Letter: What’s wrong with socialism?
What’s wrong with socialism? I just can’t figure out why this seems like such a bad word for so many people. Is it somehow associated with communism? Is that it?
If so, please know that socialism and communism are different things. Communism wants everyone to be “equal.” Socialism wants everyone to value the whole as much or more than the individual. Socialism is about sharing.
And the thing is, we already have long-term, deeply entrenched socialist programs operating in our society. Medicare, for example, is a socialistic program where we all contribute to a fund that helps the elderly afford health care. The idea is that we’ll all “be there” at some point and will need help.
And what about the police and the fire department? Again, we all contribute to make sure that we have adequate police and fire protection for all. When you call 911 and ask for the fire department, they don’t ask for your “fire insurance” number; they send the fire trucks — no matter your socioeconomic status.
In these examples, we have decided that it is better — and fairer — to “share” elderly health care and police and fire protection, among everyone. We have “socialistically” decided to act as a society rather than a group of individuals.
So, what’s the problem with treating health care for everyone just like police and fire protection? We would all contribute a fair share to guarantee good health care for all, as opposed to a system where people can only get the health care they can afford. Isn’t adequate health care for all at least equally important as police and fire protection?
The fact that it involves a socialistic approach should make no difference at all. Can’t we see adequate health care as a basic human right in an enlightened society?
Let’s not let the successful “demonization” of the concept of socialism prevent us from considering the enormous power and satisfaction inherent in working together as a society for the good of all.
Howard Bashinski, PhD
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