To the Editor:
It is about time that the American people were educated and informed about what true “socialism” is and is not. The fact is that in true socialism, “the means of production” are owned by all of the people. In other words, all of the workplaces and businesses are owned, controlled and run by all of the people for the good and well-being of all of the people; they are not privately owned by individuals and groups. In true socialism, we would not be totally equal in terms of how much we would get paid for our work, but we would be much, much more equal than we are now. There would not be any billionaires or people who have hundreds of millions of dollars in total wealth, most of which they inherited and did not earn by their own labor. We would share what we have.
Those individuals, such as Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who call themselves “Democratic socialists” are not socialists at all. They are actually ultra-liberal/progressive Democrats who believe that our federal government should do more and spend more on the safety-net programs, as well as other social programs that help the poor, the near-poor (those living on 100 percent to 125 percent of the “official poverty line”), the lower middle class, the middle class and even the upper middle class, because they also have financial struggles and problems — especially when it comes to medical and health care expenses in their families. They don’t advocate replacing our capitalist economic system with a truly socialist economic system. They support our capitalist economic system, but they want a capitalist economic system that is more humane than it is now and that has more federal government spending to help all people, just as our traditional allies do, more so than we here in the U.S.A.
So, Republicans and Democrats, please stop spreading the false belief that having a social program such as “social security” somehow makes us a “socialist” country.
Because it does not.
— Stewart B. Epstein, Rochester, New York.
Contact Stewart B. Epstein at phenom51 ‘at’ gmail.com.