In socialism debate, remember: Our system works

May 21, 2010

A key statistic was not pursued in Tom Schaller's thought provoking essay of 18 May concerning whether we are (or should be) sliding toward socialism. He states that our economy comprises 25 percent of the worlds output. But we only make up 4 percent of the population. Apparently, something about our system works well.

The idea of redistribution of wealth has been debated, and attempts to put it into practice have been a dominant theme over the last two centuries. It is hard to implement the theory because it runs counter to the laws of nature — some people are simply more gifted and productive than others, and people have a natural instinct to guard what is theirs. A system where the fruits of one's labor are taken and given to another is not natural. Governments and politicians need to understand that they operate under nature's laws.

The challenge is to be sure that our system holds no one back because their educational and advancement potential are impaired by others. We also need a safety net for our disadvantaged citizens. Moving away from a successful model to a failed one (i.e., Greece) is not the solution. We need to take an honest look at our schools and welfare systems and fix them.

Bill Cook, Catonsville

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