I would like to respond to several recent letters to the editor that have characterized Democrats as promoting socialism.
Dictionary.com defines socialism as “a theory or system of social organization that advocates the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, capital, land, etc., by the community as a whole, usually through a centralized government.”
Democrats do not want socialism; we want balance.
If everything was socialized, there wouldn’t be freedom for individuals. If everything was capitalistic, there would be no common good. Let me give a few examples. I do not want my library system to be run by a for-profit company that might stock the system with publications that bring it the most profit. I want a fair variety of items to read and watch. Likewise, I do not want my city’s roads to be owned by private companies whose only incentive is profit. I want corporal ownership that is responsive to residents.
However, I do not want grocery stores to be publicly owned. I want competition to drive selection up and prices down. I want restaurants to be privately owned and operated. Having a mix of privately and publicly owned business gives us the best of both worlds and creates a check on each other.
Some cases are not as clear. Since health care is vitally important to a good life, do I want someone controlling our access and making a profit off everyone’s eventual misfortune? No. Perhaps we should avoid the misnomer “socialized medicine” and instead aim for “equalized medicine.”
Calling Democrats “socialist” is untrue and inflames divisiveness. Everyone wants freedom and individual incentive, but we also all want security. We need a fair balance of both.