Arbuthnot: Communism, socialism and capitalism, oh my! |

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Arbuthnot: Communism, socialism and capitalism, oh my!

In all the mud-slinging leading up to the election, I have grown tired of the right wing calling our president a communist or a socialist. So, In order to help those of you who have misconceptions, here is some basic info.

Communism – The idea of a communist country is that of a money-less state where the means of production, distribution and usage are all held in common. Spawning the theory, “from each according to his ability to each according to his needs.” Everyone within the system is in social order as they work together to prosper as a country. Obviously if you are a student of history you will quickly realize that this does not resemble anything in modern history, it worked for stone-age tribes and primitive clans, but on a larger and modern national level it just doesn’t work because it goes against the group mentality of human beings.

Socialism – In socialism the means of production are held by the government and goods and services are created directly for use rather than for profit as in capitalism. In the history of the world there have only been a few instances where a planned economy has worked (albeit temporarily). The reason being is that a planned economy is slow to react to changes, creates an unnatural caste system and often there are things that are overproduced and other things that are under produced. One example was the USSR, which eventually crumbled because it had grown so large that the planned economy was no longer able to keep up with the changes and adapt itself.

What most countries use is a liberal form of capitalism called a mixed economy where major institutions for the benefit of the quality of life of the citizens are controlled by the government, and paid for by the citizens as a part of their taxes. The remainder of the economy is held by the private sector. So it is curious why in the United States that some people complain about socialized medicine and welfare, but not about socialized libraries, transportation infrastructure, schools, banking, police departments, fire departments, water systems and mail delivery. Virtually all developed Western nations utilize this type of economy with varying degrees of government involvement, from the more stringent like Germany, to the most lassiez-faire, the United States. Lets try to remember how far from socialism and communism we actually are.

Wren Arbuthnot, Frisco

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