City, UT

I have profound respect, admiration and appreciation for our Amazing President Obama.

He is doing a fantastic job repairing the damage caused by Republican presidents....A daunting and near-impossible job!

It will be sad to see him leave office, but his successor will also be a president Americans can be proud of...well, maybe not Utahns. A lot of Utahns tend to be less-than-gracious in defeat.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

Capitalism is like sugar. Sugar sounds great! It's oh so tempting! It's sweet! But sometimes too much of a good sweet tempting thing is bad. In fact, sometimes you need other ingredients to counter the sugar. And sometimes, sugar just doesn't belong where salt does.

Ever try to make a cake completely out of sugar? It sounds like a great idea! After all, flour and salt don't taste good by themselves! Yet, without the flour and sugar, the cake won't take form and taste good. The flour and salt helps to counter what would otherwise be an overwhelming sweet taste.

Likewise, certain socialist restrictions and regulations help to ensure that capitalism doesn't overwhelm our economy.

Sometimes, sugar just doesn't belong. Have you ever tried to season your green beans with sugar? Corn on the Cobb, with sugar? How about season a steak, with sugar?

Likewise, sectors such as police, fire department, parks, recreation, military, and health care, are best left out of the hands of capitalism. Capitalism doesn't belong in health care. Let the sugar sell TVs and cars. But necessary services should be left in charge of the salt.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Where has this letter written been?
This nation has NEVER been more prosperous...EVER!

The problem we are experiencing right now is not a matter of how much there is,
but the HUGE dispairity in how it is being distrubted.

All the prosperity is only going to a very few people.

85% of all that SALT is in the hands of less than 1%.
The other 99% of us are left fighting over the remaining 15%.

Does the letter right know that over $100 TRILLION U.S. dollars have been taken out of circulation,
hidden and squirreled away into secret foreign bank accounts by just a few of these people?

No -- you have it all wrong.
It's not a matter of how much God has given us,
It's how some of his greedy children are not sharing what he has given.

BTW -- I'm not talking about "free hand-outs",
I'm talking about an honest compensation in the form of pay and benefits for the actual WORK being done for them.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Taxes were due yesterday. The wealthiest 1% paid 20% of all taxes. The wealthiest 20% paid 80% of all taxes. The "rich guy" is doing his part. He is carrying many people on his back. The government is stripping him of his wealth. He is not allowed to create jobs for others because his assets are being taken by the government to pay for social programs, programs that are not authorized by the Constitution.

Those who defend the social programs instituted by the Federal Government are willing to give up freedom for money. How much is the right to speak worth?

The current administration wants someone from the government to oversee each newsroom: "Titled the "Multi-Market Study of Critical Information Needs," or CIN, the FCC will send researchers to question reporters, editors, and broadcast station owners about their editorial decision-making, among other issues." (Breitbart). The administration has appointed Mignon Clyburn to lead the FCC. She is the one who promoted the idea that our newsrooms need help from the government.

Maybe that's not socialism. Maybe that's much worse than socialism.

albuquerque, NM

The thesis that underlies this LTE is wrong:

"Although private sector jobs, by necessity, provide those goods or services needed and desired by the consuming public (such production representing our nation's wealth) government expenditures consume that wealth"

The private sector simply adds profit (and in recent times, obscene profit) to the cost of necessities. Furthermore, there is no evidence that the private sector can provide these services more efficiently than the deposed public sector was able to (take education, for example - Americans have become very poorly educated in the era of privatization).

As long as wages are essentially stagnant, excessive profits simply push our system backwards and our citizens into deeper servitude (peonage to the corporations).

We are the government. Government expenditures in the context of payrolls and contracts (minus profit) circulate through the system better than do related private-sector expenditures. Profits from privatized businesses are sheltered off shore. Not used for job creation, not even used to pay taxes to maintain infrastructure to keep the whole process moving forward. Rather, corporations pay lobbyists to increase corporate welfare.

No. Private profit is not godly, it's evil. The underlying thesis of this LTE is corporate propaganda.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

Countries like Germany, Denmark, Finland, and Norway have highly productive capitalist economies and large social welfare states. In fact, I would say that it takes a highly productive capitalist economy to support a large social welfare state. That's the problem of Greece, they tried to construct a social welfare state on the back of a backwards, unproductive economy based largely on agriculture and tourism.

Bear in mind that the U.S. has, by far, the developed world's smallest welfare state. I'm not advocating that we become like Denmark or Norway, but there are some areas where universal solutions are more efficient than individual solutions. Health care is one of those.

LDS Liberal
Farmington, UT

Why aren't all the "Socialism is Evil" people crying for wars against:


Be consistant,
and show some integrity.

Springville, UT

@ Mike Richards, your selective use of the numbers hides/obfuscates a number of issues, including the growing income disparity that will further contribute to tax contributions. Weakening the middle class further doesn't help anyone. It doesn't deal with the fact that even the very poor still pay taxes. I am all for tax reform, but I wonder if you would be OK with that, such as eliminating virtually all deductions, or going to a modified flat tax. I wonder if you would favor elimination of many of the tax breaks and outright subsidies provided to profitable businesses. I wonder if you would support scaling back the military and national security systems, which dwarf so-called domestic programs. It's easy for the rich (perhaps you?) to attack programs that serve the weak and poor amongst us, but coming up with solutions is another story. Based on my reading of your comments along the way, it seems to me that you favor a Darwinian survival of the fittest model. That approach has been utter rejected by this country, going back well over a century. Thank goodness.

Salt Lake City, UT

Mike R:

You say "The government is stripping [the rich guy] of his wealth." If that were the case, we would see a reduction in the growing inequality of wealth distribution. All the evidence points the other way.

You say "[The rich guy] is not allowed to create jobs for others." So how do you explain the creation of millions of jobs over the last few years?

Your mythical rich guy who is carrying many people on his ample back is not suffering as you claim.

Thid Barker
Victor, ID

"The problem with socialism is that sooner or later they run out of other people's money to spend", Margaret Thatcher. Doesn't a $17.4 trillion and growing by $5 billion a day mean ANYTHING to you socialists? You are already out of our money and now you are spending our grandchildren's money! Where does it end for you?

Salt Lake City, UT

Re: Mike Richards

"The wealthiest 1% paid 20% of all taxes. The wealthiest 20% paid 80% of all taxes. The "rich guy" is doing his part. He is carrying many people on his back. The government is stripping him of his wealth. He is not allowed to create jobs.... "

You guys on the right wing isolate the public sector from the private production process. You do not reckon with how wealth accumulates to the top 1% or 2%. Their profits and accumulation are created by the exploitation of labor, not fully paying their hired labor for the value they add, which increment is surplus value. So while its true the top 1% pay 20% of all taxes, they are ripping off labor in the private arena like crazy. Consider that they did just fine thank you when the top marginal income tax rates were 91%!

The top wealth brackets are not creating jobs in the U S. because they are investing in low wage economies. Labor is getting the shaft domestically as usual.

Irony Guy
Bountiful, Utah

As the analogies proliferate, capitalism is like ketchup. It's good with fries. Just don't use it for blood transfusions.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

Greed, envy and coveting are not reasons to transfer wealth. We learned in school that if you studied hard, did your homework and attended class, you would receive a good grade, probably an "A". If you sluffed class, never did homework, and never studied, you would probably fail the class. Only those who "failed" wanted to equalize grades.

It looks like those who sluffed, who never studied, who never did homework now want to take the wealth from those who earned it. It looks like those who envy, who covet, and who are greedy want Uncle Sam to equalize wealth. Obama's tax forms show that he made well over $1 million per year since he entered office. He has no major expenses while living in the White House, yet he has not given away his money. He hasn't gone to the nearest McDonalds and offered to contribute his money to those who earn minimum wage. Somehow he thinks he's entitled to his wealth, but his followers keep telling us that the rich don't deserve to be rich.

Salt Lake City, UT

"The "wealth" of a nation is largely dependent upon how efficiently it can produce (or obtain via trade) the food,..."

Neoclassical economics, the economics generally taught in higher education, is concerned almost entirely with efficiency. Unfortunately only Marxists like me are concerned with distribution (equity). We have lost the system most of us boomers grew up in. We are now the Argentina of the north. I noted from yesterdays D-News that President Uchtdorf met with President Obama to discuss the plight of immigrants in the United States. This is a real and valid concern. But the entire American working class is under great stress due to a declining real wage (soaring surplus value). Would that someone in power would speak for all of us.

Hayden, ID

Marxist. The world has had its fill of Marxists dictators like Stalin, Mao ste Tung, Pol Pot, Ho Chi Minh, Putin and any other Marxist dictator. They scream about the "evils" of capitalism but don't mind spending the money capitalists generate and keep their subjects in line with gulags, poverty and murder.

Happy Valley Heretic
Orem, UT

Mike Richards said:
The wealthiest 1% paid 20% of all taxes.
The wealthiest 20% paid 80% of all taxes.
Well than why did I pay taxes Mike?
According to your math the top 21% paid all the taxes collected in the United States.
So the other 79% of the nation doesn't pay any federal income tax, you should run for vice president with Mitt, he'd like those imaginary numbers too.

Centerville, UT

And the math wizards fall apart.

The top one percent pay 20 percent of federal taxes, the top 20 percent which includes the top one percent pay 80 percent. 45 percent pay no federal tax. Which leaves you in the middle 35 percent paying 20 percent of the tax.

Is that better?

Salt Lake City, UT

Mike says, "Greed, envy and coveting are not reasons to transfer wealth." Those are the very reasons why the wealthy try like crazy to avoid transferring their wealth.

Those who advocate a narrowing of the wealth distribution gap are not necessarily motivated by any of those things, but by compassion for the less fortunate, and perhaps even by pity for the wealthy who don't realize how excessive wealth is destroying their souls. Beware the eye of the needle.

Centerville, UT

"Unfortunately only Marxists like me are concerned with distribution (equity)." Are you aware the Marxists are not all that concerned with equity. China now boasts the second largest number of billionaires at 152, china boasts a list of one million millionaires. Russia has 111 billionaires, Fidel Castro is worth over $900 million. North Korean elite live a lavish life style while many starve. All while proclaiming the benefits of distribution of equity. Why? There is not one Marxist country that has ever achieved real distribution of equity. The only real sure benefit of Marxist ideology is poverty for the masses. Lest I be uninformed and ignorant, name me on socialist or Marxist country that has no inequality of wealth with a range of a few percent from top to bottom. Marxism is an ideology that cannot exist in the real world ever. The promotion of Marxism is always by elitist wannabes that hope to ride on the backs of the real workers in society.

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