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Letter to the Editor: America can't afford socialism

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Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Mr. Euell’s letter titled “Universal health care not socialism,” published Sept. 1, was quite interesting. His letter demonstrates just how little understanding many people have as to what is socialism and what is not socialism.

There are very few countries whose economic system is pure socialism. Many countries have elements of socialism within their economic and political systems. Many countries practice wealth redistribution, which is a major tenet of socialism. Public education, public health care, food stamps, welfare, earned income credit, child credit, subsidies to businesses and subsidies to individuals are all wealth redistribution programs. This is the essence of socialism.

To anyone wishing to obtain a rudimentary understanding of socialism, I recommend that you read the article titled “How does the redistribution of wealth relate to socialism?” on www.quora.com. This article has seven different viewpoints on socialism. The first viewpoint by Mauricio-José Schwarz appears to be the best of the seven.

I am not sure where Mr. Euell got his data on the current medical spending of the federal government. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that the federal government will spend $1.04 trillion on health care for 2018.

Different organizations have calculated the cost of Medicare for all (universal health care). They all have reached the same conclusion that Medicare for all would cost $32.6 trillion over 10 years. An average cost of $3.26 trillion per year above and beyond the cost now spent by the federal government, increasing government spending by $3.26 trillion each year for a total of $4.3 trillion per year by the government on medical care.

Mr. Euell throws in the caveat of the deaths that are claimed to be caused by lack of access to health care. The problem is that death is part of the life cycle. We are born, we live so many years then we die. The timing of our death is controlled by many different variables. The major variable being the decisions that we have made along the way. If we make good decisions, we should live a long and productive life. If we have made bad decisions, then we will live a short life with numerous health problems along the way.

What Mr. Euell and those who pander for universal health care are asking for is their friends, neighbors and the rest of the citizens of the United States to redistribute our wealth so that we are paying for the good or bad decisions that others have made along the way. Enough with the whining for others to take on the responsibilities that they should be doing for themselves.

Ray Shamlin

Rocky Mount

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