LETTERS: European socialism should be rejected, not copied

Don‘t imitate Europe

When talking about social programs, a common refrain from the left is, “Every other industrialized nation has …”

We heard it constantly during the debate about the Affordable Care Act. But what does that mean? Are these other “industrialized nations” so much better places to live than the United States that we should alter our basic democratic ideals to be like them?

For example, the typical European lives in less than half the space an American lives in. Imagine living in a home half the size of your current residence. Gasoline costs twice as much in Europe as it does for us, even though we use much more of it. Food choices are limited in Europe, and food quality is far better in the United States.

You think unemployment is bad here? It is higher in almost every European country — two to three times higher in some countries.

The only area in which Europeans have outperformed us is in implementing socialism, and the result is that the disparity between their top 1 percent of earners and the rest of the crowd is even more pronounced than in the U.S. The Democratic Party — which, in Bernie Sanders, now has an avowed socialist running for its presidential nomination — is dragging us toward being more like Europe, when the real solution is to be less like Europe.

So anytime you hear this nonsense about “every industrialized nation,’€ remember the words of Thomas Jefferson: “I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them.”

JOSEPH SCHILLMOELLER

LAS VEGAS

Purging ‘Rebels‘

Following cries to banish the Confederate flag, Sen. Harry Reid called for UNLV to reconsider the “Rebels” mascot (“Reid calls on regents to revisit ‘Rebels‘ as UNLV‘s nickname,” June 24 Review-Journal). But why stop there? In the spirit of cleansing, perhaps we should all boycott Rebel gas stations, ban the classic James Dean film “Rebel Without a Cause” and urge music services to delete from their selections the 1960s Crystals song, “He‘s a Rebel.”

The possibilities are endless. Think how much better we‘ll all feel after the purge.

ELLEN SHAW

HENDERSON

Censorship danger

To the editor:

Hate groups have adopted the Confederate flag and used it for purposes not originally intended. What happened in Charleston, S.C., was an egregious sin against all Americans. No human being could justify what that person allegedly did. It was awful. He chose to interpret the Confederate flag in a way it was never intended.

I enjoy seeing the flag and have several ancestors who fought for that flag, two of whom died defending it. They were both in the Army of Northern Virginia. To my knowledge, none of my ancestors owned slaves, nor would they risk blood and treasure to defend slavery. In fact, only about 8 percent of those who fought for the Confederacy owned slaves. My ancestors simply believed they would be better off seceding from an oppressive North and forming a new nation. Racism existed on both sides of the Civil War. There were Northerners who owned and supported slavery. There were Southerners who were anti-slavery.

I think the books written by Karl Marx in our libraries are offensive. I think that university students deifying the works of Chairman Mao or Che Guevara are outrageously offensive. But I do not think the books should banned, nor should the students be censored. Fortunately, everyone has a right to their opinion and may continue to say whatever they believe to be right. I hope they continue to speak their minds. It is their right.

Banning the Confederate flag will not end racism. I try to ignore those elements that use the flag for offensive reasons, and I find the improper use of the flag contemptable. But if someone asked me if those who use it inappropriately had that right, I would say yes. In a free society we have to make room for ideas and opinions which we find abhorrent. Censoring and banning can be dangerous and counterproductive. Are we also going to ban the cross because the Ku Klux Klan uses it?

ERNEST WOODZELLE

HENDERSON

Henderson fee hikes

To the editor:

City of Henderson officials agonize over raising fees for certain services, and Mayor Andy Hafen wants the state to allow a hike in property tax assessments, while still allowing hundreds of new houses, apartment buildings and parks to be built. The city must believe that taxpayers are a forever source of increasing revenue, so that city officials can continue bragging about what a great place Henderson is.

It‘s time to slow down and allow the economy to stabilize, and stop trying to be everything to everybody. We taxpayers are not an endless source of funds to boost public officials‘ egos.

BILL L. WILSON

HENDERSON

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