I would like to respond to several recent letters to the editor which characterized Democrats as promoting socialism.
Dictionary.com defines socialism as “a theory or system of social organization which advocates the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, of land, etc., by the community as a whole, generally through centralized government ”.
Democrats don’t want socialism; we want balance.
If everything were socialized, there would be no freedom for individuals. If everything were capitalist, there would be no common good. Let me give a few examples. I don’t want my library system to be run by a for-profit company that could stock the system with the posts that make it the most profitable. I want a good variety of articles to read and watch. Likewise, I don’t want the roads in my city to be owned by private companies whose only motivation is profit. I want tangible property that is sensitive to residents.
However, I don’t want the grocery stores to be public. I want the competition to drive up the selection and drop the prices. I want restaurants to be owned and operated by individuals. Having a mix of private and public business gives us the best of both worlds and creates control over each other.
Some cases are not so clear. Since health care is vitally important to a good life, do I want someone to control our access and make a profit out of everyone’s eventual misfortune? No. Perhaps we should avoid the improper term “socialized medicine” and aim instead for “equalized medicine”.
Calling Democrats “socialists” is wrong and stirs up division. Everyone wants freedom and individual motivation, but we all want security too. We need the right balance of the two.