Advertisement
Clearing up Republican assertions about socialism

The word “socialism” has been in the news a great deal lately and has become the Republican Party’s favorite scare word of late to stoke fear of change and fear of the future. In the words of president Harry Truman more than 60 years ago, “Socialism is their name for almost anything that helps all the people.”

Our country's most popular and longest serving president, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, was a Democratic Socialist. The most successful, popular and economically stabilizing programs of our time we owe to Democratic Socialism. Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, the G.I. Bill, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the 40-hour work week, unemployment insurance, public power co-ops, price supports for our farmers, the minimum wage, the Fair Labor Standards Act, are all socialist programs American style.

Advertisement

These programs not only built our thriving middle class in the 1950s and ‘60s, they also made us the most educated and economically stable nation on Earth, and you can thank American-style socialism for it.

But dating back to the Reagan Era and the cruel farce of conservative trickle down economics, the middle class has slowly been dismantled in America. Consider that in the 1950s the average American CEO pay was 20 times that of their workers. Today it is 361 times greater. Between 1973 and 2013, average CEO pay increased 93 percent while the average worker’s pay increased a paltry 10.2 percent. By 2015, the top 1 percent of Americans made 26 times that of the bottom 99 percent of us. Not since the 1920s has income inequality been greater in America than it is now.

Republicans want you to believe socialism advocates for taking of the means of production by the government, or the creation of government-owned corporations, or worse, the loss of economic freedom. They want you to believe Democratic Socialism equates to communism or is the nonsense they are now practicing in Venezuela and that of failed communist Cuba. It is not.

Democratic Socialism is simply the acknowledgment that essential needs like healthcare, a good education, a clean environment, and a basic means of support in retirement cannot be left to Wall Street for profit. It is the recognition that we as Americans are all in this together, and that we all contribute to and benefit from these essentials that make us productive citizens.That is Democratic Socialism in its truest form and tradition of FDR.

Matthew George

Westminster

Hearty thanks to government entities

On Friday, March 22 at approximately 5 p.m., Hayes Construction [for which the author is a project manager] received a call from a Westminster resident in a precarious situation as the metal roof on his home had been badly damaged by the winds that began the night before. Power lines, neighboring homes, and consistent traffic at the intersection were all at risk for significant damage should the roofing materials break loose and fall or hang from the structure. The homeowner had another contractor on site quickly who was able to tarp the roof to prevent water intrusion, however they were not able to remove the damaged metal roof and instructed him to contact the authorities.

We responded immediately and were able to secure the blowing pieces for the night with the intention of returning in the morning for further repairs. Hayes Construction contacted the Westminster Police Department via. Lt. Launchi, who met with us on-site to discuss the forthcoming repairs. He contacted the City of Westminster Dept. of Public Works and the State Highway Administration directly as we would need to close both city and state roads to mobilize a crane for the emergency work. DPW responded immediately, supplying No Parking barricades to prevent parked cars in the necessary spaces.

On March 23, SHA was on site at 7 a.m. to close Liberty Street in conjunction with the DPW closing George Street. The shift supervisor for WPD was Sgt. Arnold, who again offered their service. We supplied eight men, four on the roof for the repairs and four on the roads to facilitate driers having the proper egress from driveways and parking spots. A crane was brought in and work was completed within three hours of mobilizing, directly aided by the government entities. All trash and debris was removed from the site, roads reopened, and the town’s Saturday morning was returned to normal.

Hayes Construction would like to thank the Westminster Police Department, Westminster Department of Public Works and SHA for the diligent and prompt response to the tenuous situation. We could not have completed the project safely and efficiently without their help and knowledge.

Jeff Murphy

Phoenix, Maryland

Advertisement
Advertisement