Fear-mongering is commonly used by the Trump administration, and it is about to be ramped up during this long campaign season.

In political campaigns, Republicans regularly use the term “socialism” as a fear-mongering tactic because voters may misunderstand the definition. Government programs like Medicare and “Social’ Security aren’t examples of socialism.

So, what exactly is socialism? The best definition is in Encyclopedia Britannica. Some examples of socialism are credit unions and farm cooperatives — and we don’t fear them. Social cooperatives are counter to the idea of what Republicans like best: market-based capitalism.

In capitalist economies, stock owners favor dividends over democracy. If we stop and think about who benefits the most from capitalist market-based economies, it is those with the financial means to participate in the stock market, not the majority of us.

Our system has become more an oligarchy in which money and power governs. Money decides elections. Most of the wealth in our country is held by a hand full of billionaires. Who hasn’t heard the term “the 1 percent,” referring to billionaires? The wealthy few prosper while millions in this country are living hand to mouth, just one major health care emergency away from bankruptcy.

The cost of a college education is so high only the wealthy can avoid spending a lifetime paying off college tuition loans. High premiums, deductibles and co-pays actually make market-based health insurance nothing more than catastrophic insurance.

If a little more socialism than we have now will fix that, then bring it on. Socialism is nothing compared to what we should fear most. That is, unmitigated climate change.

 

Jim Chiddix

Waterville


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