During this election, I have heard a lot of talk from people saying they do not want to live under socialism. These people equate socialism with communism. While communism is an extreme form of socialism, they are not the same thing.

Well, guess what, people? We already do and have since 1933, with FDR’s New Deal. 

In 1929, as you know, we saw the financial collapse known as the Great Depression. A lot of people were out of work, some 25%. Many, many people stood in soup lines. Communism, at this time, held out a promise of better economic times for many people, and many Americans were attracted to it’s promises. FDR saw this, and knew communism would gain a foothold here, if the government did nothing to help alleviate the suffering of the people. So he came up with the New Deal, which consisted of public works programs, financial reforms and regulations. It included the Civil Conservation Corps, Civil Works Administration, Farm Security Administration, National Industrial Recovery Act and the Social Security Administration.

These programs helped to pull us out of the Great Depression. And who paid for it? He applied special taxes on the very wealthiest and corporations. And the wealthy, have ever since, been fighting it and waging a war of misinformation in order to do away with things like Social Security, and Medicare. 

Nowadays we also have other programs to help the needy, like SNAP, unemployment compensation, housing assistance and child care assistance. 

Now I have heard many people complain about “their tax dollars” going to help these lazy people. “They need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps:”

What happens when you have no boots? Think of it like this; our tax dollars are going into a common fund, like insurance, because no one can say for sure they will never need assistance at some point. I have seen people who have worked for 20 years or more, and then their job is eliminated. I have seen a married couple, where the husband contracted cancer, and at some point, his insurance company dropped him, then he died for lack of insurance for treatment, and the wife ended up losing the house and living in her car. This should never happen in this country.

Also, many people think socialism means that the state controls the means of production. This is Marxism! Karl Marx wrote about economic problems in his day, and this was one of his solutions. Today we have a different solution, called social democracy.

No one is talking about the government controlling the means of production. Social democracy, is all in favor of private ownership of businesses, of free enterprise and honest elections. Social democracy tries to live up to the ideals listed in the Preamble to the Constitution, which is an outline of the mission of the government, and states that one of its goals is to “provide for the welfare of it’s citizens.”

All of our European allies are socialistic, to varying degrees. The people of the Scandinavian countries are listed as some of the happiest on earth.

We have been taught a bad trait in this country. To punch down. To hold back people we think are inferior. This is antithetical to the teachings of Jesus, Buddha, Islam and most religions on earth. They teach to help the poor. 

Oh, and by the way, remember that COVID-19 stimulus earlier this year? That was socialism at work, not capitalism.

Kerry Eikenskold

Inyokern, Calif.

(former Ashtabula County resident)

 

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