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Examiner
  • Guest column Wrong about history, especially Truman Recent letter misses the mark on so-called socialism

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  • The writer of a recent letter to the editor (Oct. 2, “Examiner nudges U.S. to socialism”) seems to believe socialism and liberalism are the culprits that have been the cause of our economic and social problems. Logically, then, we should rely on “unsocialism” as a solution to our problems. Well, my extended family has had experience with unsocialism, in the form of little or no federal regulation, oversight, or intervention in our financial and economic system.
    To begin with, my grandmother lost her life savings, a sizable amount, to a banker at the outset of the Great Depression. At the same time, my parents lost their home in the city on a foreclosure after my father’s work hours were reduced and made intermittent, and there was no unemployment compensation. Shortly after, while we were renting a farm on which a relative had a mortgage, it, too, had to be given up to a bank. We remained on it, paying liberal rent to the banker. An example of “unsocialism.”
    More recently, a little socialism, in the form of a taxpayer subsidized bailout of Wall Street at the end of the Bush administration, saved our financial system, and economy, from a calamity. There was one exception to this dose of socialism. Lehman Bros. was not bailed out. So, some unsocialists now have the $50,000 I invested in a Lehman bond, and I am sure they think they earned it. That is one form of so-called conservatism.
    Also ludicrous is the statement that Harry Truman would take the Affordable Care Act to task for its supposedly socialist features. In fact, President Truman tried to get through Congress a national health insurance plan that would have gone further than so-called Obamacare. His plan provided for privately run hospitals and doctors running their own practices, but would have imposed a tax to pay for health-care coverage for almost all Americans.
    In fact, he received credit for preparing the ground for the enactment of the “socialist” Medicare Act that was signed by President Johnson at the Truman Library in 1965. Harry and Bess Truman sat at his side. If our 33rd president could have had his way, we would now have Medicare for all, and not just for those 65 years and older. We also would not now have about 700,000 bankruptcies a year attributable largely to medical bills.
    Finally, without citing facts and evidence, the writer concludes that the loss of subscribers to local newspapers, or to any newspapers, can be attributed to their liberal leanings. Somehow, he fails to observe the fact that new technology, in the form of smart phones and other Internet devices, is the main reason for this trend.
    Another cause is the fact that so many Americans lost income during the “great recession” that they could have used to pay for subscriptions. That major financial setback was brought on by the pro-Wall Street, anti-regulatory policies of the Bush administration. Let us not be fooled again by trying to set ourselves back to the policies of the 1920s or the G.W. Bush administration.
    Page 2 of 2 - Niel M. Johnson lives in Independence.

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