Readers Write: Letter-writer defines socialism incorrectly


Dr. Sobel attempts to redefine socialism as “Democratic Socialism,” citing Denmark as the ultimate example of a successful socialist state.

He briefly elaborates on all the “free” stuff the Danish people receive that contribute to their questionable reputation as “Happiest in the world.”

However, Denmark is not technically a “Socialist” country, as defined by the Young Democratic Socialists of America.

The YDSA website describes the group’s vision as “a humane social order based on popular control of resources and production, economic planning, equitable distribution, feminism, racial equality and non-oppressive relationships.”

These are the ideals of the growing socialist movement led by Bernie Sanders and Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. This definition of socialism requires a centrally planned government with nationalized means of production.

According to The Heritage Foundation’s Index of Economic Freedom, which cites free-market policies and regulatory efficiency as reasons for the high standard of living, Denmark ranks as the 10th most economically free country, Sweden is ranked 15th and Norway 23rd, all with similar descriptions of thriving private sectors and open markets. These three countries are clearly not operating under centrally planned economies, or their economic freedom scores would be significantly lower.

The success of the Scandinavian countries are clearly based on a capitalist foundation and predates the expansion of social programs. Sweden, for example, became a wealthy country in the mid-20th century under a capitalist system with low tax rates.

It must be noted that Social programs and high tax rates were not implemented until the 1970s in Sweden, which caused the economy to significantly underperform and unemployment to rise.

Recently, Sweden has been privatizing socialized sectors, such as education and health care, cutting tax rates, and making welfare less generous. Even though tax rates and government spending remain comparatively high, open-market policies generate the revenue to support the spending.

Dr. Sobel goes on to discuss ” unfairness “of our tax policy and of the privileged wealthy, suggesting Americans read Karl Marx to become more open to Socialism.

Which brings me to the urgent need to depict the realities of socialism to Americans who have never heard of the Berlin Wall, the Gulag, the killing fields of Cambodia, the Tiananmen Square massacre, or the daily bread lines in Moscow.

Here are some things you will discover when you read about Karl Marx and the history of Socialism:

  1. The atheist father of socialism listed 10 necessary measures as steps along the way to his utopia, including a progressive income tax, the abolition of private property, free education for all, and centralization of the means of communication and transport in “the hands of the state.”( think of Amtrak as Fannie Mae and forget having your own private cell phone).

2. Socialism has never worked anywhere!

3. Socialism forbids the right to private property.

4. Socialism depends on dictatorship to attain and remain in power.

  1. Socialism is responsible for the deaths of more than 100 million victims.

Dr. Sobel does not seem to realize that much of what we enjoy in life is a result of capitalism and would disappear completely if socialism were to be implemented. Is our country a Utopia, of course not!

But the millions of people who risk their lives to get here and try to claim the American Dream for their families, are not trying to get into Venezuela!

Sarah Adams



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