Published Friday, November 02, 2012

Social programs, not socialism

There has been a lot of clamor in this newspaper recently regarding socialism, and it is obvious many have no idea what they are talking about. I suggest that before anyone uses the term again they look up the definition in a dictionary. There is a huge difference between socialism and social programs.

There are things in the national interest that are so massive they would overwhelm the private sector in their implementation. Let’s take the U.S. Postal Service as a prime example. Prior to its establishment, the primary means of long distant communication was by yelling, horns, drums, bells and smoke signals. Although the importance of the Post Office has waned over the last few decades due mainly to the telephone and Internet, it has served us well for more than 200 years. Even today, barring a hurricane or blizzard, for less than 50 cents we can still send a first class letter from Miami, Fla., to Barrow, Alaska, with reasonable expectation that it will arrive within five days.

Other social programs that have benefited us all over the years include granting railroad, telegraph and telephone rights of way; building roads, highways and bridges; and building airports and terminals. Don’t forget NASA, without which we would probably all be speaking Russian and calling each other comrade.

Even kings provide social programs.

Dennis Thompson

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