Is It Socialism Or Part of the ‘General Welfare’ of the Nation?

It has come to my attention some letter writers in The Telegraph and posters at Macon.com, have taken umbrage with the use of the word “socialism” in describing the worsening state of affairs in our nation today — from exorbitant, crippling regulations and taxation to abuse of the “general welfare” clause of the Constitution.

In the Declaration of Independence, U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, our Founders cited the transcendental functions of government in describing the natural and inalienable rights of men — e.g., the protection of life, liberty, property and the freedom to pursue our health, occupation, religion and happiness to our hearts desire.

乐动体育APPLegal contracts in commerce were sacrosanct and a binding obligation to be fulfilled with the force of law as to secure liberty and prosperity business and commerce. But what about the much cited clause in the Preamble to the Constitution, i.e., “promote the general welfare”? The clause brings us back to the specified powers of government granted in the Constitution for the “well-being” of the nation as a whole, not for a politically favored group because of a particular background or socioeconomic status.

What are examples of general welfare?乐动体育APP Consider necessary infrastructure — construction and maintenance of roads, bridges, seaports and airports. These are legitimate government functions necessary for travel and commerce, from which we all benefit as a nation. Thus, it is a necessary duty of government, preferably state and local governments. It is “general welfare” not socialism.

“Specific welfare,” on the other hand, is aimed at certain groups of citizens and not the population as a whole, promotes wealth redistribution, the taking of the fruits of the labors of some to give to others. It promotes envy and class warfare. It is not “general welfare,” it is socialism.

What are examples of specific welfare? Government housing, food stamps, “universal” health care, extended benefits for an idle portion of the population at the expense of the hard-working portion of the segment — this is socialism.Graph With Text

What is socialism? My own definition is that Socialism is the assumption and maintenance of governmental power preferably by evolution rather than revolution; the seduction of the population by promising something for nothing, using class strife, the politics of envy, and the incitement of the dark side of human nature to justify legal plunder, taking by force from the industrious to give to the idle and dependent (i.e., wealth redistribution). Those receiving then are beholden to (and support) those in power bestowing the largesse. This redistribution of wealth and management of power is carried out by elites, who are above the rest of the people, insisting because they "know better" in protecting the populace even from themselves. Thus eliminating as much as possible the people's freedom to choose. This subservience, leveling, and unnatural "equality" is maintained by the State's monopoly of force, owning or largely controlling via regulation or taxation, the means of production (e.g., factories, mines, commercial enterprises, even small businesses, etc), distribution (transportation, communication, interstate commerce, etc.), or consumption of goods and services (e.g., food, health care, housing, education indoctrination, etc.). But despite the effort socialism always ends in failure as it goes against the nature of man and fails to create the elusive more submissive Socialist New Man requiring no material incentives to work, bereft of creativity, and obeying his masters without a will of his own.

乐动体育APPBut what about Medicare and Social Security? On the one hand, they are compulsory, Ponzi schemes that we are forced to contribute to, yet, these programs have become ingrained in our thinking that they promote our security and well-being in old age. They are socialistic policies that should be made voluntary, as in the unalienable right to liberty and the pursuit of our own health and happiness. Frankly, since it affects all, an argument could be made that they are not socialistic but tending to the general welfare.

What about compassion enforced by government for a more equitable society?Government wealth redistribution is not charity. It is based on obligatory taking (taxation) and not freely given. It is compulsion, and thus deprived of genuine compassion, good faith, and voluntarism. Moreover, taking does not result in giving what belongs to the givers but what belongs to others, so it is not altruism.

Rather than engendering a sense of true philanthropy and humanitarianism, as is the case with volunteering for good works carried out disinterestedly by churches and other benevolent social institutions, it is based on politics, people control and compulsion enforced by the State.

What do the ancients say about this subject of government generosity? Aristotle (384-322 B.C.) addressed this issue extensively in both Nichomachean Ethics and Politics. For Aristotle happiness in generosity arouse from giving to others voluntarily what is your own, not socialism by government coercion:

"Injustice in the sense of distributive justice is a violation of proportions. Distribution should be made in accordance with merit or with the ratio of the contributions which have been made to the fund.—Aristotle (c. 350 B.C.) in Nicomachean Ethics, Book V.

"The Demagogue can not be allowed to distribute the surplus even in a just and fair society, the poor receive more and more help but such help is like water poured into a leaky casket.”—Aristotle in Politics, Book VI.

"This, however, is not the way in which people would speak who had their wives and children in common; they would say 'all' but not 'each.' In like manner their property would be described as belonging to them, not severally but collectively. There is an obvious fallacy in the term 'all': like some other words, 'both,' 'odd,' 'even,' it is ambiguous, and even in abstract argument becomes a source of logical puzzles. That all persons call the same thing mine in the sense in which each does so may be a fine thing, but it is impracticable; or if the words are taken in the other sense, such a unity in no way conduces to harmony. And there is another objection to the proposal. For that which is common to the greatest number has the least care bestowed upon it. Every one thinks chiefly of his own, hardly at all of the common interest; and only when he is himself concerned as an individual. For besides other considerations, everybody is more inclined to neglect the duty which he expects another to fulfill... Each citizen will have a thousand sons who will not be his sons individually but anybody will be equally the son of anybody, and will therefore be neglected by all alike."— Aristotle in Politics, Book II, part iii

"Again, how immeasurably greater is the pleasure, when a man feels a thing to be his own; for surely the love of self is a feeling implanted by nature and not given in vain, although selfishness is rightly censured... No one, when men have all things in common, will any longer set an example of liberality or do any liberal action; for liberality consists in imparting to others what is our own.” Aristotle in Politics, Book II, part v.

"But that the unequal should be given to equals, and the unlike to those who are like, is contrary to nature, and nothing which is contrary to nature is good." Aristotle, Politics, Book VII, part iii.

And what about public education? Admittedly both Plato and Aristotle believed in public education as a worthwhile goal of society so that citizens could execute their expected civic duties and public service of citizenship. Unfortunately as it stands today in the U.S., it tends to be a socialistic endeavor (one of the 10 planks of the Communist Manifesto). Why?

乐动体育APPNot only because of its indoctrination in political correctness as well as the general failure to educate, but because it is given unequal tax treatment by state governments, and those making sacrifices to send their children to private schools are heavily penalized, shouldering the burden for their own children’s education as well as that of others.

乐动体育APPIt is supported largely by property taxes, so once again, one group of people (who have placed their life investment in the real estate value of their home) carries the burden disproportionately.

乐动体育APPDo I think it could be made a “general welfare” benefit? Yes, and it should be because we all benefit from better-educated children and a skilled, well-trained labor force.

But the points above should be corrected, at least by making funding of public education more equitable by providing tax credits for those sending children to private schools and easing the burden on retirees by funding it via a flat income tax rate or excise taxes. Otherwise, as currently implemented, public education has a nagging socialistic streak.

Miguel A. Faria, M.D., is a citizen of Macon.

A shorter version of this commentary was published in The Macon Telegraph on December 4, 2011.

This article may be cited as: Faria MA. Is it socialism or part of the "general welfare" of the nation? kutahyaevdeneve.com, December 4, 2011. Available from:  http://haciendapub.com/randomnotes/it-socialism-or-part-%E2%80%98general-welfare%E2%80%99-nation

Copyright ©2011 Miguel A. Faria, Jr., M.D.

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Comments on this post

US Welfare provides market disincentive!

乐动体育APPThere is a pretty significant tax incentive in favor of having children in the USA for the poor and working class. Not so much for the investor class. But there is also a BIG fiscal DISincentive to family-building for the American poor and working classes. Namely, the WELFARE state. Then there are a couple of free market disincentives, too. For example, the cost of daycare is equal to or greater than entry level income in most job markets. Why? Back to welfare state, a lot of daycare is subsidized. So the market is hyper-inflated... just like most other stuff we grouse about from education to healthcare. Get rid of the subsidies of CORPORATE and individual handouts, and markets would normalize quickly. Keep the gov't finger on the scales and you will never resolve these problems.--- Ken Morrow (FB)

Socialism or welfarism?

Submitted by email by Mr. R.W., who writes: Dr. Faria, your "Socialism is totalitarianism by seduction" is intriguing. I'll have to cogitate that more. I really need to read more Lenin. His quote floored me for its raw confession:"the goal of socialism is communism." That statement certainly makes necessary separation between the two systems difficult for the embarrassed socialist: The following was in the Wall Street Journal,乐动体育APP Letter to Editor 9/11/2018: "Young Socialists Should Be Clear on Facts."

Regarding Crispin Sartwell’s “How to Argue With a Young Socialist” (Op-Ed, Aug. 23, 2018): The published vision of the Young Democratic Socialists of America seeks “a humane social order based on popular control of resources and production, economic planning, equitable distribution, feminism, racial equality and non-oppressive relationships.” These young airheads do not like to use Venezuela or Cuba as examples of this failed philosophy but instead refer to Denmark, Sweden and Norway apparently not realizing that these countries are not technically “socialist” since the means of production are privately held and they do not have centrally planned economies (not “popular control of resources and production”). These countries are indeed “welfare” states but open-market policies generate enough revenue to support the spending. They are largely homogeneous and their cultures are conducive to a large welfare state, unlike America.-- Bob Gruy, Pawleys Island, S.C.
Excellent distinction! Socialism with a human face, I've called it. But that human face was never seen in communism or discerned today in the modern liberals, where class struggle, envy, and hatred are written on their militant faces! --- MAF

Socialism is best!

乐动体育APPFrom the Macon Telegraph, Feb 3, 2015, "Best in the world"

乐动体育APPI just read a letter in Sunday's paper written by Ed Norwood of Macon about socialism in which he asks the question 'Has socialism ever been successful?' No disrespect intended, but what planet is he living on?

Does he not know that of the top 10 best countries in the world to live in based on quality of life and income, the first six are all considered socialist countries: Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Australia, New Zealand and France. America comes in at No. 7 and probably because it is only one step away from being socialist as well. Surely he knows the reason the word social appears in Social Security, because Social Security and also Medicare are socialist programs.
乐动体育APP Don't get me wrong, I'm not pushing socialism in its entirety, but the reality is most modern countries in the world today are in some form or another socialist in nature. If Norwood would like to experience a truly non-socialist country and see how successful they are, he should visit Afghanistan, Cuba, Pakistan or North Korea, just to name a few."— Green Perry, Cochran

European socialism: mellifluous soporific!

乐动体育APPMr. Green Perry's mellifluous language and arguments in his letter almost makes one hope socialism does triumph globally and stops all the evils of capitalism! What a soporific! The top 6 countries he mentioned, first of all, started from a higher base than most of the world — part and parcel of European Western civilization — before they embraced social democracy.

乐动体育APPAnd so these privileged countries would remain in those envied positions, they had to be defended by the "gun culture" of America, three of them actually liberated from the Nazis during World War II, including France, by the blood, sweat, and capitalist money of the U.S. The Nazis incidentally were National Socialists! Socialism, Nazism, fascism, communism are all doctrines of the LEFT, kindred collectivist philosophies motivated by the politics of envy and the maintenance of power of the State over the individual.

乐动体育APP It was also the American capitalist "gun culture" that protected all of Western Europe and Scandinavia from the Red Army and Soviet tanks during the cold war, even as some of them chanted "Better Red than dead!" Europe has been free to pursue her pacifism, socialism, and virtual pusillanimity, only because the U.S. protected (and still protects) them with our military expenditures, our goodwill, and our guns!

And Perry's benign characterization of socialism would be a source of laughter to Marx, Engels, Lenin, and Castro. The soft socialism of Europe is only a passing stage of Marxist determinism— the ultimate goal is the total state run by power elites who purportedly know better than the rest of us!

Despite Perry's erroneous assertion, of the last four countries mentioned, Cuba and North Korea are the two fully socialist/communist nations. Were he to visit the USA Communist Party (CPUSA) website, Mr. Perry will find Fidel Castro and Vladimir Lenin used the terms socialism and communism interchangeably because, as Lenin wrote very explicitly, "the goal of socialism is communism," in the relentless march of historical positivism and the dialectical materialism of the class struggle! 

Lenin called bleeding heart liberals in capitalist countries, who defended socialism purely from humanitarian concerns (but with little understanding), "useful idiots” and “fellow travelers.” Guess why!

乐动体育APPIn another matter, Dr. Cummings' latest column, ”The blasphemy called 'atonement,' ” with all due respect to retired judge Phil Brown, he owes David Mann an apology and to himself a retraction; that is, if his theological dissertation in defense of Dr. Cummings was sincere. By attacking Mann in his confused treatise, Judge Brown defended something that Dr. Cummings himself had not affirm or deny, that is until now, while continuing his curious anti-Christian barrage that I discuss elsewhere. We live in interesting times! --- Miguel A. Faria, M.D.

An edited version of this comment also appeared in the Macon Telegraph:

YOUR SAY: Capitalism's money and guns saved socialism
乐动体育APP Special to The Telegraph, February 5, 2016

"Only an idiot..."

Submitted to the Telegraph as a comment:

Jim Sandefur: First of all, only an idiot equates socialism with fascism which are opposites. Nazi Germany was no more socialist than The People's Republic of North Korea is a republic. Second, socialist guns (the Red Army) took Europe back from the Nazis. What the Americans did on the beaches of Normandy and during the Battle of the Bulge is something every American should be proud of and the American soldiers fought like heroes, BUT, by then the war in Europe had already been won. America's biggest battle was looked at as little more than a skirmish by the Russians who had been locked in a bloody slugfest with Germany on the East Front that finally destroyed Germany

Dr. Miguel Faria: The Telegraph Bully Jim Sandefur has submitted two insulting comments. The first one should not be dignified with an answer. The second one although insulting requires answers: First, The dogmatist idiot is none other than himself, the intolerant, rabid atheist Jim Sandefur!

乐动体育APPSecond, as to right and left politics, fascism and socialism are kindred spirits, collectivist philosophies of the Left. I use the political spectrum theory that is most accurate reflecting levels of political control of the State over the individual, reflecting both political as well as economic freedom — a horse shoe configuration. The right and left terms are useful and convenient but not always accurate and subject to misuse by people like Sandefur. There are various ways of determining the confluence of political philosophies and the theories representing them:

And by far, here is the best:

3. The political spectrum (Dr. Faria)

乐动体育APPThird, True, the Soviet-Nazi struggle was an epic struggle in the East. The battles of Kursk and Kharkov are examples. But the Russians were massive cannon fodder at least in the first part of the encounter, particularly during Barbarossa! Still the U.S. liberated Western Europe and took pressure off the Red Army in the East. The nations I mentioned were liberated by Americans, not Russians, despite Sandefur, and the West was truly liberated. The East, on the other hand, was enslaved by the Soviets behind the Iron Curtain. Moreover, Normandy and The Battle of the Bulge were no walks in the park either and should not be dismissed, as Sandefur has done, pulling the rugs from under the thousands of American heroes who died in Europe, qualifying their heroism with such asteisms, as their battles were "no more than skirmishes" and "...the war in Europe had already been won," etc. And if it was already won, why did FDR, despite the objections of Winston Churchill, insisted in sending American boys in harm's way to Normandy and counteracting Hitler's last gamble in the Battle of the Bulge? Why did thousands of Americans died leaving fields of white cruses in France and elsewhere?

乐动体育APPAnd without the help in massive armaments, food, and supplies, provided overtly by FDR (and covertly by several American traitors, such as Harry Dexter White and Harry Hopkins, Soviet agents), Stalin's Red Army would have continued to be fodder (even in Stalingrad and Kursk (where even in victory their losses exceeded those of the Germans!). The fact is that without our assistance, Stalin's Russia would have been history trampled by the Wehrmacht.

Roosevelt, Stalin, and fellow travelers

But arguing with a stubborn bully is probably a waste of my time. He will always turn to illiberal orthodox dogmatism, insults, and ad hominem attacks — his well-known standard m.o.!

Molotov-Ribbentrop Nonaggression Pact of 1939

乐动体育APPSubmitted to the Telegraph

Douglas Harden乐动体育APP: Great article Dr. Faria! Hats off to you!

[And informed Sandefur in the Telegraph-Facebook of this ongoing debate:] Jim, Dr. Faria has answered your contentions in his website.

And Regarding the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939 and the Soviet Nazi alliance that Sandefur neglected to mention:

Wally Walters乐动体育APP: The war in Europe had been "won" before D-Day? There's a stretch. But let's go with it and say we hadn't invaded and eventually the Soviets defeated Germany essentially alone on the ground. What would Europe have looked like had the Iron Curtain started at the English Channel? For one, there would have been no NATO — which countered the Warsaw Pact. Without D-Day, that might've been the Paris Pact.

As it happened, per Dr. Faria, American arms and money eventually defeated the Communist/Socialist Soviets.

P.S. Don't forget that the Nazis and the Soviets started the war as allies [Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact, 1939]!

Dr. Faria: Thanks Douglas Harden and Wally Walters. Great comment. In fact, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Nonaggression Pact of 1939 had also a secret understanding to divide Central and Eastern Europe, which actually took place with the Soviets seizing the Baltic states and Eastern Poland (not frequently mentioned by the intelligentsia), and Germany having a free hand in Central and Western Europe. Fortunately, the Finns dealt a crushing defeat and stopped the invading Soviet armies for several months, stopping the communist juggernaut. For their part the German Blitzkrieg was unstoppable and overwhelmed most of Western Europe and Scandinavia! The Soviets, very accommodating and with great servility to Hitler, also supplied him via the Trans-Siberian Railway with oil and raw materials needed in the Nazi war against the West. The Nazis and the Communists were allied socialist brethrens united against capitalist democracies until Hitler launched Operation Barbarrosa, June 22, 1939, which caught the Red Tsar Stalin by surprise.


In fact, the infamous Soviet-German, Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939 understanding (a socialist-fascist alliance) was a turnoff for many socialists/communists (who left the ranks and Soviet line of socialism) to become social democrats in Europe and it fortified the Trotskyites in the U.S., many of whom later became NeoCons:


乐动体育APPAnd here the Nazis themselves speak:

乐动体育APPNazi ideologue Gregor Strasser: “We are socialists. We are enemies, deadly enemies, of today’s capitalist economic system with its exploitation of the economically weak, its unfair wage system, its immoral way of judging the worth of human beings in terms of their wealth and their money, instead of their responsibility and their performance, and we are determined to destroy this system whatever happens!” And Hitler summarized it, “Why need we trouble to socialize banks and factories? We socialize human beings.”

Hitler: “Why need we trouble to socialize banks and factories? We socialize human beings.”

End all Welfare!

Another excellent letter in the Macon Telegraph
June 3, 2014

乐动体育APPEnd all welfare

William D. Carter must think himself clever, with his backhanded allegation that all who oppose welfare are motivated by racism. This is standard fare for progressives who, having no substantive rational argument for their position, attempt to paint those with opposing views with a broad brush. It is intellectual dishonesty and, unfortunately, the media buys into it (even promotes it).

The reality is that my opposition to welfare is on moral and ethical grounds. And, by welfare, I mean any form, including protectionist tariffs and legislation that provides benefits for some at the expense of others. When the government uses the threat of violence to take the earnings from some in order to be given to others, progressives call it “benevolent.” If some guy on the corner does the same thing using a gun, they call it theft. The two are equally vile.

乐动体育APPMy earnings are the result of time and effort I have expended. In other words, they represent my life. I have yet to hear a valid progressive argument rationalizing the current equation that deems the life of some expendable in order to meet the “needs” of others. I won’t even address the concept of “professional poor,” as there is ample anecdotal evidence.

The sad reality is that welfare, in any form, undermines us all. When a certain segment of the population is made a legislative winner (as exampled in the state’s reluctance to allow micro-brewers to sell on-site in order to protect the big money distributors) we lose. When the just and moral free market incentives are falsely removed, poor decisions/actions are incentivized. This is true in the case of individual welfare and corporate/farm welfare.

Our government was not instituted to choose winners and losers, but to preserve and protect the liberty of individuals. Every piece of legislation that does not meet that limited purpose is simply tyranny in a pretty dress. Welfare, of all ilks, is never instituted to provide for the needy. It is always put in play with the goal of assuring its proponents maintain power (and gain wealth).

乐动体育APPIt is ironic that progressives are the first to point out the racial aspect of every issue. Maybe they are the ones enjoying true racist leanings. — Mitchell Clark, Macon, Georgia

Socialism alive & well!

乐动体育APPMacon Telegraph, Letter to the Editor 5/13/14

Dont' Cut Seniors: Once again President Obama and his liberal supporters have come up with another income redistribution plan under the guise of a minimum wage increase to over $10 an hour.

Obama has long thought that too much wealth is in the hands of older Americans and retirees. You might know who these people are, those who worked for 45 to 50 years and paid taxes and saved for retirement. Now he wants to reduce the cost of living increases for Social Security and those retired from the military. I don’t know about other retirees, but the $14 a month increase I cleared after taxes this year does not even come close to covering the increase in gas prices this year... J.B. Bryant, Gray

Dr. Richard Elliot (Macon): Just a thought. Let's assume roughly 4 million workers receive a minimum wage of around $7 (approximation as some get less than $7.25). A raise to $10 would "cost" $3/hour or $12 million/hour for all workers. If all worked full-time (roughly 2000 hours/year) this would "cost" $24 billion/year. Compare this with CEO compensation, which was roughly $50 billion/year for the top 5 execs at the largest 1500 US companies (I haven't verified this, but used data from Wikipedia "Executive compensation"). So the top 7500 execs make twice as much as the cost of increasing minimum wages to $10/hour? Put another way, if the top exec pay was reduced by 50% (say from median pay of $10 million to $5 million) this would cover the cost of raising minimum wages to $10. Yet though we talk about how raising minimum wages would cost consumers, there is nary a word about the cost of compensation. Wow. I know I sound like a radical socialist, but are these numbers wrong? Can someone run these numbers to see where I made a mistake? Thanks.

Detcord: Your numbers look great right up until you assumed that (a) the market was static rather than dynamic (b) everyone is worth $10/hour, an employer can still profit from them even at $10/hr and they would retain their jobs, (c) US minimum wage earners would not find themselves receiving so much more in wages that the foreign labor cost advantage made it attractive to move their jobs to more competitive overseas economies, (4) that regardless of how much these benevolent execs were forced by law to contribute of their own money toward the wages of the lowest earners we would find our best and brightest CEOs leaving the US to do what they were doing before they worked in the US anyway and that was accepting the highest paying job available to them globally. (e) that the minimum wage earner will work 40 hrs/week and not the new ObamaCare standard for "full time" workers, 29hrs/week. These are some of the things that contribute to the Congressional Budget Office's estimate that such a grand and kind gesture would wipe out about 500,000 minimum-wage jobs. So much for kindness.

We have a pretty good system now. Those unskilled workers with dependent families that can only find jobs that pay minimum wage, have the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) set up specifically to supplement low wage FAMILY incomes. The EITC raises their income level with tax credits without raising the minimum wage and removing teenagers and those just entering the job market who have no dependents, probably live with parents and the need to receive a "living" wage is without basis, but the need to be an attractive trainable prospect for an entry-level job is great.

Saul Alinsky: Rules for wreaking havoc!

Saul Alinsky (1909-1972) Rules for Radicals (1971)

According to Alinsky, the political activist and community organizer of the 1960s to empower a mass-based people's organization, you need to display your prowess before the enemy. If the organization is small, conceal the number and membership, keep the enemy in the dark but "raise a din and clamor" that will make audience believe that your organization numbers are much larger than they are. Lastly, if your organization is too small, even for noise, "stink up the place." The rules are:

1. “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have."
2. “Never go outside the expertise of your people.”
3. “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.”
4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.”
5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.”
6. “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.”
7. “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.”
8. “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.”
9. “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.”
10. "The major premise for tactics is the development of operations that will maintain a constant pressure upon the opposition."
11. “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.”
12. “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.”
乐动体育APP 13. “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.”

Public Education and Fairness, not socialism, readers reply!

Among several Macon Telegraph responders, two of them had objections. One had a quibble: "Good points, but I must respectfully disagree with the public education angle.  A functional democracy requires educated voters."

I replied: "I agree that a functioning Republic (we are still a Republic not a Democracy) requires educated voters, but when education is supported way disproportionally by a segment of the population,  and not everyone---It is socialistic. (Public education is included in the Tenth Plank of the Communist Manifesto, but not the US Constitution!)" 

The second reader had more specific and arguable points: "Interesting... Disease prevention and treatment in poor populations should not be paid for? I wonder if your friends and neighbors would find it impermissible when infectious diseases finds its way from the poor to their neighborhood. Does your idea of impermissible socialism include massive amounts of welfare now paid to farmers? Does impermissible socialism include the massive amounts of grants, subsidies and loans to medical students? Does impermissible socialism include Subsidies to favored industries to build plants, develop technology, and produce goods at reduced prices?  Does it include the FDA who attempts to keep our food supply safe?  What, Good Doctor, is permissible?  Or are you one of the folks who want to gore my Ox and asks me to keep yours safe?"

乐动体育APPTo this reader, I responded: "The way I see it, public health--- controlling infectious diseases, sanitation, potable water, waste disposal, etc--- is not socialism; it is obviously tending to the general welfare, used by all equally. That is why we have the CDC and numerous state agencies providing for these functions.

乐动体育APPSubsidies to farmers and favored industries, collusion with business entities is corporatism (a form of socialism). A good case could be made for the FDA, as well, on the same account of tending to the general welfare. As far as reduced prices, it does not happen; high prices is the rule with monopolistic tendencies. And when prices are artificially reduced, you can bet someone else is paying the balance. At worst, like in the case of the Solyndra corporation debacle, the taxpayers get stuck with the bill. So I agree with some of your premises, but I certainly and respectfully disagree with your conclusion on that one.

As far as financial loans, industries, safety issues, by in large, I trust the free market more than government regulators, and when capitalists become crooked, negligent, or fraudulent (as you implied), we still do have a criminal justice system and a lot of "hungry" lawyers that with the media "watchdogs," love nothing better than to make of a fallen tree kindling!

It is interesting we have plenty of public schools and education standards keep getting lower; we have hordes of government regulators, and conflicts of interest and problems of corruption in public-private partnerships keep multiplying! In all fairness, I did not use the word "permissible" in the article, and I am not protecting any oxen from being gored! In fact if you check my writings, you will find no harsher critic of the AMA than myself!

Thank you for the comments. They were very stimulating!" MAF