If the target of Bob Alderman’s diatribe (“Socialism only makes rich people become poor,” April 17) is North Korea, he might have a point. If, as I suspect, his target is the democratic socialism of Bernie Sanders and most of Western and Central Europe, he is poorly informed.
Germany, a social democracy by virtue of its constitution, was recently ranked first in the “Best Countries” report of U.S. News & World Report, the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School and global brand consultants BAV Consulting. Its economy, low unemployment and entrepreneurship were cited as reasons for the ranking.
To Alderman’s point, it certainly wasn’t people made poor by (democratic) socialism I saw last fall driving all those luxury cars and taking expensive vacations. Sure, taxes are high. A young couple I know in Frankfurt, Germany, counts themselves in the top 10 percent of German earners and told me they pay about 53 percent in taxes, but they appreciate the essentially free higher education the system afforded them, the government-run health system, the minimum of five weeks of paid vacation per year, the year of paid maternity leave, including two weeks for the father, they are currently enjoying, etc.
Max Riedlsperger, San Luis Obispo