Letter: A voice of warning about socialism

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  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    May 17, 2019 11:38 p.m.

    @Laura Bilington "And are you in favor of abolishing that dreadful socialistic institution known as Public Schools?"

    Public schools are not "socialism".
    Socialism has a definition: A system of government in which the government controls the means of production and the distribution of wealth."

    Public schools do none of that.
    A capitalist country can still implement whatever social programs and social service that it freely decides to create. They are not "socialism" just because they share the syllables "social".

    This is a frightening aspect. Apparently our education system has so thoroughly failed that people think "socialism" means "being nice to people" and capitalism means "being mean and greedy". In practice, it ends up meaning the opposite. No matter how mean a greedy a capitalist is, he cannot make any money at all unless he actually produces something that customers are willing to buy on the free market at a price that they feel provides a good *value*.

  • RiDal Sandy, UT
    May 17, 2019 11:31 p.m.

    Anyone interested in a contemporary comparison of socialist/communist philosophy can watch the online video of the debate between Slavoj Zizek and Jordan Peterson – entitled Happiness: Capitalism vs Marxism

    It is important to remember that, in spite of the claims that "socialism isn't communism" the fact is that socialism was designed as the transition period between free-markets and full communism by the communist theorists themselves. So socialism *is* communism.
    That is why communist Russia called themselves" The Union of Soviet *Socialist* Republics" and also why Communist China refers to themselves as "socialist".

    The 20th Century say the first direct comparisons of Marxist governments vs capitalist governments. The results were that communist/socialist governments murdered ~100 million of their own citizens while "evil, greedy, capitalist" systems created a society in which the biggest problem facing "the poor" is obesity-related disease.

    Food for thought.

  • RedShirtUofU Andoria, UT
    May 17, 2019 7:37 a.m.

    To "Onion Daze" who can't afford insurance? But then again, what good is giving people insurance if they can't use use it?

    Rather than focusing on insurance, why not look at costs for obtaining care.

    For instance, a while ago some insurance companies tried to run "grocery store" clinics where you could go there for routine issues and pay a small fee to see a doctor. You didn't have to have insurance to get the small fee.

    Other issues with healthcare are the high cost of Malpractice that Doctors have to pay and the taxes that pharmacutical companies and medical device companies pay. Then there is also the issue with the number of doctors in the US. If you want to make costs go down, the best way is to flood the market with competent doctors.

    Finally, according to pre-ACA numbers less than 10% of the uninsured didn't qualify for a government program and couldn't afford insurance. To help them the simple idea is to cut the regulations and mandates so that the price of insurance would drop by up to 50%.

  • UtahBlueDevil Alpine, UT
    May 17, 2019 6:46 a.m.

    Redshirt - publishing these headlines time and time doesn't really prove anything because it is just as easy to find headlines like this

    "Fed up with NHS waiting times? It’s even worse in the US" The Guardian

    Or you could read detailed reports like

    "Comparisons of Health Care Systems in the United States, Germany and Canada"

    It compares availability, cost, and outcomes across the three

    Or you could just read the wikipedia topic

    "International comparisons of waiting times in health care – Limitations and prospects"

    Posting headlines from "faux news" outlets really proves little. For every UK/Canada bashing headline, I can find equal number from the US about denied coverage or cost in the US. It really proves nothing. News organizations in each country are in the business of finding the failings in their own systems - its how they make money. But for good measure...

    "U.S. Federal Court Finds UnitedHealthcare Affiliate Illegally Denied Mental Health and Substance Use Coverage in Nationwide Class Action" March 5, 2019 AP

    The headline game plays both ways... and really doesn't help.

  • Onion Daze Payson, UT
    May 17, 2019 6:38 a.m.

    @ RedShirt

    "So what if everybody has "insurance" if you can't use it."

    Here is sort of a different version of the above.

    So what if some citizens don't have "insurance" if they can't afford it.

  • Utefan60 , 00
    May 17, 2019 5:46 a.m.

    Nice try Redshirt. Using the same old rhetoric that has been spewed out for yesrs.

    Yes there are waiti times in Canada. However Canada has spent a lot of money to speed up the processes, and retain new Doctors. (Please read more recent articles.)

    Now my question Redshirt. How many Americans can not even get on a "waiting list" becasue they have NO insurance? Like to answer that for us?

    How many millions of Americans would be without healthcare without The Affordable Care Act? That would be over 20 million.

    So Redshirt, you can show us the flaws of Canada's system, but you have absolutely no solution to the uninsured in this country.

    In Utah, this paper covered the deaths of several people who died because they had no access to health care.

    Canada may have some flaws, but at least ALL Canadian citizens have health care.

    Canada's premium for a two couple family is $93.00 per month. Now tell us Redshirt how you are going to provide at least basic medical insurance to the millions of Americans without coverage? You can't! So you will attack the flaws in a system that may not be perfect, but does a lot more for it's citizens at less cost.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    May 16, 2019 10:19 a.m.

    To "Utefan60" you are wrong. It is a problem that the Canadian Medical Association is concerned with.

    See "Death on the waiting list for cardiac surgery" produced by the Canadian Medical Association.

    See "The Effect of Wait Times on Mortality in Canada" by the Fraser Institute.

    See "'Unnecessary deaths' waiting lists warning" from the BBC to learn about deaths in Ireland while people wait for treatment.

    See also "Wait times for health care in Canada may be linked to increase in female death rates" in the Canada Free Press.

    There sure are a lot of studies proving that wait lists kill despite your claim.

    So what if everybody has "insurance" if you can't use it. We could have everybody in the us covered by insurance by saying that if you don't have insurance Medicare will cover you for insurance. Yes you are covered, but that doesn't mean you will get care.

    Yes, it is easy to explain why those countries spend less. They don't cover everything. They also don't have the research going into medical procedures like we do in the US. They also don't have the ability to respond to serious problems like we do in the US. You might as well ask why a Ford Pinto isn't as fast as a Ferrari.

  • Utefan60 , 00
    May 16, 2019 9:38 a.m.

    RedshirtCaltech your quote " To "Utefan60" Canada's healthcare system is also killing people as they wait for medically necessary procedures. The same goes on in the UK and throughout the world. Do you consider a healthcare system to be successful if it kills or injures people while running deficits?"

    That is an absolute, and verifiable lie. That old low information argument has been debunked so many times it is ridiculous. Canadians, and people in the UK (all citizens) are able to get health care.

    Your statement doesn't even pass the muster of low information Fox News anymore. They got slammed with statistics, so they don't spew out that anymore.

    Their health care is far superior to ours. Why? ALL citizens are covered. Are all Americans covered?

    So Redshirt, explain why millions of Americans who have NO health care options. None! What are their options? Your side has no resolution, just low information regurgitated falsehoods.

    Denmark, Germany, France, UK, Thailand, Canada, Mexico, and dozens of other countries have Universal Health care for all citizens at far less cost than American see. Explain that Redshirt. Can you?

  • Ultra Bob Cottonwood Heights, UT
    May 16, 2019 9:17 a.m.

    In my opinion:

    A lie is a lie. Even if you believe it, if you tell it to someone else, you are telling a lie.

  • SC Matt Saline, MI
    May 16, 2019 8:23 a.m.

    @Marxist:

    "However Marx's surplus value clearly shows most profit is made by capital not completely compensating labor for the value it adds. This is significant, don't you think? "

    What do you mean by "not completely compensating labor for the value it adds" and how is that different from my example?

    In my example, a business owner buys a tool which allows a person to produce 10 widgets in the time it would take him to produce 1 widget without the tool.

    Do you believe that the employee is entitled to the profits from all 10 widgets, and that the business owner deserves *NO* compensation for providing the tool?

    Because that seems to be what you're saying, and that is the downfall of socialism. Failing to properly compensate the contribution of tools / land / intellectual property to the production of a widget is just as bad as the failure to properly compensate labor in the production of that widget.

    And whereas I argue that labor should, and is, compensated, you seem to be arguing that the "provider of tools" (i.e., the business owner) should not be compensated at all for his contribution.

    One argument shows balance, one does not.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2019 8:15 a.m.

    Note also that Marx is NOT saying labor is being cheated! The value of anything or anybody is the labor time needed to make it or sustain it. Labor gets what it needs to sustain it. Labor gets its value. But what labor does not get is its surplus. Surplus value. That goes to profits.

    Labor produces a surplus. That's why we have civilization.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 16, 2019 7:59 a.m.

    @SC Matt "And then, for a reward in helping your employee make 5 times what he could make without the tool, you get to listen to him complain that he's not making 10 times what he could make without the tool, and that all the profit from the activity should be his, without regard to what it cost you to provide the tool that made him so successful in the first place. "

    Actually labor never does complain in this way. And BTW much of labor's added productivity is due to labor itself!

    I freely allow that the worker is probably better off under the employer - employee arrangement than he would be as a sole proprietor or tradesman. However Marx's surplus value clearly shows most profit is made by capital not completely compensating labor for the value it adds. This is significant, don't you think? It explains why capital and labor are almost always in opposition. And it also explains why there is always downward pressure by capital on wages. It explains labor's difficult situation under capitalism.

    Capitalism is otherwise great! But it has this hole which it can't seem to fix and it will be its ultimate undoing. Though you'd like to know.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    May 16, 2019 7:36 a.m.

    How and why 'Socialism' became a boogyman of the regressive right is understandable, but indefensible.

    Some things are settled in this country and no amount of decades old arguments against these things are going to change that.

    We have a retirement system in this country that is nearly 100 years old. It has been tweaked over the years, but the concept remains imbedded in the American psyche. Since the notion was born during the Depression that we ought to offer a lifeline to seniors, the nation as a whole has embraced the notions of Social Security.

    The number of years is different, but the same arguments can be made for Medicare.

    Now, why would anyone reasonable person rant/rave about the Constitutionality of these two systems? As with many other issues, we have evolved as a country from the 18th century notions of the founders. This is as it should be.

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    May 16, 2019 7:23 a.m.

    To "airnaut" if that is the best you can think of, you don't seem to know much about the world.

    You have the US, prior to WWII being Socialist free. (Schools, water, etc.. are NOT socialism).

    You also have Canada prior to implementing Socialized medicine. You have the Nordic countries (generous welfare is NOT socialism) along with Australia prior to its implementation of Socialized medicine. You see most of the free world was socialist free until they implemented socialized medicine.

  • SC Matt Saline, MI
    May 16, 2019 5:31 a.m.

    @Marxist:

    "that most profit is made by shorting labor. Thus labor is ALWAYS under duress in capitalism. "

    Actually, most of the profit is made by giving labor a tool that allows him to make 10 widgets in the time that it would take him to make 1 without the tool and then paying him 5 times what he could make on his own.

    And then, for a reward in helping your employee make 5 times what he could make without the tool, you get to listen to him complain that he's not making 10 times what he could make without the tool, and that all the profit from the activity should be his, without regard to what it cost you to provide the tool that made him so successful in the first place.

    You are, of course, free to go buy your own tool and earn all of the profit, that portion due to your labor *AND* that portion due to your investment.

    Somehow this fact never occurs to socialists.

  • J Thompson SPRINGVILLE, UT
    May 15, 2019 6:04 p.m.

    @Confused - Sandy, UT
    May 15, 2019 4:55 p.m.,

    You seem to be a fan of FDR's supreme court. How do you feel about eating food grown in your garden? His court told us we can't. (Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (1942)). How about the ruling that struck down a minimum wage for women and children? (But early in June 1936, the court, by 5 to 4, struck down a New York state law providing a minimum wage for women and child workers.) How about Roosevelt's packing the court to get what he wanted? Are you even aware that he did that? Why not read the Smithsonian, "When Franklin Roosevelt Clashed with the Supreme Court – and Lost", then give us the clause in the Constitution that allows Social Security?

    Even Justice Roberts showed his irresponsibility to uphold his oath of office when he told us that ObamaCare was a tax and Congress has the power to tax. He conveniently forgot to tell us that Congress is limited by the Constitution for the items on their "taxable list". ObamaCare is not on that list, nor is Social Security.

    So, if you eat tomatoes from your garden, then turn yourself in. FDR's court found you guilty of Interstate Commerce laws.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    May 15, 2019 6:01 p.m.

    @mike richards

    You didn’t offer a solution. That is the problem.

    You stated SS is not allowed by the constitution. Okay. You have stated you will not forgo SS because you paid into. Okay

    What is your solution then. Should my generation have SS taken away but still have to pay into it for your generation? That is unfair to us. And you know how it is funded so you can’t say you just want your money back.

    Again you are living in ideals and I am asking for a solution that can realistically pass through congress and be signed into law. If all we are ever going to do is pine about ideals then we will be in the same situation forever.

  • No One Of Consequence Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2019 5:16 p.m.

    Those on the left who advocate for socialism tell us that capitalism is broken due to an excess of greed on the part of the haves. But when a leftist presidential wanna-be tells us we should tax away the assets, not just the income, of the wealthiest to give to the have-nots, that is an example of greed too.

    Capitalism is not broken but we may have too few people willing to live according to an ethical/moral code that requires treating others fairly. Without that, all economics systems will fail.

  • Confused Sandy, UT
    May 15, 2019 4:55 p.m.

    Mike Richards - "Is it up to me to tell you that the Constitution does not allow the government to collect SS taxes?

    Sorry Mike, but you are dead wrong on this issue.

    In the 1937 U.S. Supreme Court case of Helvering v. Davis, the Court examined the constitutionality of Social Security when George Davis of the Edison Electric Illuminating Company of Boston sued in connection with the Social Security tax.
    The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts first upheld the tax. The District Court judgment was reversed by the Circuit Court of Appeals. Commissioner Guy Helvering of the Bureau of Internal Revenue (now the Internal Revenue Service) took the case to the Supreme Court, and the Court upheld the validity of the tax.
    The Constitution gives SCOTUS the right to determine if a passed law is constitutional or not.

    Well SCOTUS says SS Taxes are constitutional.
    Mike the problem with you using the constitution is that no one knows which of the 26 versions you are talking about? Because each amendment passed since the original one is actually a "New" Constitution, because it gives new rights to the people.

    Think about that Mike....

  • airnaut Everett, WA
    May 15, 2019 4:21 p.m.

    The ONLY examples I can think of "no Socialism" would be:

    a cabin, 500 miles from civilization
    an outhouse
    no water
    no roads, schools, police, fire or hospital
    Going it alone.

    or

    The lawless streets of "gangs", in jeeps, with guns in Mogadishu

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    May 15, 2019 2:49 p.m.

    To "marxist" I didn't ask you to defend any regime. I asked you to defend the collectivist ideas that you keep telling us are so great.

    Within the collectivist ideas that Marx wrote about you have the need for administrators or bureaucrats. Since those bureaucrats are busing administrating the collective, they cannot be actively involved in production. If they are not producing anything they would starve if they didn't get money and food from someplace. So, for a bureaucrat to live in a collectivist utopia that person would have to live off the labors of the worker.

    So again, tell us why it is ok for a bureaucrat to live off the labor of the worker and why it is so evil for a business owner to do the same?

    Capitalism isn't self destructing. Collectivism is. If you look at history the countries that have turned around their economies and improved them have adopted capitalism. Chile, China, most of Africa, South Korea, and many other nations gave up collectivism and brought in capitalism and have turned around their economies. They would do better if they still didn't have some collectivism or strongman dictators running their nations.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, UT
    May 15, 2019 1:55 p.m.

    Shaun - Sandy, UT
    May 15, 2019 12:20 p.m.

    Is it up to me to tell you that the Constitution does not allow the government to collect SS taxes? Article I, Section 8 lists (enumerates) the seventeen duties assigned to the Federal Government for which we can be taxed. Social Security is not on that list.

    Your response that those who disagree with SS should not take it is an insult to those who worked while government took 15% or more, directly (in the case of those of us who are self-employed) or partially indirectly in the case of those whose employers paid half in lieu of direct wages to the employee. Under LBJ, Congress voted to "borrow" from the SS fund to pay other government expenses. That is a warning to all who think that government can be trusted to handle any socialist program. The government will spend all that it has and then borrow trillions more to indebt our posterity.

    Do the math. Someone making an average of $40,000 per year over 40 years will pay $6,000 per year SS tax. If invested in safe bonds or stocks at 8%, that becomes $1,745,503.92, or $139,640 per year forever. The government pays us $2,000 a month. SS is a socialistic scam.

  • Shaun Sandy, UT
    May 15, 2019 12:20 p.m.

    @mike richards

    We all have ideals but how do you get there? Take SS for example. We have gone back and forth on this and I have always told you not to take it if you dont like it and I know your answer and don’t necessarily disagree with your answer.

    However you need to present a reasonable solution. If you do not want to forgo it since you paid in to it what do you propose? I know what I would propose and it wouldn’t take a tax increase but I suspect you would still be against it based on principle which leads me to believe conservatives and democrats live in ideals instead of solutions.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2019 12:10 p.m.

    @RedShirtCalTech "You constantly tell us how great Marxism is, yet you can't tell us why it is better to have a government official living off the backs of the workers than it is to have profits (or losses) from a business going to a business owner. Why can't you explain that?"

    Marx was an economic theoretician of CAPITALISM. He has critical insights into the functioning of that system. That's why I use the handle "marxist." Marx's theory of "surplus value" identifies a critical problem in capitalism, i.e. that most profit is made by shorting labor. Thus labor is ALWAYS under duress in capitalism.

    I do not defend, with the possible exception of Cuba, any regimes which self identify as "Marxist" because in fact they are not. Marx was not a socialist planner or architect.

    As capitalism becomes more like late 19th Century capitalism is is self-destructing. I should think you would want to look into this.

  • Liberal Mormon Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2019 12:02 p.m.

    It's not so much Fox News where letter writers like this and the simpleton commenters of the same ilk, get their ideas. Fox stokes their fear and their like-minded way of thinking, but these Utah right-wingers get their arrested development ideas through the writings of Cleon Skousen, the shallow dogma of John Birch Soc. and the modern torch-bearers of the Eagle Forum just to name a few. It's a weird political/religious complex, really more of a tradition unique but not exclusive to the Mountain West. Their thinking has been done for them, and those writings and publishing approved by those individuals and the organizations they started is their only source of truth. Everything is a conspiracy, except of course anything that would challenge their own preconceived notions of what's good and true: i.e. Trump and far right extremism.

  • Crusader Layton, UT
    May 15, 2019 11:03 a.m.

    I hate toll roads.

  • Onion Daze Payson, UT
    May 15, 2019 10:53 a.m.

    socialism

    1. any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods.

    2. a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property

    b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and
    controlled by the state

    3. a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism
    and distinguished by the unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work
    done

    The source of the above definitions is the "Merriam Webster's Collegiate Dictionary", Tenth Edition, Copyright 1994, page 1114

    communism

    2 c: a final stage of society in Marxist theory in which the state has withered away and economic goods are distributed equitably

    Same source, page 233

    Comments by Onion Daze.

    Note that per Marxist theory and their definition of socialism, socialism is a transitional stage between capitalism and communism.

    Note that per Marxist theory communism is the final stage of society.

    Communist dictatorships are very real. Communism has never existed on the planet earth.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, UT
    May 15, 2019 10:37 a.m.

    Let's cut through the nonsense once and for all by defining Socialism:

    "a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

    policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism.

    (in Marxist theory) a transitional social state between the overthrow of capitalism and the realization of Communism."

    I want NONE of that. If people freely give away their businesses and their property, then that is their business. If the government forcefully takes from me that which I own through my own efforts by putting my labor or my money at risk, then, I oppose their efforts.

    Socialism is a deadly disease that will rot away our nation. Just look at the "charitable" foundation that Bill and Hillary created and the minuscule amount of money that actually went to charity if you want to see how people in power take money and then misuse it. The people of Hillary's Party are the people who promote socialism. I don't trust them with my freedom.

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    May 15, 2019 10:13 a.m.

    To "marxist " and how is that any different than the collectivist theories you support? All Marxism does is change CEOs for Bureaucrats. The only difference is you go from having a choice under Capitalism to being compelled under Socialism.

    You constantly tell us how great Marxism is, yet you can't tell us why it is better to have a government official living off the backs of the workers than it is to have profits (or losses) from a business going to a business owner. Why can't you explain that?

  • RedShirtCalTech Pasedena, CA
    May 15, 2019 10:11 a.m.

    To "Laura Bilington" you get that idea from every Socialist platform that has ever been proposed.

    Yes, look at Public Schools. They are a dismal failure. If you account for inflation over the past 40 years we are paying double the amount per student. At the same time test scores are stagnant.

    Abolish the Public Schools because the government hasn't done a good job managing them.

    To "Utefan60" Canada's healthcare system is also killing people as they wait for medically necessary procedures. The same goes on in the UK and throughout the world. Do you consider a healthcare system to be successful if it kills or injures people while running deficits?

    To "Impartial7" what do you mean that nobody is advocating Socialism. AOC, Bernie Sanders, and many other Democrats proclaim all the time that they are Socialists and want to implement Socialism.

    To "embarrassed Utahn!" but prior to the ACA the US offered healthcare to everybody, and we did it without the failed government programs.

    To "unrepentant progressive" here is the best defense of Capitalism. It has lifted more people out of poverty than any other economic system.

  • Boberino Farmington, UT
    May 15, 2019 10:08 a.m.

    Socialism provides a safety net for those who cannot make it on their own. The only problem is that there’s no safety and there’s no net.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    May 15, 2019 9:40 a.m.

    The federal government has power to help all citizens, even in economic areas. These powers include regulating interstate commerce and protecting consumers through anti-trust laws(just two examples).

    Capitalism is not the lawless wild west its detractors try to make it seem. Our government, our commerce, and our society are supposed to work together to provide all citizens with opportunity but without forcing them to take advantage of the opportunities. The regulatory powers of government and the ability of government to provide "umbrella" coverage for catastrophic events protects all of us. Thus, capitalism is a doctrine of self-determination and eternal growth.

    Socialism wants government to own and manage all services and goods. Instead of opportunity, it provides basic subsistence only until it runs out of resources. Socialism is the doctrine of envy and lust for power and eventual ruin.

    Words have meanings. The word socialism, twisted and bent to win debate points, renders dialog meaningless. Disguising it with better sounding terms, like Democratic Socialism, is just as meaningless. Let's have an honest dialog instead of playing games with nuanced terminologies.

  • Mata Leao Ogden, UT
    May 15, 2019 9:33 a.m.

    Why do people who love socialism believe having police, fire and public schools is socialism? Can you name a country, from the poorest to the richest, most totalitarian to most lenient that don't have police, fire and public schools? Probably not. Does that mean every country is a socialist country? No. Having social programs isn't socialism. It's why you pay taxes, for all those "free" services.

    However, if you want a heavy police state, government control over your lives and limits to what you can do, say or own, enjoy your socialism. Socialism sounds nice, even looks good on paper, but the reality is far different.

    @embarrassed Utahn

    The US does provide healthcare to it's citizens just like "Basically every developed country", it's just not at taxpayer expense, or in other words, "free". Free has got to be the biggest misused word in the English language.

  • What in Tucket Provo, UT
    May 15, 2019 9:22 a.m.

    There are certainly a lot of problems in this country, but we are actually doing fairly well thanks to Mr. Trump. As for socialism in Canada it is true they have a socialized medical system. The key parameters for a successful economy are found in the Index of Economic Freedom ( easy to find online). They include such things as property rights, the rule of law, etc. When an economy conforms to these principles it will be prosperous if not it will be poor. Venezuela and Cuba, North Korea are rock bottom. Canada actually is ahead of the US as it has a freer economy. The UK is also fairly high. Denmark is supposed to be a socialist country, but its' prime minister said they have a market economy. Socialism does not conform to the Index of Economic Freedom thus it fails. Under Trump we have gone from 18th where we slumped to under Obama and are up to 12th under Trump.

  • Thomas Jefferson Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2019 9:21 a.m.

    "The goal of socialism is to remove one’s private property through force and transfer it to someone else"

    Stopped reading right there. Nothing that comes after that line can make up for such a pathetic strawman argument. The writer should feel shame but we all know someone this convinced by their own argument (if you can call it that) isnt interested in a conversation, just edicts.

  • barfolomew Tooele, UT
    May 15, 2019 8:49 a.m.

    @ Impartial7

    "...privatize healthcare, privatize industry..."

    Yeah, it would be a shame to "privatize" things that have always been privatized.

    You know, the strategy of repeating propaganda enough times that people will start to believe it only works on the left side of the aisle.

    "It was a bright, cold day in April and the clocks were striking thirteen."

  • One more time Spanish Fork, UT
    May 15, 2019 8:13 a.m.

    Whenever I read an attack on Socialism, I always wonder what is being offered in its place. Is it Laissez Faire Capitalism? Mixed Market Economy or something else?

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2019 7:59 a.m.

    "A voice of warning about socialism"

    A voice of warning about capitalism - the unregulated version of capitalism concentrates wealth in the smallest possible number of hands.

    We are repeating the process of the so-called "Gilded Age."

    So is "regulation" socialism?

  • The Real Maverick Spanish Fork, UT
    May 15, 2019 7:50 a.m.

    If repubs really believed in this narrow definition of socialism, why aren’t they up in arms against trump? He’s offering a bunch of free stuff from bridges in New Orleans to handouts to failing farmers. I’m sure all the Trumpers on this site must be mad as heck at Trump’s socialism and impediment of the free market, am I right? All the republicans here must be mad as heck at all the handouts our state is giving to billion dollar companies to move to Lehi, eagle mountain, and Draper, right?

    It’s funny how republicans label handouts to the rich are called “incentives” and free market economics while incentives to the poor and middle class are called “handouts” and socialism.

  • Mike Richards South Jordan, UT
    May 15, 2019 7:45 a.m.

    There are opposites in everything. The opposite to freedom is socialism. Freedom means that each person is free from being forced by government to pay the bills of his fellowman. A free person is free to offer assistance if he chooses. Under the rule of forced participation, we lose that freedom to choose how and where we will spend our money. When force is used to take our assets, everyone loses.

    Those who produce wealth are not under any obligation to continue to produce wealth when government seizes their assests.

    Socialism, under any name, is wrong. It is wrong because it FORCES us to participate in a program where government decides what is good, what is bad, what is important and what is unimportant.

    We know better. We have lived under a system of freedom since the Constitution was ratified. Those who object to our freedom want a different form of Government. Free people will grow a spine and stand for freedom. I stand for freedom.

  • joe5 South Jordan, UT
    May 15, 2019 7:39 a.m.

    Again, here are a bunch of people arguing about socialism who don't even know what it is. Socialism has nothing to do with sharing common resources or even wealth distribution. It is government ownership of the production and distribution of goods.

    IMO, we need to change the discussion. As an anti-socialist, my #1 issue is "ownership" at the federal level. Education, welfare, health care, etc should be handled at a local level. The role of the federal government should be like an umbrella insurance policy that covers only major disasters that are outside the ability of the local government to address.

    Local administration is more like a co-op. It minimizes overhead. Instead of bureaucracy, administration is done by local people who know and understand the unique needs of our communities and their members. Taxpayers can more clearly see how our resources are being used and make changes as needed. It also sets up a natural competition. Communities that want to grow can shape their systems to attract residents.

    This should bring money and influence back to state and local governments as prescribed in the Constitution and eliminates the risk of federal socialism.

  • unrepentant progressive Bozeman, MT
    May 15, 2019 7:32 a.m.

    "I'd feel better about" unlimited capitalism "if supporters would set some firm limits. But they don't. These are the folks who pine for" low tax rates on the very wealthy "while never defining what" poor really is, who can't point to any example of unfettered capitalism delivering unlimited benefits to every citizen, who seem toxically connected to suspect Fundamentalist Christian dogma and who can't understand reasonable limits to gun control.

    Rather than criticize socialism, the Right should defend the unfettered view of Capitalism in all its glory. And kindly point out a country wherein this actually works to provide a decent standard of living for its entire population.

  • embarrassed Utahn! Salt Lake City, UT
    May 15, 2019 7:31 a.m.

    Basically every developed country in the world offers healthcare to their citizens.

    The USA is "supposedly" the greatest country in the world (and getting greater?), but trump and his ilk are trying to deny healthcare to the neediest in society.

    trump is trying to add a work clause for medicaid...how very unChristlike!

    If it's socialism to provide healthcare and have a healthy populace, then count me in!

  • patrioticAMERICAN South Jordan, UT
    May 15, 2019 7:22 a.m.

    It's clear from this letter that Sheldon is an educated expert on socialism in all its "guises", because he goes into so much detail explaining what the various "guises" are, & explains in detail the diff b/t socialism & communism, & why so many people like to confuse the two, & pretend that all socialism is really just communism in disguise.

    Because apparently the U.S. has been practicing communism since the New Deal in the 30's. After all, S.S. & Medicare only benefit an "elite" portion of the citizenry, those that have been lucky enough to live to the age of retirement. And Medicaid only benefits an "elite" portion of people who are lucky enough to be disabled or living in poverty, despite having a job. And free public education only benefits the "elite" youth who haven't yet graduated to join their much wiser adult countertparts. Farm subsidies only benefit "elite" farmers in the nation who are lucky enough to have the privilege of supplying the rest of the country's citizens (& a good portion of the world) w/it's life sustaining food supplies. CHIP only benefits those "elite" children lucky enough to live w/parents too poor to afford health insurance.

    Etc., etc., etc.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    May 15, 2019 6:28 a.m.

    Nobody's advocating "socialism". It's the latest GOP scare tactic, after abortion, gay marriage and Obama taking our guns. Most Americans are concerned about Republican socialism. Privatize prisons, privatize schools, privatize healthcare, privatize industry, using tax payer dollars. Socialize the costs, but privatize the profits.

  • dulce et decorum est , 00
    May 14, 2019 11:42 p.m.

    All private property is dependent on rules and protections provided by society. Instead of overly privileging a select few in accumulating all the resources, some forms of societal rules that the author would decry as socialism, would, after being democratically chosen by the people, more equitably distribute resources to more members of society. Considering that more than half of adult Americans have zero to negative net worth, we presently are in desperate need of rules that give fairer access to resources to all members of society.

  • Unreconstructed Reb BE, 00
    May 14, 2019 11:28 p.m.

    The spate of letters on socialism lately has led me to conclude that the concept of what socialism entails is permanently frozen in a 1950s Red Scare paranoia in the Beehive State.

    I don't consider myself a socialist, but I'm pretty disappointed by the simplistic strawmen being thrown up as capitalist apologetics against socialist bogeymen.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    May 14, 2019 9:54 p.m.

    The problem with most who claim that some socialism is good is the abject refusal to set any bounds.

    The case for universal education has long since been made. Sadly, we've converted community schools into national schools and seen the problems as federal and State mandates and too many levels of bureaucracy remove all accountability for what happens.

    Fire and Police service seem to work well in govt hands, though Obamacare has killed many volunteer fire departments. And the same folks who first hold up police service as evidence of the goodness and success of socialism and the first to accuse the police of "institutional racism" or excessive use of force.

    I'd feel better about "limited socialism" if supporters would set some firm limits. But they don't. These are the folks who pine for 90% top tax rates on "the rich" while never defining what "rich" really is, who always point to England or Germany as their examples, and who seem to be highly anti-Christian and who to want to disarm me lest I be about to resist.

    I wish socialists would demonstrate the success of their ideas by living it themselves in voluntary groups, rather than forcing me into their anti-theist religion.

  • Nate Pleasant Grove, UT
    May 14, 2019 9:09 p.m.

    @Laura Bilington "And are you in favor of abolishing that dreadful socialistic institution known as Public Schools?"

    aka the institution about which socialists are always complaining because it has run out of the taxpayers' money and needs more.

  • Utefan60 , 00
    May 14, 2019 8:33 p.m.

    "I want to raise the voice of warning about socialism."

    My guess is this letter writter heard Fox News and just regurgitated their point of view.

    Maybe this letter writter can explain the vaious forms of so called "socialism"?

    Bet they can not?

    Maybe they should turn off low information networks and truly learn the differences in socialism. There are many Democratic Socialist ideas in this country already.

    Interesting that the radical right used to call Canada's healthcare system "socialized medicine" Don't hear the radical right doing that anymore. Why? One reason is their health care system is working to benefit all of it's citizens! The radical right can't drag that down in their false narratives. The GOP has no plan to insure millions, contrary to their bragging.

    This country under Trump is practicing "Corporate Socialism". The government aides the Corporations and rich at the expense of the middle class. That is an evil form of "socialism".

    Learn the difference letter writter. Educate yourself.

  • Laura Bilington Maple Valley, WA
    May 14, 2019 6:34 p.m.

    "I want to raise a voice of warning about socialism. The goal of socialism is to remove one’s private property through force and transfer it to someone else — one baby step at a time — under the guise of “the public welfare."

    Interesting statement. Where did you get this idea?

    And are you in favor of abolishing that dreadful socialistic institution known as Public Schools?