I read with a smile the recent letter to the editor from Gunnar Unneland who claims that socialism hurst businesses. I am not sure which version of socialism he describes, but it is not that of our European allies nor of the United States. We have long had socialist institutions: Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, progressive income tax, Veterans Administration health care and so on. We have not only survived but thrived because to the economic and social benefits these and other institutions provide. We are, and have been, a socialist country.
In Europe, one does not need to look very hard to find how socialism has benefited hundreds of millions on citizens. Universal health care, happiness that is much higher than ours in the United States (we rank No. 17; most of the top countries are “socialist”) and a strong sense of caring for one another. We rank quite low in many categories compared with Scandinavia, all of which have functioning capitalist systems, and socialism at the same time! Why be afraid of this idea; it is not communism or fascism!