- - Sunday, February 28, 2016

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

In “Socialism’s strange appeal” (Web, Feb. 21), writer Stephen Moore asserts that Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and socialism “can’t handle [the] reality” of economic freedom. While Mr. Moore gives us reasons to believe that socialism is bad, he never offers reasons to support his original claim, which he states at the beginning and end of the piece. If anything, this is simply a rant criticizing socialism and liberal politics.

I don’t think Mr. Moore took the time to comprehend Mr. Sanders‘ political views. Mr. Sanders is not a socialist; despite labeling himself a democratic socialist, his views in fact reflect a social democracy, a la Sweden and Denmark. In his piece, Mr. Moore uses Sweden and Denmark as examples of countries straying away from “pure-bred Bernie Sanders socialism.” However, Sweden’s archaic inheritance tax, which hurt family businesses, was abolished by a unanimous vote (yes, social democrats can support tax bans) and Mr. Moore provides no evidence of Denmark’s political regression. It’s also ironic how these countries are “mostly free,” according to the Economic Freedom of the World index, with scores significantly above the world average. Denmark is a mere tenth of a point below the United States.

As for liberals using Cuba as an example to support a welfare state, which liberal has explicitly supported Cuba, a communist nation? Communism and socialism are very different, and I don’t think Mr. Moore should have brought Cuba into the discussion. The lack of supporting evidence surrounding his claims about it tarnishes his credibility.

Mr. Sanders does not want to hinder economic freedom, nor does he believe that government should own the means of production (the literal definition of socialism). He wants our nation to be more like Scandinavia, whose “healthy, wealthy, and wise” nations have governments and economies that work for everyone. The reality of economic freedom isn’t lost on Mr. Sanders; economic freedom is a core component of his campaign.

STEFANI OLSZEWSKI

Richmond, Va.


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