Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: Not true socialists

To The Editor: I happen to agree with "The New York Times" when they warn Nancy Pelosi not to give too much power to the newly-elected House Democrats who call themselves "Democratic Socialists." They will be a minority of the Democrats in the House of Representatives.

I don't enjoy being unkind and insulting toward anyone, even the Republicans in the Congress, a minority of whom are really scary "survival-of-the-fittest" Social Darwinists, but, to me, you have to be a total and complete moron and idiot to call yourself a "Democratic Socialist", and that includes Bernie Sanders who I like and agree with 90% of the time.

First of all, they are not true socialists.

Second of all, if you believe that anyone can be elected President of the United States who calls herself/himself a "socialist", then you must live in DreamLand and must have swallowed the Kool-Aid.

Third of all, they are all liberals/progressives who support our capitalist economic system but who believe in a federal government that has effective safety-net and social programs which help to make life better for its citizens, and, by the way, who want our federal government to do more to help its citizens as almost all of our allies do proportionate to its population size compared with ours. They often criticize our country for that reason. Believe me, I had to listen to it every day for the five years that I lived in Canada.

Stewart B. Epstein
Rochester, New York

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13 Responses »

  1. You make some good points - the word "socialist" is almost meaningless in the way it gets thrown around. Even in Scandinavia, which calls itself "Social Democratic," with an extremely advanced welfare system and very high taxes (supported by the public), the economy is a market capitalist economy. Taxes and social welfare programs don't make an economy socialist. Socialism means public ownership of most entities. Socialism would mean planning the economy rather than allowing price to respond to supply and demand (i.e., the market). History shows that socialist economies don't work because governments are poor at planning something as complex as the market, and instead create inefficiencies and imbalances between supply and demand.

    However, market economies in Europe function very well even with higher taxes and a strong social welfare system. As long as the market operates without overly restrictive regulations, it can work and create prosperity even if taxes are high and the social welfare system generous. Moreover, capitalism only works when it is well regulated - unregulated markets would lead to power concentrations and "capitalists" would use their power and influence to avoid market discipline. (The real threat to market capitalism comes from so-called capitalists!) In the US, a lack of regulation is allowing the very wealthy to amass more power, keeping the working class poor. Those who want to fix that are really wanting to allow capitalism to work right - but they get called socialists.

  2. The over-regulation (ha ha) you hail simply concentrates the power in the hands of the government instead of individuals. At least corporations don't have armies, nor can they create a police state (yet anyway; Google may one day soon, or more likely, the fascistic melding of them and gov will). We're simply on the road to serfdom is all, and I think many of you know that; you've chosen fealty over freedom; there is NO free lunch.

    The US ALREADY has a far more than generous social welfare system and clearly the calls to 'do more' will Never, Ever end (til we topple). Today, they protest for LUXURIES. And nearly 50% pay zero fed income tax. With so many having no skin in the game, the outcome here is already pretty easy to see. All of this is simply a struggle for control and power, nothing more. But this will fall on deaf ears, of course.

    Take more from me for working hard? Fine; I'll do'll have to force me. And I bet you will if you can. Get it? If not, you will eventually.

  3. Who is this guy? I thought this was a local community site. Why is the Daily Bulldog allowing someone in New York to post their thoughts?

  4. Scott Erb is continually supporting the idea of European Economics. He seems to think they have it all right.
    But he lives here. And criticises our market system. Perhaps he should consider relocating soon.

  5. Call it what you want. Democrats want big government to take care of all our problems. History shows nothing good comes from government. Republicans want big military to take care of everything, also not good. Both parties enjoy "Cronie Capitalism", not to be confused with "Capitalism" which is required for us to prosper. Both sides regulate when it benefits their own agenda. They purposely blur the lines. "Cronie Capitalism" becomes just "Capitalism", "Illegal immigration" is just immigration. This is how they divide and conquer. A Nationalist is now a "White Nationalist". "Socialism" is now "Democratic Socialism". "White' now means racist. "Male" now stands for misogyny. It goes on and on. This manipulation of words and ideas by the government run media and the government run schools are brain washing our society. The whole idea is to categorize individuals and force them in boxes so they keep fighting among themselves, therefore redirecting our attention from the real problem: The rich hypocritical globalist elite. People are waking up all around the world while we still lie dormant like sheep. I hope we wake up soon and band together as Americans.

    BTW I agree with Scott. The idea of Socialism sounds good but governments are not able to run it properly and I think it's due to less transparency which promotes corruption and greed.

    And why are we running op eds by people from NY? Does the D.B. endorse socialism? It appears so.

  6. Silly Daffy, it's not about geography, it's about comparing different systems and seeing what works. I think we can learn a lot from looking at what works in Europe. But I will stay here and work hard to try to get our system to improve, I see that as my patriotic duty. It's telling you simply lashed out at the location and didn't deal with the ideas. Are the ideas and substance over your head?

  7. Over-regulated - I'm in favor of cutting regulations, I agree that our system is over regulated. We also have a welfare system that doesn't work well - again, we can learn from other countries. We tax the middle and lower classes too much, and let the wealthy game the system. It amazes me how the wealthy con the working class to support their scheme - they point to the very poor and say 'liberals want to give them your money' - and then THEY get the money. Workers need to wake up.

    Tim - government is needed - anarchy doesn't work. But I agree government can't take care of all our problems, and we shouldn't want it do. I also again agree there is too much regulation and governmental control - often in ways that benefit those with the most money. I also agree that the labels are being abused to categorize and insult people, argument by labeling is lazy way to avoid dealing with real concepts. I know a lot of Republicans, a lot of Democrats, some libertarians, and a few socialists. Almost everyone shares core values and goals, they just disagree about how the world works. Yet we turn each other into enemies and demonize others in large part due to the labels Tim criticizes. Maybe if we communicate rather than label we can find pragmatic answers to problems that aren't driven by ideology.

  8. Scott Erb, Lets take Denmark and compare it to the US. Population of Denmark: 5 million. Population of the US: 325 million. Closest state in population: South Carolina, 5,024,000. Denmark racial makeup: 90% white 10% other, 9% is foreign born. US racial makeup 63% white, 37% other, 15% is foreign born. Disposable Income in Denmark: $28,000. Disposable income in the US: $40,000. Middle class income tax in Denmark: 55%. Middle class income tax US: 24% Denmark has single payer healthcare at 11% gdp, the US doesn't have that and spends 18% gdp. Now to clarify some things about Denmark's Healthcare system, it is available only to citizens of Denmark, Foreigners can use Danish medical facilities, but they have to pay for it themselves. Doctors are paid about half what US doctors are paid. Vaccinations are strongly encouraged and a healthy lifestyle is almost cultural in Denmark, in the US we don't really monitor and regulate the lifestyles of people. Obesity in Denmark is 15% in the US it's 40%, obesity leads to a plethora of health issues. In Denmark, they treated 12 gunshot wounds, the US treated 80,000.(not proportional to the number of firearms in the US or nationally as 5 cities account for almost 35,000 of those)

  9. Socialism is a genus term, i.e. there are many "flavors" (species) of socialism. Hitler's NAZIS called themselves the Socialist Workers Party. Read the works to Frederic Bastiat a mid-nineteenth century French economist to get a different view of Socialism. To be a socialist government it is not necessary to own all the means of production. It is enough for government to CONTROL the means of production. The result is the same.

  10. I agree that controlling the means of production could be called socialism. National Socialism, the Nazis, was a bit of a propaganda thing. They wanted to appeal to the right (nationalism) and left (socialism) so they used both terms. Upon gaining power Hitler (known as the leader of the right wing of the party) decimated the left wing, especially the Strasser brothers. He then duped the conservatives by promising to be one of them when they formed a government in 1933. The National Socialists were unlike the left or the right in the US, so I avoid comparisons. They neither controlled nor owned the means of production before the war, but in wartime they took over the economy, partnering with big business.

    Bastiat is enjoyable to read. He did invent the concept of "opportunity cost." But I think his debate with Proudhon (who was a socialist - he said 'private property is theft') is an example of two people who let ideology have too much control over their thinking. Ideology is always an oversimplified explanation of reality, the real world is far too complex to be explained by any ideology. I prefer pragmatism.

  11. Hrtlss - I like your comparison with Denmark. That's how we can improve our policies - by comparing them to others, and seeing what works and what doesn't, how we're similar and how we're different. One thing that adds to your comment is WHY doctors are paid so much here. Unlike in Europe, doctors enter the profession with massive medical school debt in most cases - usually about $200,000 (not including undergraduate debt they may have accrued). Comparing different health care systems I think the German or Swiss ones might have more to offer the US in terms of comparison. I agree with what I think your bigger point was: cultural and societal differences are a reason we can't simply adopt a different system. It would be nice, though, if Republicans and Democrats could pragmatically say "gee, 18% of GDP is too much for health care, let's together see if we can work on getting the cost down, and maybe promoting healthier practices."

  12. Bill Reid, The Nazi party was 13 years old before Hitler rose to power. And the party was to coin a term, anti-semitic due in large part to stand against Bolshevism that was spreading cross the region like the plague. Hitler at the time was a member of the democratic socialist party. But he liked the thought of keeping communism out of Germany, the democratic socialist party had begun to embrace many of the ideals of Marxism, so Hitler left and joined the Nazi party. And in 1933 rose to power and since Bolshevism was still popular in Russia, it really wasn't much of a leap that it might spread to German Jews much as it had in Russia. Germany had a large Jewish population so he ordered them rounded up and quarantined. With the Russian red army(communists) destroying the Russian white army(conservatives), Hitler thought the red army might come for Germany. Hitler may have been the chancellor, but it was Himmler that was running the military, and ordered the Jewish final solution. Hitler just wanted everything that communism wasn't.

  13. Hrtlss - the National Socialists got only 3% in 1928, the Great Depression really was the thing that pushed them forward. Even then they never won a majority in a free election, and were losing support when Papen and the conservatives mistakenly thought they could "use" him, and made him Chancellor. You are right that anti-Bolshevism was a main part of their appeal, and Himmler was the "mastermind" behind the holocaust. But Hitler's nationalism and racism was a poison - he was determined to replay WWI without "the mistakes" (which included making sure 'liberals, internationalist and socialists' were sent to Dachau's concentration camp so they couldn't weaken the effort). Hitler wanted war, and he got it.