Two letters appearing on the TH editorial page recently spoke rather harshly about socialism.

Some forms of socialism are fairly benevolent forms of government while others, particularly the communist versions, are extremely repressive and inimical to personal freedom and human rights.

The letter writers seem to equate socialism with communism.

The definition of socialism given in The Oxford Dictionaries that some economists may find adequate gives the following: “Socialism is a political and economic theory of social organization which advocates that the means of production, distribution and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.”

Some surveys rate the socialistic countries of Norway, Denmark, Finland and Sweden very high in quality of life issues which include leisure options, health and well-being, personal happiness, safety and security, and travel and transport. These countries also have high ratings on personal freedoms and human rights.

Communistic countries, however, such as Russia, North Korea and China are listed with very low ratings on quality of life issues and on personal freedoms and human rights.

Would incorporating a little socialism in government policy help us provide universal health care and realize a less inequitable distribution of personal wealth?

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