Social Democracy thrives in many countries, benefitting the greater good

Posted 9 May 2016 at 12:00 am


This letter is in response to Dave Joksimovic (“Socialism is ‘legal plunder”, April 21, 2016, Orleans Hub). He apparently is concerned because Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton in Orleans County during the April 19th NYS Democratic Primary for President.

Mr. Joksimovic tries to make the point that Bernie is all about “socialism”. He then goes on to object to having to pay taxes as “a penalty for being a productive citizen”, and encourages citizens NOT to vote.

In my job as case manager for the Orleans County Mental Health Department, Social Services and Probation, I worked with young people and their families. When I saw a teen dig his/her heels in and say, “I’m not going to do that because someone in authority said I had to”, I knew we had a problem of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD).

As you can imagine, frustration raged on the part of the parents and child or teacher and child. But there were various methods to get the participants to come to mutual beneficial terms. The most effective was to enable the young person to see the REASON behind certain demands or rules of authority. So, even though compliance wasn’t “voluntary”, they eventually became “willing” to comply, and learned to see the “greater good” for everyone in cooperating. In most cases, the family ran smoother and school grades usually improved.

Mr. Joksimovic’s frame of reference seems to fit the above scenario. Let’s review what he calls “socialism”. Our taxes fund law enforcement, drinking water purification, waste treatment, clean air, safe food, safe plane travel, good schools, highway and bridge construction, health care, and social security. These are the essential services our Representative Democracy has created; what Mr. Joksimovic refers to as “mob rule”.

He calls Social Democracy a failure citing two examples, Venezuela and Greece. I was taught in school that Greece was the cradle of our civilization. Yet, 643,000 citizens go bankrupt in the U.S. every year because of medical expenses.

Regardless, here is a more complete list of countries where Social Democracy is working and its citizens don’t go bankrupt from health problems; where children don’t go hungry; where workers are paid a living wage and the economies are flourishing: Britain, France, Japan, Germany, Canada, Netherlands, and Switzerland.

Mr. Joksimovic implies that liberty is scary for our citizens and tyranny is less so. How little has been learned from the lessons of history?

Don’t let the tea party, anti-tax, New York Revolution types fool you. There is a lot of money to be made privatizing social programs I mentioned above. That is their aim. Not only would the rich not have to pay taxes (profits tucked away offshore), but also they will be able to charge We, The People, for using them.

Yes, Mr. Joksomovic, Democracy can be a messy business, and we don’t always agree. I remember President Reagan raising taxes eleven times. I remember when G. W. Bush wiped out the 5.6 million dollar Clinton surplus in two years and the national debt hit $10 trillion on his watch. I just don’t remember any conservatives and/or Republicans scream about that.

It is appalling to suggest to our citizens not to vote, as Mr. Joksomovic has done. That has to be the most blatant oppositional thinking of all.  Even if we cannot agree on a Presidential candidate, there are Congressional and Senate races, New York State Senator and Supreme Court Justice, and Assemblyman races. On the County level, there are District Attorney and Coroner elections. And don’t forget your town elections (Carlton and Gaines Town Clerk and Murray Town Justice).

As citizens of the United States, of New York State, of Orleans County, and of one of our townships, we have a right and civic obligation to vote. So many laid down their lives both at home and abroad for we take for granted today. Don’t let fear mongering over “socialism” keep you from voicing your opinion on Election Day.

Thank you for your attention,

Al Capurso