Socialism Is Not the Answer
In 2019, I enjoyed watching parts of a speech from former Democratic Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper, where he said, "Socialism is not the answer."
Socialism is a word that means a lot of different things to different people. For some people, socialism means fairness or justice. For Donald Trump and many Republicans, socialism is whatever policies the Democrats propose.
It is a standard tactic for some Republicans to label all Democrats socialists. Don't believe it! This is a blatant lie. I did not grow up on the farm as a socialist, and I've never been a socialist.
Governor Hickenlooper's saying resonated with me because I have worked in the franchise industry for over 10 years, and during that time I helped hundreds of small business owners start and grow their businesses. I also was raised on the family farm, where I saw firsthand how owning a business created incentives for hard work and thrift.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines socialism
(1) any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods
(2a) a system of society or group living in which there is no private property
(2b) a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state
So, using the definition of socialism from the dictionary, then government ownership of the means of production is socialism and is not the answer. A pure capitalist system with no regulations is also not the answer, however. Private business owners need laws and regulations to prevent some of their profit-seeking activities from harming society, such as excessive pollution and on-the-job accidents.
Are the following laws and regulations socialism? I don't think so, and I don't think the large majority of Idahoans think so:
Preventing business pollution from killing people and harming the environment.
Making tobacco companies pay extra taxes because their products increase healthcare costs.
Preventing monopolies such as electric companies from raising their prices unfairly.
Requiring businesses to carry workers compensation insurance so that workers can be compensated for on-the-job injuries.
Prosecuting businesses and business executives who steal money from other people or from the government.
Are the following programs socialism? I don't think so, and I don't think the large majority of Idahoans think so:
Social Security, the number one factor in reducing poverty in seniors.
Public education, an important factor growing our economy.
USDA family farmer loan programs.
Trade assistance payments to family farmers hurt by the Trump trade wars.
Federal nuclear, scientific, and health research.
FEMA assistance after natural disasters.
Small Business Administration loans to start new businesses.
The bottom line is that laws, regulations, and government programs CAN help grow the economy and the middle class and provide better quality of life for the people of Idaho and the United States. And many laws, regulations, and government programs DO help grow the economy and the middle class and provide better quality of life, whereas the ones that do not should be changed.
As a State Representative from Bingham County, I will support laws and programs that help grow the economy and the middle class and provide a better quality of life, and I will oppose socialism.
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