Is socialism a threat to the U.S.? One Utah congressman thinks so and formed a group to fight it

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  • Global Warner Provo, UT
    March 14, 2019 4:39 p.m.

    You can't make this stuff up! Chris Stewart continues to amaze us whenever he's allowed on TV. But this new so-called anti-socialism "caucus" is pretty funny. He needs to get out & travel the globe a bit to learn all the good things that have come from so-called socialism. You know, American things like Medicare, highways, fire departments, the public school system, healthcare, etc. If he ever ventured further beyond a parochial view to Norway, UK, Sweden, Germany, & dozens of other nations, he'd be shocked at their quality of life, strong economy, clean environment, happy families, economic well-being, longevity, etc. It looks like Stewart's simply mimicking Mr. Trump in attempting to spread half-truths. Maybe he's hoping Pence might be replaced with a newer, more extreme VP, & hoping it could be Stewart himself.

  • Clovis Fan Clovis, CA
    Feb. 20, 2019 11:36 a.m.

    I applaud representative Stewart for recognizing the danger to our economy and to our way of life that socialism is! Despite all our perceived problems, the U.S. has the highest standard of living of any large country in the world and is by far the largest economy in the world. The U.S. GDP is twice as large as the 2nd largest economy, China, and China has 4 times as many people. It is our FREE MARKETS and Capitalism that has built the U.S. into the most successful economy in the history of the world. It will be socialism that will destroy it if we continue down that path. Socialism has never worked over the long term. The U.S. economy is a largest producer of goods and sevices in the world, a large economic engine. Anything that slows that engine also reduces our standard of living. All anyone needs to do to understand which is best, socialism or capitalism is to 1) study history, and 2) compare the standard of living in socialist countries to the standard of living in capitalist countires today. It is easy to see that the higher the degree of economic freedom the higher is that standard of living. It is as simple as that!

  • quackquack Park City, UT
    Feb. 20, 2019 8:23 a.m.

    Quiet interesting Stewart denounces Socialism yet Utah is a state that is influenced by the Church. So denounce Socialism but quietly support theocracy ?

  • bassoonlady OREM, UT
    Feb. 19, 2019 2:19 p.m.

    one old man said:
    But it requires wisdom and work to establish and maintain the proper mixture. Just as the proper mix of gasoline and oxygen are needed to keep your car's engine running.
    Extremism -- in either direction -- is a disaster waiting to happen."

    Thank goodness there are some people with sense.

    In the end, both sides have potential for disaster for the average citizen. That is why we try and find a balance that works well.
    The scale:
    Communism is government "the people" run everything.
    socialism is government controlled private everything and tends to lean towards communism as it's extreme.
    Capitalism is private controlled everything, and tends to lead to fascism or anarchy as it's extreme.
    Fascism is a single party controlling everything.
    anarchy.

    Are the extremes on either side any different to the average citizen?

    This is why capitalism works, when it has socialist checks on it from the government. For example, We break up private monopolies, we regulate necessary monopolies such as natural gas and water, and have a mix of government run/private schools and other services.
    It's about finding the right mix.

  • railroader921 MSC, UT
    Feb. 19, 2019 11:51 a.m.

    I think Rep Stewart needs to take a class in political science before he starts proclaiming the virtues of our crony- neo liberal capitalist society over Democratic Socialism. Most millennials and for that matter most educated people can understand the difference between soviet-esque communism and real world public good social policies espoused by the DSA. We are not as stupid as you think we are. We want our country ruled by people who have the public's good at heart, and not the corporations market cap.

  • Skidney Garden City, UT
    Feb. 18, 2019 8:19 p.m.

    What's wrong with the comment I posted on 17 Feb? To re-submit...

    I agree with the comments of Light and Liberty, RiDal and especially TheRealDJT. Yes, America is gradually and surely transforming into a socialist society and has been for most of the 20th century. The rise of socialism is simply Big Brother taking more and more care of all the citizens, whether it's good for them or not (it's not). The comparison I heard back in the 1980s is quite apt: "A communist is a socialist carrying a gun. A socialist is a communist wearing a business suit."

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    Feb. 18, 2019 7:52 p.m.

    This is one of the pillars of Nazism - decrying communist/socialist movements, along with Xenophobia and attacking elements of our free society, the press, and DOJ. While they take control of all branches of our government under the guise of being 'right'.

    Trump may be National Socialism lite, but he and the cabal at Fox News are definitely following the script from the 1930's.

    It's time to call Trump's populism for what it is: New Fascism.

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Feb. 18, 2019 3:42 p.m.

    To Vern001

    re: "Nobody is talking about Soviet- or Venezuelan-style socialism. The Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortezes of the world are proposing social democracy, like the kind you find in Northern Europeans countries."

    Please stop suggesting that Northern European countries are in any way a reasonable objective for U.S. economic policy. These nations have populations that are a fraction of the size of a U.S. population center like Los Angeles or New York. They have built sovereign wealth funds that invest North Sea oil proceeds into the equity ownership of great U.S. companies such as Apple, Google (Alphabet), Berkshire Hathaway, etc. They are demographically and culturally homogeneous small countries with unique economic structures that are not fit for a large geographically and demographically/culturally diverse nation like the U.S. And without the incredible U.S. economic engine that has allowed some of their sovereign wealth funds to reach over $1T in value, these nations would be in much poorer positions.

    The left, including progressives like Obama and Socialists like AOC and Sanders, love to tout these nations as utopias. It's misguided.

  • banliberals Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 18, 2019 3:24 p.m.

    If you Democrats love Socialism so much? I am sure we can find enough Capitalists here in America to make your one way ticket to Venezuela a reality!
    Speak up who wants to be first........

    Crickets.....

  • Deseret Blue Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 17, 2019 12:18 p.m.

    Declaring opposition to a word ("socialism") is about the best way to short-circuit thoughtful deliberation over policies.

    Democratic socialism is not the same thing as despotic socialism. It doesn't take a political scientist to understand that, or maybe it does to some folks.

    For example, the US highest tax rates were much higher in the 1950s than anyone proposes to enact today, and yet no one thinks we were a socialist country in the 1950s. For certain, there will be winners and losers of any economic system. Are the average folks in the US getting their fair share of the winnings? Many think not.
    Rep. Stewart and the other conservative reactions are either uninformed or gaming the voters with scare tactics, and I'll bet that the answer is both.

  • Daedalus, Stephen Arvada, CO
    Feb. 17, 2019 10:30 a.m.

    @srssmith: just plucking 2 items from your list, the telephone and the Internet, shows how some of the world's greatest inventions and businesses depended entirely upon government funding and/or subsidies in the most oh-so-socialistic of ways.

    The world is complicated.

    America's economic and political model is complicated.

    The more it is reduced to jingoistic slogans and simplistic thinking, the more confusing and frustrating it will be. See "Build the Wall" chanting, for example.

    Or not.

  • srsmith , 00
    Feb. 16, 2019 10:26 p.m.

    At first, I was wondering why this congressman is doing what he is doing. After reading the comments, I know why. Let's take a look at few inventions in America over the last 150 years or so that changed the world.

    Lightbulb
    Telephone
    Cars
    Hearing Aids
    Cardiac defibulators
    Open heart surgery
    Virtually ever medical advancement in the last 150 years
    Personal Computers
    Email
    Internet
    Cell phones

    These are just a few of the great inventions that changed the world. Why were they all invented in America? Because of our system!

    Freedom from government and the pursuit of the American dream.

    Why do millions of people want to come live here (Including many from Europe still today)? Because of our system! The American Dream is alive and well! You have more opportunity to prosper in this country than any other country in the history of the world!

    Redistributing wealth is evil and always has been. Our country was not build on redistributing wealth.

  • bluecollar Kearns, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 9:59 p.m.

    So there's this problem we have with definitions.
    Venezuela nationalized its oil industry and used the profits to pay for government services. And we call that socialism. When the price of oil started to fall, so did Venezuela's government. OK, so let's not nationalize our oil industry. Or any other industry, for that matter. Like the lottery. Let' s not allow states to run lotteries and use the funds to pay for public schools.
    Congressman Stewart can look close to home for windmills to fight. Like in Idaho.
    On the other hand, when government officials pass laws that benefit corporations more than the people who work for them; we can define that as fascism.
    Again, Congressman Stewart would not have far to go fight that battle.
    And when workers are forced, through payroll withholding, to fund a for-profit company that monopolizes the government-mandated service of helping workers who are injured on the job, he can look in his own back yard. DWS.
    I'm still not sure I understand the definition of capitalism. It seems to define a system wherein a handful of really wealthy people do everything they can to forward fascism or socialism or whatever is in their interest at the moment.

  • phoenix Gilbert, AZ
    Feb. 16, 2019 9:48 p.m.

    Daedalus, Stephen - Arvada, CO
    Feb. 16, 2019 6:52 p.m.
    “Anyone who own shares of stock in large corporations benefits from the sort of socialism that will -never- be criticized in Rep. Stewart's after-school club.”

    One of the dumbest claims I’ve ever heard.

  • The Great Helmsman Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 9:26 p.m.

    I never thought I’d agree with Tucker Carlson, but he nailed it when it comes to GOP views on the economy and foreign policy, views endorsed by Stewart:

    “Republicans have considered it their duty to make the world safe for banking, while simultaneously prosecuting ever more foreign wars.”

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 8:44 p.m.

    @franc
    "People use Sweden, Denmark, Canada etc as shining examples of what “free health care / Socialism” represents. Sweden is a country of 7 million, Denmark: 4 million, Canada: 36 million. We are a country of over 310 million people!! "

    Japan has 126 million. And it doesn't matter because yeah our system would have to pay for 9x as many people as Canada's... but we'd have 9x more people paying into it.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 8:42 p.m.

    The Iron Curtain line is telling. Some interpret socialism as the USSR. Some interpret socialism as nations like Canada. The surging popularity of socialism is primarily people thinking of Canada and Western Europe.

  • Light and Liberty St George, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 8:31 p.m.

    America is a Republic. Socialism is an evil that has become a part of the fabric of America, almost single handedly destroying the greatest bulwark against poverty the world has ever known. From FDR's Social Security to LBJ's the great society, Socialism has worked its magic almost to the point of no return. Obamacare was the latest torpedo. People are demanding more goods and services without wanting to pay for them. Social Security will soon run dry despite all our Socialist planners (ie patronizing politicians) telling us what a wonderful program it was as it robbed laborers from their rightful property. One criticism that warrants discussion is how some of our free market Capitalists have used the power of the government to destroy competition. So, rather than suffer the delusion of having us all 'get along' by 'looking after each other' as Socialism prates itself as doing, we should return to a true free market that stifles greed better than any other system, rid ourselves of Obamacare and other government Socialist adventures, ban Corporate government liaisons, and promote individual responsibility, service, and following the golden rule. Stay a Republic!

  • kmike las vegas, NV
    Feb. 16, 2019 8:29 p.m.

    Rep Stewart is out of Touch, We already live in a Semi-Socialist Society.

    Did you or your Kids go to Public School?

    Are you Protected by a Police Dept, Fire Department?

    Do you drive on Public Roads?

    All these are examples of Socialism, Everyone pays, Everyone uses.

    The progressive agenda is long overdue.

    If this current Administration has taught us anything is that Democracy is being used to Benefit those in Power.

    This is not a Party Issue this is a Moral Issue.

    We cannot let our freedoms be trampled on by those who can buy what they want.

    The biggest Problem RIGHT NOW, is wages have been not rising to keep up with Inflation.

    In the 1980 if wages were keeping up with Inflation then the Minimum Wage would be over $19.

    Both Parents have to work, Prices on Necessities are out of Control.

    So Yes the Government must do something.

    People want, Medicare for All, A living wage, Lower Drug Prices, and the Right to go to College.
    This is a Moral Problem.

  • Harline Still Open Kaysville, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 8:20 p.m.

    Socialism would start a civil war. We love our freedom too much to tolerate a downgrade like that.

  • Justiciaparatodos Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 8:04 p.m.

    No one seriously wants a "free" healthcare system. We just want one that is affordable, one that doesn't consume so much of our gross domestic product, one that isn't based on creating kings and empires and fortunes on the backs of people who get sick!

    We just want a healthcare system whose objective is to help people try to stay more healthy and to not bankrupt them when they do happen to get sick.

    It can be done but it will require some regulation, more competition, and less greed!

  • TheRealDJT Sandy, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 7:30 p.m.

    We need to remenber that socialism "is" communism.
    Socialism is the transition condition between "free markets" and full communism, just exactly as the communists theorists envisioned it. (Don't believe me...look up the definitions. )

    But, of course, all the prior failed socialist /communist experiments weren't "true socialism"...right ?

    But the new group of American socialists will finally get it right! ....Right ?

  • Astoria Jim Mamaroneck, NY
    Feb. 16, 2019 7:08 p.m.

    It is ironic that Ocasio-Cortez and her allies are playing into the hands of those who would equate 'social benefit programs', which have succeeded in northern Europe with what is going on in Venezuela, which is not socialism at all but just outright corruption and thievery
    In the 1930's, Social Security was reviled as socialism, yet where would America be today without it?
    In the 1960's, Medicare was condemned as 'socialized medicine'. Go on You Tube to find a tape of Ronald Reagan lamenting its imminent passage, and saying that years from now Americans would be regretting that Medicare was ever enacted.
    Somehow, I think an 80-year-old couple who would have lost their home and their life savings if not for Medicare would disagree with The Gipper.
    America's social programs are more like a safety net, to protect citizens from danger, than a hammock, which is more a place for a lazy person to while away their life.

  • dulce et decorum est , 00
    Feb. 16, 2019 7:07 p.m.

    @ RiDal

    "Socialism is 'a form of government which controls the means of production and the distribution of wealth'."

    No, actually that is the definition of State Capitalism often confused with Socialism, but it is not Socialism. A sector of the economy is socialist to the extent that workers control the means of production.

  • Daedalus, Stephen Arvada, CO
    Feb. 16, 2019 6:52 p.m.

    Anyone who own shares of stock in large corporations benefits from the sort of socialism that will -never- be criticized in Rep. Stewart's after-school club.

    For example, as a shareholder in a large corporation, I benefit when the upside opportunities to profit are unfettered by government, while the economic consequences of bad bets or the company's poor execution are socialized. Either directly, with bailouts when needed, or indirectly via tax policy, including highly targeted loopholes.

    I also benefit when the government erects barriers to entry by competitors in the company's market. Or treats the company/service as a "natural monopoly" where a modest profit over decades is guaranteed by the government, with trivial need to spend on innovation, marketing or other costs typical of free market capitalism.

    American capitalists are very comfortable with some socialist principles and actions by the government.

    The benefits corporations can secure from the government diminish if they must share with ordinary citizens.

    So we get the drama & pearl-clutching such as from Rep. Stewart.

    The pendulum will swing, despite these predictable annoyances.

    Relax. It will swing back.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 5:21 p.m.

    It is a bit appalling that our education system has apparently not taught us what socialism actually is.
    All "cooperative actions" of a society are *not* "socialism. Any form of society can decide to have a military, schools, social programs, etc.
    Socialism is "a form of government which controls the means of production and the "distribution of wealth'.
    So, for example, schools are not "socialist". A basic welfare system is not "socialist". A miltary is not "socialism".
    It becomes socialist when the government starts using a highly progressive tax rate as a policy to redistribute the wealth and uses its power to attempt to control corporations (the means of production). Certainly nothing in any society is absolutely pure. But trends are "socialist" to the extent that they remove freedom and give power to the government.

    Socialists believe that "income inequality" is automatically bad. But I personally am glad that people like Bill Gates and corporations like Amazon invent, create and market products and services that we like so much that we are freely willing to give them our money because of the *value* they provide.

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 5:23 p.m.

    The law of the jungle (survival of the fittest) is the most fundamental and unchangeable law in the universe. Capitalism is the law of the jungle in human terms. And so is every other “ism”.

    The war between the Capitalists and the Socialists is the same war as the war of the Lions and the hyenas. The life of the Wildebeest is not much different no matter which wins.

  • rlynn Brandon, FL
    Feb. 16, 2019 5:15 p.m.

    First off It seems to me people are using socialism in place of communism . The old USSR was a communism country not a socialist one like the article stated. China or Cuba both are communism advocates that all property is publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their abilities and needs. While socialism advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole or government. Everyone talks about Venezuela, bad government leaders lead to take over the government. Look at Japan and the western European Governments. I don't understand why health should be a for profit making item. I would rather die a painful death than to be an item that someone or company is making a profit from.

  • one old man MSC, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 5:15 p.m.

    Before anyone posts a comment in opposition to "socialism," they really should make an effort to learn the truth.

    Socialism and Capitalism are simply not mutually exclusive.

    Successful countries around the world are careful mixes of the two.

    America is.

    But it requires wisdom and work to establish and maintain the proper mixture. Just as the proper mix of gasoline and oxygen are needed to keep your car's engine running.

    Extremism -- in either direction -- is a disaster waiting to happen.

  • Meckofahess Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 4:28 p.m.

    @wrz

    You shared this partially accurate description: "With socialized medicine the government controls everyone's health. It can decide whether you receive healthcare and what kind. It can also decide when you should die... if keeping you here costs too much money".

    You exaggerate, there are checks and balances in socialized healthcare systems that you don't discuss.

    Remember, in our American Healthcare System, the "providers" can charge whatever they want for services - there isn't true competition. If you get really sick and you don't have insurance, the system will bankrupt you. If you do have insurance, the co-payments and premiums will deprive you of much of your otherwise disposable income. That's fine if you are wealthy - but not if your middle class.

    We need a reformed healthcare system that contains big elements of a single payer system and big checks and balances on drug companies, insurance companies and providers.

  • GrainOfSalt Draper, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 4:26 p.m.

    @Brave Sir Robin--Huh? Please give some examples. While you are at it, please define conservatism. Is it the opposite of socialism?

    Comments have said that local police, fire departments, public libraries, etc., are examples of socialism at work. Actually, no, that isn't socialism. This is a vibrant society where the local communities sets the priorities through the election of local leadership. Socialism in the context of AOC, Bernie Sanders, etc., eliminates the authority of the local governments. It also 1) eliminates personal motivation to excel and improve one's station in life, 2) eliminates personal responsibility (a livable wage for all, whether you work or not, etc.), 3) tries to eliminate the risk of failure (which ironically sets people up to fail even more), 4) forces everyone to be "equal" per their definition--and if you don't fit their definition you become the object of persecution.

    Ironically European countries that are cited as socialist gained their wealth through free market policies and have migrated towards more socialist policies in the last couple of decades. Some of them have realized their folly and are moving back to a more market-based approach.

  • franc Kirkland, WA
    Feb. 16, 2019 4:01 p.m.

    It’s curious that Americans equate Socialism with health care. It is so much more and so much worse than the delivery of health care. People use Sweden, Denmark, Canada etc as shining examples of what “free health care / Socialism” represents. Sweden is a country of 7 million, Denmark: 4 million, Canada: 36 million. We are a country of over 310 million people!! Venezuela is 32 million and has failed miserably. You cannot believe that the US is capable of providing a successful Socialistic government and “free” health care to its citizen. Impossible.

  • Lew Elton Jeppson Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 4:00 p.m.

    Rep Stewart like almost everyone has no knowledge of Karl Marx. Find "Marx Lives" on YouTube.

  • Sanefan Wellsville, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 3:39 p.m.

    As my dear departed dad used to say, "anyone who supports socialism is a quitter looking for a free ride in life." I think he nailed it perfectly.

  • Pooh Bear Bella Vista, AR
    Feb. 16, 2019 3:13 p.m.

    I am beyond stunned by those commenting here espousing the "virtues" of socialism or citing supposedly "free" European countries practicing socialism. Virtues of a godless system do not exist. Past and present history demonstrate that in spades. Based on my living in Germany, most Germans, for instance, could care less what form of government they have as long as they have schnapps on the table and a BMW in the garage. If the folks here are really for socialism, please feel free to move overseas and try it out for a while; my guess is you will have second thoughts, or at least you should. Benson, McKay, Romney, Clark,Lee, and others accurately called it like it is - socialism and its near cousin communism, are evil, period.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 3:04 p.m.

    So capitalists if you don't want socialism you've got to stop the concentration of wealth at the top. But you can't stop it. And least you refuse to consider it. So some form of socialism is coming whether Stewart likes it or not. I am certain of this.

  • one old man MSC, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 3:01 p.m.

    There are NO purely capitalistic nations anywhere.

    EVERY successful country is a mixture of the two.

    There are some aspects of socialism that work very well.

    Think of such things as fire and police departments.

    Roads.

    Sewer and water systems.

    The list goes on and on.

    Trouble is that the GOP is trying to protect Republican socialism : Socialize expenses - Privatize profits.

    Although I disagree with some of what BlackAttack posted 10:36, he has the right idea.

    What we really need to do is join hands and work to find ways that we can use our bountiful resources to WISELY provide resources and programs that will help ALL of us and our neighbors.

    American capitalism has been hijacked by greed.

  • wrz Springville, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 2:49 p.m.

    @louie: "Please some one explain to me that European countries, Japan and Canada are doomed because of socialized medicine."

    With socialized medicine the government controls everyone's health. It can decide whether you receive healthcare and what kind. It can also decide when you should die... if keeping you here costs too much money.

  • Golden Rules Okay, OK
    Feb. 16, 2019 2:02 p.m.

    Just like technology advances when there is a financial reward for those that find a way to provide it, medicine and medical treatment works in similar ways. Sure there are good people that will sacrifice some of their time and money to help improve the health of others, but that is not the same as corporations combining the resources of many people to make medical advances that they can provide (sell) to hospitals, doctors, etc. by being better than what is already available.

    Socialized medicine can make what we already have available to all, but will slow new developments.

    We can make what we already have available to all by providing Medicare and Medicaid to those who can't afford care, but we don't have to create a system of socialized medicine to do that. Maybe liberalizing how many people qualify for Medicare and Medicaid is the answer. Or perhaps make caring for those on Medicare and Medicaid more attractive to providers.

  • PDN SALT LAKE CITY, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 1:45 p.m.

    The GOP had the opportunity to really address issues that effect regular people like the escalating costs of healthcare and health insurance and the inequity in favor of the uber wealthy in the tax code. Instead of addressing these issues in a way that helps regular people they gave huge tax relief to corporations and the wealthiest at the expense of regular people and increasing deficits. Over 22 trillion in national debt. Two consecutive years of increasing debt. Do your job Congressman.

  • Fabulous Jen Eagle Mountain, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 1:34 p.m.

    Stewart would find better use of his time worrying about . . .

    . . . supercalifragilisticexpialidociousism!

  • ScottChristianBauer Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 1:17 p.m.

    If Rep. Stewart or anyone else thinks today's democratic socialism is worse than the political system that currently engulfs the U.S., they're sadly and woefully mistaken. I would gladly take democratic socialism over Trump's America any day!

  • Maximus Meridius Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 12:19 p.m.

    I lived in Canada for a year the the healthcare stunk. Long waiting times and mediocre services. You know what Lenin, Trotsky, and Stalin called their government type right after the revolution of 1917.....Democratic Socialism. We all saw the results of what that brought to the Russian people. Socialism has no place in America. For those wanting such please move to Europe and support those nearly bankrupt countries. Or maybe Venesuela or Cuba would be a better fit.

  • banliberals Bountiful, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 11:22 a.m.

    Socialism is alive and well in the Democratic Party and always has been.......

    Talk about Russian collusion, all Democrats would vote for Putin if he were runnning!

    Obama loved Castro,

  • blackattack Orem, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 10:36 a.m.

    Why do millennials so gladly accept socialism? Because the Baby Boomer generation has taken capitalism to a negative extreme. Corporate welfare, extreme concentration of wealth in the hands of a few, greed and corruption, special interest groups and PACs influencing politics protecting the older generation and not the new. It's no wonder why millennials, who were promised a stong economic future after incurring debt for their education have learned it was a deception. The negative parts of capitalism are to blame.

    With that being said, socialism removes freedom. It takes money from the middle and upper classes and gives it to those who have not earned it. It removes the giver from the receiver and leads many feeling entitled. Socialism is fraught with abuse and fraud and destroys self reliance. Despite the failings of capitalism, socialism leads to a less free society. I have lived in a socialist country, and have seen urban areas here in Utah, and the thing they have in common is no sense of community. Why help your neighbors when the government will do it for you?

    We need to reign in capitalism and regulate against greed and corruption. But socialism is not the answer!

  • Sharkey Layton, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 9:52 a.m.

    Everything needs to be in balance and everything cycles. The US actually has swung too far right and needs to re-center, in my opinion.

    The government exists to represent the people and act in phr interest. International corporations do just fine representing themselves. It seems to me that Republicans don't understand their purpose for existing.

  • EDM Castle Valley, Utah
    Feb. 16, 2019 9:13 a.m.

    @Miss Frizzle,

    I live on a farm and I’m very proud of the degree of self sufficiency we’ve been able to achieve. It’s a challenge that my family finds rewarding, and friends and family are highly impressed, which pleases us, too.

    However, in a million years, I would not turn my back on - nor deny to others - the very many social services that make our lives better. If my house catches fire, I will be grateful that I am not the only person fighting the fire!

    You also mention healthcare....We all know there isn’t one single American who is happy with our current system. Not one! You cannot apply a “do it yourself” argument to healthcare. As I mentioned in a previous post, no one in the world living with a universal healtcare system will trade it for the great American aberration - not even the North Koreans.

  • Flipphone , 00
    Feb. 16, 2019 8:59 a.m.

    Notice that those who promote socialism never move to a socialist country, such as Venezuela.

    Why is that?

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 8:06 a.m.

    I have enjoyed reading the majority of comments. I only hope that Representative Stewart reads them. Governor Herbert needs to read them as well.

  • Lifelong Learner Orem, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 8:06 a.m.

    Sadly, the comments section of this article only proves Rep Stewart's point. The American people (and their government "servants") have forgotten both the dangers of socialism and the purpose of their country's founding. The American Idea is FREE-DOM, not FREE STUFF. The bigger and more powerful the government gets, the less free its people become. The more we hand off the obligation to take care of our fellow man, the more we become uncaring and unfulfilled ourselves. I've lived in socialist countries, and they aren't happy. They aren't creative. They aren't leading the world in anything. And they certainly aren't free like we are. (Also, their much-vaunted "universal healthcare" is nowhere near the quality of ours.) It's nuts to me that the same people who fear an Obama or Trump overreaching their executive powers are the same ones that want to give ever increasing power and control to the government to run our lives. We must take take responsibility to help the less fortunate back for ourselves, and shrink the government back to a size that doesn't threaten socialism or totalitarianism, as outlined in the Constitution. I hope that Congressman Stewart is sincere.

  • cougar engineer Alpine, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 4:29 a.m.

    "he governs best, who governs least". Too much government control, against the will of individuals was the cause of the great American experiment beginning a few hundred years ago. In other parts of the world people have been dominated by strong rulers, imposing their will on the populace for so long the people just submit. Not here! The economic freedom we have here has been the envy of the world. Why else do so many people try so hard to come here? Unfortunately, we are now in a position similar to being in a lifeboat in danger of inundation from panicking survivors of a shipwreck. Lack of economic opportunity is the driving force behind the immigration flood. We can not allow our boat to sink, so we have to fight off the panicking flood and insist on orderly procedures, even at gunpoint if necessary.
    I believe our president is trying to protect the country, and has been trying to do so in the face of absolutely unreasonable hatred from opponents. Every reasonable effort has been stymied by haters both inside and outside his political party for two years. The loudest voices in the Democratic party are no longer Americans--just Trump haters.

  • EmmanuelGoldstein1984 Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 16, 2019 12:03 a.m.

    Predatory capitalism as practiced by monopolistic corporations in the US has produced the most economically unequal and insecure society we've had in almost 100 years. The top 1% of individuals own 40% of the nation's wealth. The three richest Americans have more wealth than the entire bottom half of the US population.
    Meanwhile, those in that bottom half struggle to get by. 79% of all Americans live paycheck to paycheck; 71% are in debt. An estimated 554,000 Americans are homeless on any given night.

    In short, the United States has the most inequitable distribution of wealth of any developed country in the world. And it has severe consequences on our standard of living: the US ranks #108 of 140 countries on the Happy Planet Index.

    Rep. Stewart's crusade against socialism is absurdly misplaced. We already have a lot of socialism -- the armed forces, public education, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, the Interstate Highway System, the postal service, VA hospitals, public libraries, fire departments, etc. Indeed, these socialistic services provide a cushion against the winner-take-all mentality of vulture capitalism. We Americans would be in despair without them.

  • explorer686 davis, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 11:53 p.m.

    This country would be alot better if we followed Marxist theory. "Socialism" is not really the term I like to use when describing the benefits of communism/Marxism. Anyways, this representative can believe whatever he likes, I didn't vote for him and he can't legally stop what I and many, many others hold to be true and beneficial to society.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 11:59 p.m.

    No, it's not a threat to this country. I posted a much more cogent, thoughtful and succinct enough post to this article earlier. You're not better off for having been denied it.

  • MissFrizzle Pleasant Grove, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 10:59 p.m.

    The original purpose of the federal government was to protect us from foreign threats. Not hand us food, healthcare and education. We should provide for our own basic needs. When you rely on someone else to do that which you have the ability to to do yourself, you give up your liberty. Look at North Korea.

  • vern001 Castle Rock, CO
    Feb. 15, 2019 9:30 p.m.

    Oh, for Heaven’s sake! Nobody is talking about Soviet- or Venezuelan-style socialism. The Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortezes of the world are proposing social democracy, like the kind you find in Northern Europeans countries. Those countries, BTW, have very high standards of living, lower income inequality, and rate high in the happiness scale. Oh, and they are free countries.

  • EDM Castle Valley, Utah
    Feb. 15, 2019 9:10 p.m.

    Utah politicians love hyperbole, and a black-and-white, good-vs-evil world view. Therefore, we have to “combat” socialism.

    In all things human it’s rarely one thing as opposed to another - it’s almost always a mix of things. Stewart rhetorically asks Presidents Putin and Xi Jinping to justify their governments - as if we in the US have no elements nor examples of managing some things in a socialist way. And vice versa: Yes, we all know about censorship in China, but if you want to see capitalism unhinged, I suggest you visit China.

    I do understand that American freedom can be the envy of the world. But it’s not absolute. Ask any person in nearly any corner of the world if they would trade their universal healthcare coverage for our aberration - and you’ll get a quick answer.

  • jparry Provo, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 9:09 p.m.

    To the extent that the word "socialism" means anything specific, it concerns the belief that government can actually do things for people. I think I'd rather hear Rep. Stewart and his like-minded colleagues spend less time telling us what they're against, and more time telling us what they believe government can actually do for people. I think that this is the question on the minds of many young Americans who express interest in socialism. The younger set have heard for much of their lives that "government is the problem" (Reagan), but they also hear about "government of the people, by the people, for the people" (Lincoln) and wonder why the people can't use government to solve pressing problems of poverty, equal access to education, climate change, and many others.

    I think a number of them are asking why government is only good for building walls, cutting taxes on people who have tons of money and taking away health care benefits from those who don't. They and I would like to hear Rep. Stewart tell us what he things government can do to actually solve those problems so that we can decide if he truly represents the people of this state.

  • samhill Salt Lake City, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 8:44 p.m.

    "Is socialism a threat to the U.S.? "
    ==========

    Yes, it is. Just as it is to virtually every other country whose made the foolish mistake of trying it.

    Of course, the term "socialism" has become very loaded and it's very important to know what you're talking about when using it since it's arguable that any country which levies a compulsive tax to pay for social services (roads, schools, armies/navies, etc.) is socialistic. Consequently, virtually every country that's ever existed is a form of socialism.

    The real distinction that has arisen in the last 150 years or so is between economies that are based on free capitalism versus those that are centrally planned/controlled. AND, of critical importance, the kind of despotic/tyrannical controls that have been the emblematic characteristics of the latter.

    The main problem with the type of centrally controlled Socialism that we need to fear is not that it has such an abysmal track record of economic failure. It is the horrible track record of human rights abuses used to control the populations that have fallen victim to it.

  • durwood kirby , 00
    Feb. 15, 2019 7:53 p.m.

    Elements in this country are so obsessed with socialism that it clouds their vision for solving real problems. I would argue that many who decry this “existential threat” do not even understand the actual meaning of the term.

  • louie Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 7:44 p.m.

    Please some one explain to me that European countries, Japan and Canada are doomed because of socialized medicine. The majority of the economies are strong plus they claim socialized medicine it is more cost effective than our health care system.

    With regard to Canada I have heard Americans say that critical surgeries require long wait times and quality of care is poor. Having been in Canada and knowing people who live there I know those arguments are false.

  • [email protected] Tooele, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 6:42 p.m.

    "How can President (Vladimir) Putin justify his despotic hold on power when his people can look west and see that our democracy has given people freedom and opportunity? How can President Xi (Jinping) justify the repression of his own people if they are able to see our example and want the same thing?" Stewart asked.

    Quite simply, actually. Keep the people blind. China has this down to a science, and Russia has noticed and is starting to follow their lead by inserting their state servers on the edge of their country's network. Soon Russia will have the same amount of control over IP traffic entering or leaving their borders that China does. When you can't see the outside for long enough, you forget what's out there to see. Russia will push their citizens into an information gulag where people only get what Putin will give them.

  • liberate Sandy, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 6:06 p.m.

    If you want to combat socialism, you need to combat extremism ... on both sides of the aisle. Socialism and socialistic tendencies are a direct response to the extreme right that has developed over the past several years. And I don't necessarily even put Trump in that category. In fact it's interesting that many Bernie voters switched over to Trump rather than support Clinton in the election. Socialist tendencies exist on both sides.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    Feb. 15, 2019 5:56 p.m.

    Let's hope socialism becomes a bigger element of American governance. Conservativism has cost more lives in the last 100 years than socialism ever has including over 8,000,000 in WW2.

  • tabuno Clearfield, UT
    Feb. 15, 2019 5:49 p.m.

    The definition of socialism is filled with a lot of negative baggage. However, socialism could extend to the public in its own public interest deciding to have government regulate food and drugs, regulate air traffic, oversee interstate transportation, regulate utility companies, pursue drug and sex traffickers through the FBI, administer national museums such as the Smithsonian and the National Art Gallery, seek to land humans on Mars through NASA, oversee weather forecasting using government satellites. Perhaps, this Congressman might urge we eliminate our current socialist government. Socialism seems to have as its root word "social" which would suggest government involvement in social matters or community matters. Sometimes people would rather focus on their own personal happiness and activities while devoting some of their money to having government take care of essential or important services that are more efficiently undertaken by public servants in the public interest rather than corporate entities that are many times focused on profits and investors first.