To the editor:

Heritage Foundation President Kay C. James recently lamented the seduction of millennials by socialism and its promises of “free” college and healthcare. Frankly, I’m disappointed that someone as accomplished as Mrs. James has so badly missed the mark. Now, I am vehemently opposed to communism, which is what Mrs. James is actually describing, but socialism is entirely separate altogether. Denmark (whose minimum wage is $18/hour, not $0) is used as an example of not being truly socialist because it has free-market trade, but that’s not capitalism, that’s commerce; capitalism is how billionaires pay no taxes while 3.5 million Americans sleep on the street. “Heavy taxes to finance an extensive welfare state” are the socialism you’re looking for, and it’s not mutually exclusive with a free-market system.

Here’s the thing though -- no millennials want free stuff. Simply put, we want our taxes to be used intelligently and responsibly rather than to stuff the pockets of people paying poverty wages on our dime, and education and healthcare just happen to be two examples of that. Harry Truman once said that “socialism is a scare word … their name for almost anything that helps all the people,” and it seems some were more scared than others.

I conclude with a test for Mrs. James and anyone interested: hold up your Social Security card. Have you signed it? If so, congratulations! You are quite literally a card-carrying socialist.

Charles Z. Smith

Danvers

 

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