Dear Fellow Community Members:
A very good letter to the editor appeared in the Feb. 2 edition of The Times-Tribune of Scranton, PA. From Richard London of State College, who writes, “Socialism bluster ignores reality.” London touches on the “knee-jerk reactions” of Republicans who are always clamoring for a fight with Democrats (as I interpret this; you can interpret it as you like). I have viewed this contentious attitude from Republicans since I was a Republican myself and EXPECTED to be contentious with all Democrats. I kid you not. I remained with that party in Florida for many years and am sad I did.
What my partner and I have observed is this. There is no goal of Republicans to solve the problems of this nation, but just act like dictators and force everyone to go along with their desires. It began under Reagan and we viewed it during those years. My partner and I did not actually meet until 2005, but when we compared notes, it was astounding as to how our notes matched each other. I can say the same thing about his now-deceased brother who had been a Republican for many years.
it is unbelievable to be in “Yankee-land” and have difficulty in finding people who are on the same page as we have been since coming together in 2005. This letter to the editor is one of the first we have read which demonstrates being on the “same page” with someone up north. Sad to see that this does NOT come from the Gannett Pravda of Binghamton which has condensed the size of its newspaper, reduced the information it once provided, and evidently does not provide information for those of us on this same page. We really dislike Gannett as it also took over the newspaper where my partner worked for some 33 years as a copy editor. That newspaper in Palm Beach County did the same thing – condensing the information to nothing and then claiming, “no one reads newspapers.” Of course they don’t when the saboteurs at the top reduces them to nothing. Perhaps that also explains why it is so damn difficult to find people here in the Southern Tier who are on the same page? Just a conjecture on my part.
In light of what I just said, let me share that letter by Richard London (perhaps a professor? I have no idea, but his address is State College, PA).
Socialism bluster ignores reality
State College, PA
The Times-Tribune (Scranton, PA), 2 Feb. 2022
Editor: An accusation that Republicans love to hurl at Democrats is that they are “socialists.”
Do Republicans understand what American socialism, also called “democratic socialism,” really is? Do they confuse it with Soviet socialism, from the old U.S.S.R. days, or modern socialism in authoritarian places such as North Korea or Venezuela?
Socialism, or socialization, is any structure in which a governmental agency – federal, state or local – collects funds from the general public via taxes, and uses the money to provide a service back to the population at little, or no, cost. The arrangement has been authorized by the people, though their representatives; hence democratic socialism.
Everyday examples of socialism include public schools and highways (state level), Social Security and Medicare (federal level), and public libraries (local level). Nearly all Republicans embrace and enjoy these benefits provided by the socialization mechanism, but many of them decry socialism in general.
Maybe it’s a knee-jerk reaction to Democratic social issue proposals. Maybe Republicans just don’t understand the term. Maybe they understand, but want to turn public opinion against proposals by using a loaded term from the past.
The difference between Republicans and progressives is not that progressives accept socialization and the Republicans reject it, since both clearly accept it. Both are willing to use the mechanism for examples such as education, highways and libraries, and even for retirement and health insurance plans (at least for the elderly); progressives want to use it for additional things to benefit the public.
There are some parts of this letter, I wish to place add-ons, but will not go to long length to do so. Being that i spent 40+ years in education and as a librarian, I feel there is one thing I wish to add regarding the statements about libraries being part of the “socialization.” The public library here in Newark Valley exists due to an endowment more than 100 years ago from two Republican families here in Newark Valley. I am told that it is able to run by means of dividends from that endowment. I speak of the Tappan-Spaulding Memorial Library in Newark Valley. The Tappan family, especially, was once a big family here in Newark Valley. Republicans, for sure.
I mention this because of the “bluster” surrounding socialism. This library was never one of socialism, but one of capitalist investment and return on investment, by way of dividends earned.
With this being said, Mr. London’s comments about Social Security and Medicare can be challenged as NOT necessarily being socialism. That is where people today, I believe, are confused as to what socialism AND capitalism are about. The aristocracy of the 19th Century grabbed hold of the ideas of capitalism and spun those ideas around so as to benefit the aristocracy and supply side economics. Teddy Roosevelt, a Republican “progressive” tried to spin the thoughts of capitalism to those of REGULATED capitalism. Remember TR was called the “trust buster?” Remember that Thomas J. Watson was nearly arrested, before founding IBM, for working at NCR and working to do a Trump-type of thing; “destroy the competition.” Regulations almost sent Watson to jail. He reformed when he created IBM and there are many who can be thankful for that. It was those idiots who took over the corporation after Watson who sent it reeling to North Carolina and Texas.
Social Security and Medicare have received funds, just like a CAPITALIST endowment, from the common folks like you and me. The “bluster” over socialism, in my humble opinion, has totally destroyed the ideas of endowments, dividends, and return on investments. Thus, we have Trump and Republicans working to destroy Social Security and Medicare, in the name of anti-socialism which is described by Mr. London in his letter.
It is damn difficult to find anyone on the same page I am with regard to the practicality and REALITY of capitalist considerations of Social Security and Medicare. I’ll be damned if I can find anyone who does not conform to the false notions of Karl Marx which blames capitalism. Karl Marx SHOULD have blamed the aristocracy of the day and its grip on promoting supply side economics which they called, “capitalism.” The stupidity of some economists of the 1970s and then Reagan in 1980 brought back this notion about supply side economics and today, we are falsely giving accusation to Social Security and Medicare as being socialism when, in reality… (REALITY is a word in the title of Mr. London’s letter to the editor), the money we all put into those government programs gets stolen from us, by both Democrats and Republicans alike, to use for government programs (like war and a war on drugs for the sake of drug lords which apparently now focus on the locality near the old IBM on Washington Avenue, Endicott) where they should not be used. We common folk forfeit the ability to gain dividends from our CAPITALIST investments, due to this false talk about it all.
I know everyone wishes I do not make the article so lengthy. But let me tell you about how my lack of length and detail and no one understood my writings about the Ozempic med saved in a refrigerator for three months, rather than one month. Until I went into detail with a comparison of Ozempic in a refrigerator to milk in a refrigerator over three months, no one even tried to consider what I was saying and THINK, as Thomas J. Watson suggested IBM employees do. THINK is for the sake of common folk, Middle Class, and democracy. Republicans today don’t want THINK, so they work to destroy public education, while Democrats sit around like a bunch of wimps and let the Republicans do what they want. That is REALITY, as pointed out by Mr. London of State College, PA. That is the reality to which I address.
In college at SUNY Potsdam History program (I minored in history, behind my major of music education), I was introduced to books by Dr. Daniel Boorstin. Dr. Boorstin eventually became the only decent part of Ronald Reagan of the 1980s. Boorstin was appointed as Librarian of Congress (after I earned my Masters of Library Science from Syracuse University). Dr. Boorstin’s book series is titled, The American Experience. Each book was about some different aspect. The Explorers. The Colonials. The one we read was about the American DEMOCRATIC experience, but I have purchased and partially read the others in the series. They are very interesting.
I am going into this detail as background for what I am about to say. Boorstin’s democratic experience includes a chapter about the first insurance commissioner in Yankee-land Massachusetts, Erasmus Wright. What does he have to do with what I am saying here? Because in the 19th Century, Erasmus Wright took on big insurance of his day who were run by criminals who took people’s money for life insurance but rarely had the money left over to pay when the people died. To me, this is no different than big homeowners insurance (especially in Florida) taking our money and never considering the capitalist investment and the dividends available when the money is not used. Instead, we always end up with a zero return on investment. Same thing with life insurance when Erasmus Wright of Massachusetts took it on. Same thing, too, with employer-provided health insurance for 40 years, many times with money contributed by ME, the EMPLOYEE, and nothing in funds to collect dividends. I am angered by Blue Cross & Blue Shield for the money I contributed over 25 years as a college professor and now being told by Medicare Blue Cross Blue Shield (Excellus) that “they cannot pay for pre-existing conditions;” while I pay premiums for six months. UHC of AARP says the same thing, while I paid membership dues to AARP for some 20 years or so. That endowment with dividends works for the local library. But lawyers and accountants with their big fat wallets, make rules against the thinking about endowments into insurance for us little folks who pay all the taxes. I don’t recall the name of the health insurance coverage I had prior to 1995 when I began working for the college, but there is an investment there, too. Add to that privatized insurance what I have paid into Medicare and Social Security (FICA) over 40 years total and I should have enough of dividends to help pay for my health care and retirement.
But the norm is to only do this with big fat pigs of corporations, but not for the common folk. And then have to listen to the “bluster” about socialism which “ignores reality.” I write and write and write and write and write about these things and neither Democrats or Republicans pick up on it. I would expect that of lousy fascist Republican leaders who defend the fat pigs, but what about the Democrats? Nothing but wimps who are afraid of being blasted by false “bluster of socialism?” It is sickening.
No wonder a friend and colleague (professor) had to talk me out of leaving this nation back in 2016 when lousy Trump was elected, so I could live in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, or even Scotland. This friend said, “we need people like you who are willing to stand up against what is going on.” Here I am. All alone.
But then again, I cannot collect ANY Medicare in any of those nations, thanks to the bullshit of Republican fascist control. So why bother? The only options? Live in the mountains of Mexico and Central America where I have to live in heat and humidity, which I really is lousy for me.Should I have the dividends earned for Medicare, FICA, and PRIVATIZED insurance, over many years, I might have a chance of living in those other nations.
I might add that it was a Democrat who put that homeowners’ insurance crap in place in Florida. Shame on him. But then again. What the hell did Jeb Bush, Rick the Prick, or DeSantis do to reform it from that? Nothing. Yet, some miserable SOB in Pennsylvania will attack our Democratic Party governor in NY for trying to find a solution to the gun problem by way of “bail reform.” Why? Because those idiots in Florida have more interest in the wealthy fat pigs than they do about the impact of insurance criminals on common folk. DeSantis puts in place stupid ignorant rules to put down the teaching of history regarding slavery and sexual identity in the schools. No. He does not do something to actually help the common folk, only for the damn fundagelical Southern Baptists of the Baptist Conservative Network and other ultra right wing religious bastards. But for insurance? What does DeSantis, Rick the Prick or Jeb Bush do about that? Not one damn thing, as they gerrymander the state in order to maintain a one-party legislature and governorship (with TERM LIMITS, too), which were CREATED by gerrymandering for the sake of central Florida white supremacists.
I am obviously very angry about these situations and become angry at anyone who supports these damn Republican fascists. So I write. And I write. And I write. And I write. Someone pay attention and stop leaving me all alone and not seeking the same page with me (common ground); or perhaps HIDING what they truly believe, especially if they are not impacted by racial or sexual identity issues.