To the editor:

The Democratic Party is being hijacked by socialists such as Bernie Sanders (D-Vt.) and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) who advocate extreme policies like the Green New Deal and Medicare for All.

Socialism is based on the altruistic desire for equality. The guiding principle of socialism is “from each according to his ability to each according to his needs.” But this belief is contrary to human nature. People are not equal in their abilities and will only employ their talents for the benefit of society in response to proper incentives. 

Winston Churchill aptly said, “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.”

Socialism has produced the current humanitarian crisis in Venezuela. Price controls have resulted in shortages of food, medicine, toilet paper and even electricity in a country with the world’s largest oil reserves. Ninety percent of Venezuelans now live in poverty. Close to 13 percent of Venezuelans have fled the country.

What about the socialist model of health care? Britain’s NHS is a single-payer system funded entirely by taxes. Hospitals are owned by the government and doctors are government employees. To control the potentially astronomical costs to taxpayers, the NHS has adopted stringent controls on the fees paid to providers and rationed patient services. Average patients are denied many of the latest treatments and the waiting time for hip and knee replacements is 11 and 12 months, respectively. In Canada, patients wait an average of five months to see a specialist and over two months for an MRI.

The U.S. has a version of the NHS, i.e., the infamous Veterans Health Administration. Socialized medicine in America would simply be the VHA writ large. But you don’t hear Sanders calling for “VA health care for all,” do you?

Voorhees Dunn, Ph.D.

Madison

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