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Letter to the Editor

February 09, 2009

What is socialism?



To the editor:

Those who are crying "socialism" in government apparently do not know its definition. Socialism is when a government takes over an industry and eliminates private ownership. Our population seems to be unforgivably ignorant of history and economics. I know one otherwise talented CEO who sneeringly says "ancient history" when examples of the past are quoted. He has never learned that history repeats itself and that we can learn from the past.

Today's economic slide is very reminiscent of 1929-31. Stock market crash, too much debt, low cash flow - it's all there.

From the beginning of our government in the late 1790s until about 1840, long distance transport depended on canals and waterways. Although operated by private capital, they received large subsidies from the government or our country could not have grown. With the advent of the railroad in 1829, huge areas were criss-crossed by railroads built with government money, although operated by capitalists. Did any call that socialism? By 1900, the country was well served by railroads and they may have been the biggest factor in developing the West.

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The federal reserve system was formed to support our capitalistic banking system. Was this socialism?

In the 1950s, our government created the interstate highway system, allowing the states to develop and maintain it. Was this socialism? In the history of civilization, there have been tremendous projects which only government can raise the funds necessary to complete.

Get real!

William F. Jones
Williamsport

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