In Paul Anderson’s tirade against socialism (“Socialism has proved its worthlessness,” letter, Sept. 13) he states inaccurately that socialism “has never produced a higher standard of living for people than the capitalist system described by Adam Smith in his ‘The Wealth of Nations.'”) Anderson needs to take a trip abroad and observe successful socialism. Many countries in Europe and elsewhere that practice democratic socialism to varied degrees are far more prosperous than the United States.

In “The Wealth of Nations,” Smith warned of many abuses and flaws inherent to the capitalist system: “Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property, is in reality instituted for the defense of the rich against the poor, or of those who have some property against those who have none at all.

“It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion.”

Anderson’s examples of the worst attempts at socialism is reminiscent of the anti-communist hysteria of the 1950s. Apparently Margaret Chase Smith failed to eradicate all of Joe McCarthy’s toxic spores.

Harold Nilsson


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