R. Rashbrooke: Is this not socialism?

Published: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at 4:42 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, December 1, 2010 at 4:42 p.m.

A recent letter you published from a reader in effect stated that America never has been, is not now and never should be a socialist state. It seems to me that that statement is not factual.

If one reads Thomas Jefferson's letters he appeared to be quite at home with the notion that the government should tax the rich to use the money to alleviate the suffering of the poor of society. Is that not socialism?

In the 1960's President Johnson introduced the concept of Medicare so that those who could not afford private health care could avail themselves of (cheaper) government provided health care when they were no longer working and receiving an income. Is that not socialism?

Was not Social Security introduced so that people were coerced (by the government) to save some of their income whilst working to provide a pension after ceasing work so that the state would not be entirely responsible for looking after the elder segment of the population once they were no longer part of the workforce with an income and thus able to provide for themselves. Is that not socialism?.

Are not the private health care providers, i.e. the employers, as decided by the government of the day back in the '30's, attempting as fast as they can to relieve themselves of the burden of providing that care because it is eroding their profit margins. Who then will provide affordable health care, certainly not the for-profit HMOs? We need socialism so that the less affluent in our society can access the necessary services that a large proportion of our population need from time to time.

I hope that I have not misunderstood the letter writer in that he was in fact saying that we have not been, are not and never should be a communist style state, an argument that I also agree with. At age 70, I feel that socialism as opposed to unregulated free market enterprise, is the way we should be heading.

R. Rashbrooke


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