Redistribution of wealth for social needs rather than profits is a premise for socialism. When a government collects wealth (tax money) according to means (profits/income) and redistributes it to provide social needs, I call that government socialism.
Basic American social needs might have started with things such as the military, police and the legal system, but since then, social needs have accumulated to a level unsustainable by taxes alone. In addition to taxes, America is now borrowing nearly $1.5 trillion a year to fund a bloated government delivering bloated social needs.
We all know the Republican view on government socialism. Less government spending and no new taxes equals less socialism. But Democrats won’t even acknowledge government socialism. They are calling for more taxation, spending and borrowing as a solution for our economic problems but defend that call with a class warfare spin only.
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President Obama’s jobs program is more government socialism. Other Democrats should acknowledge that, come out of the spin room and be champions for the socialism cause. We the people deserve a more honest discussion of our future.
I hate to disagree with Kevin O’Connor of Santa Barbara’s cute “Quote of the Day” (Sept. 16), but the U.S. Postal Service has been downsizing for the 21 years I have been working for it. It has had hiring freezes in place for years.
As people retire, other routes in the office absorb territory to keep pace with the declining volume. So we need fewer carriers and trucks. We use new computerized sorting machines to cut down on clerks’ hours. We have shed one-third of our workforce since my first day in 1990.
Kevin’s private P.O. box idea is fine. And he can do that at privately owned mailbox stores that exist now. Except what about all those cars going to pick up their mail?
What if you lived far away from town? That’s where the Postal Service steps in — getting your mail to you for no profit, just the cost of postage. Pretty good deal for more than 200 years.
P.S.: The USPS is mostly in debt because of the 2006 congressional mandate to pre-fund our health benefits for the next 75 years, something no company private or public is required to do.
A disconnect exists between my letter (Sept. 12) and Richard Placak’s attempted rebuttal (Sept. 19). My letter focused on growing economic disparity in the United States. Within this context, I mentioned that such disparity is absent in advanced European countries and Japan because the business leaders in those countries find it unconscionable and against societal interest.
Placak asserts that I use Japan and European countries as examples for the United States to follow, ignoring the fact their economies are performing poorly. My letter contains no such suggestion. Rebutting a point not even made is absurd. Economic disparity exists in countries with poor and strong economies. Saudi Arabia is an example of the latter.
How one views economic inequality depends on their value system. Some believe they inherently deserve the whole loaf, while others consider it against common good. A society can prosper only if its members believe that we have to take care of each other.
As the poet said, “No man is an island.” A nation cannot survive if the guiding principles of individual citizens are self-interest and greed. The growing economic gap in the United States started more than 30 years ago; the problem did not exist before then, regardless of the shape of the economy.
San Luis Obispo
Get back to work
I know that many of us, unfortunately, have a son, daughter, other family member, friend or neighbor who has been out of work or underemployed for the past three years. It is a difficult time for many of us. The recession has directly affected all of us.
It is time to put America back to work. I know you feel this way whether you are a Democrat, Republican, Independent or part of the Green Party.
Many in the past year have said we need to take to the streets. This is your opportunity to join us for a countywide peaceful demonstration to support “Putting Americans Back to Work” from noon to 1 p.m. Tuesday at Rep. Kevin McCarthy’s office in Atascadero at 5805 Capistrano. For more information, call 466-2448.
Be present to show your support. Our president has said he cannot do it alone. It takes all of us from localities across the nation to let our voices be heard for jobs for Americans.
Bring your homemade signs: Support the jobs bill; put Americans back to work now!
President, Atascadero Democratic Club
Ask yourself ...
Tea party supporter Paul Allen’s letter (Sept. 19) proclaims his absence of personal prejudice toward other races. OK. But personal bigotry and discrimination by whites toward people of color is only one manifestation of racism.
The very fabric of institutional life in the United States is primarily what perpetuates racial inequities. Segregated housing, separate and unequal education, massive racial disparities in the judicial system, unequal access to health care, jobs and wealth — these continue all by themselves. They have hundreds of years of momentum behind them.
Think of it this way: You didn’t actually have to be a slave owner to support and defend the system of slavery. You didn’t have to own a store that had separate drinking fountains for whites and “coloreds” to maintain Jim Crow segregation.
Perpetuating those systems required only one thing: passivity. Conversely, neither slavery nor Jim Crow laws withered away of their own accord. It required the Civil War and the civil rights movement to change them.
It’s the same now. If you actively or passively support policies that leave racial inequality in place or even make it worse, are you racist? That’s a question we might all want to ask ourselves.
Me, I, we, my
I watched Obama’s speech to the joint session of Congress on Sept. 8. It was the same old thing with a lot of “I,” “me,” “my,” and “we,” and as if on cue, a lot of Democrats stood up.
As for the “we,” he must have been talking about the Democrats and others who voted him into office. He is a true politician. I’m not saying he's a truthful one. As the old saying goes, “Talk is cheap.” The speech was mostly about his American Jobs Act, which he insisted be passed by Congress now.
One big question I have is, did he ever have a job? In an interview on TV a short time after his speech, he said he was like the captain of a ship. I thought that was a bad choice for him because I feel with his actions that ship could be the U.S.A. Titanic. All voters should do a lot of thinking before 2012.
San Luis Obispo
This is to invite all dog lovers and San Luis Obispo County to Dogtoberfest, set for Oct. 8 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Atascadero Lake Park right next to the Atascadero Zoo off Highway 41.
We’re looking forward to having wiener dog races and wiener wannabe races (for pups under 25 pounds). You can register for those at Parks4Pups.org.
We’ll also have a pet costume contest, raffle drawings throughout the day, vendor booths, animal rescue groups and pet adoptions, plus an Elks barbecue ($10 for adults, $5 for kids 12 and younger). Those wishing to have a vendor booth can call 461-5749, cost is $55 for a booth.
All proceeds benefit Heilmann Dog Park in Atascadero and Vineyard Dog Park in Templeton. Hope to see you at the park!
Jan Wolff and Paula O’Farrell
Heilmann Dog Park and Vineyard Dog Park