In response to this weekend's WorldNetDaily colum (Have a Selfish Thanksgiving), I got a lengthy email from my favorite liberal reader, Robert. This gentleman routinely (but politely) takes me to task for just about any opinion I express. I guess he can never accept the idea that we disagree on almost everything (except a mutual love for classical music). Contrary to his claim, this fellow is about as deep a Progressive as you could ever define.
So here's his latest email to me. One common theme in his missives (besides the evils of homeschooling) is that because conservatives are less inclined to unquestioningly hand out money in the form of welfare, we are therefore a cold heartless lot who want to see poor people die on the street, yadda yadda yadda.
Anyway, decide for yourself.
Hello Patrice! I don't agree with you here. Yes, communism proved to be the worst economic system ever. It was horribly inefficient and unproductive.
But you have to realize that its polar opposite, pure laissez-faire capitalism, where it's dog eat dog and every man for himself, and if you're down on your luck, tough noogies, is no better. I'm no socialist, Marxist or communist, even though a lot of right-wingers have accused me of this on the internet just because I don't share their economic and social views, but there HAS to be a safety net.
Without it, too many innocent people will be helpless and fall through the cracks. I believe in capitalism, yes. But not the kind where we're all on our own, and if misfortune strikes, too bad. Unfortunately, too many right-wing Americans mistake the existence of a safety net for socialism.
They aren't the same thing at all. And many say that private charities should be that safety net, and that the government has no business helping any one. Wrong. Don't get me wrong; I'm all for private charities. But it's a mistake think that they can provide for every one in need. In fact,they can't even come remotely close.
You said in your last post that you don't want to live in America if "socialism" come here. It hasn't and won't. If anything, the danger is right-wing extremists who want to destroy our already inadequate one, which would be catastrophic.
Look. The vast majority of Americans, and people everywhere, aren't lazy bums who want the government to support them in style for life so they can live an easy life with no work to do. They want to work and earn a decent or better living and to be secure along with their families for life.
But you forget that social and economic conditions in America make this extremely difficult if not impossible for so many people.
It's not easy in America to get a good education past high school and get and keep a secure job with good benefits. Working hard is important and people should do this. But it's absolutely no guarantee of prosperity or security.
But unfortunately, the lame ducks in congress are about to be replaced by a lot of Republican lame brains who tell gullible people all they want to hear about lowering taxes, "limited" government, "smaller" government and all that, and restoring "freedom."
But beware. They aren't going to increase prosperity if they get power, but only make things much worse. Lame ducks to lame brains. Just what we need.
All the best,