5 mins read

Socialism op-ed ‘either highly uninformed or intentionally deceptive’

I enjoy the Island News and admire the work of you and your team. Your paper is informative and generally presents a fairly wide range of opinions.

I don’t believe Jim Dickson’s column “You Don’t Want Any Part of Socialism” belongs in your paper – or in any paper widely read by the public – especially if there is not a connected space for disagreement.

Mr. Dickson may have lived and traveled to many different places, but the way he portrays social welfare as something that leads to socialism and communism is either highly uninformed or intentionally deceptive for political purposes. In fact, I believe he accurately describes socialism and communism correctly, but then he concludes that countries that have social welfare systems will become socialist, and then communist.

The countries in western Europe, as well as the UK, Japan, Canada, Australia, etc., have had strong social welfare systems for many decades and in some cases, most of their history. Citizens of these countries are very proud of their social programs, as well as their democratic freedom. There is no evidence that I am aware of that any of these countries are heading towards socialism or communism.

How can this be presented in your paper?

In my view, the column portrays Mr. Dickson as a stereo-typical, older, white, successful businessMAN, who is out of touch with the world that many people deal with in the U.S. today.

The public debate about where we should or should not increase government-funded social programs is healthy. Making false statements that increasing social programs will lead to socialism or communism dangerously detracts from healthy debate.

– John Schueler

Op-ed short on detail, rich in fear-mongering

This is my first visit to your lovely city. It was with interest that I read the Island News. The local press helps one to feel the pulse of an area.

While reading the News, I came across a curious column, “You don’t want any part of socialism” by Jim Dickson.

The column was short on detail but rich in fear-mongering, with quotes about socialism from Adolph Hitler, Fidel Castro, Hugo Chavez and Joseph Stalin. And, surely, no one would want to be governed by their principles.

However, the piece seemed to imply that we are in danger from creeping socialism in the United States.

We already have two major programs in the U.S., that are basically socialistic; Social Security and Medicare. The government controls these services, which fits his definition of socialism. As a retired person, I have found these programs to be beneficial; so have others. Perhaps Mr. Dickson could pen an additional column and explain why I should be afraid of them.

– Rob Rudick, 

Colonial Beach, Va.

Disappointed in Dickson’s op-ed

Kinda disappointed that Jim Dickson’s opinion piece this week got a bold headline decrying “socialism.” I want equal attention, maybe: “This is America, Can We Please All Take Care of One Another!?!”

I am sure, in addition to his earned retirement, perhaps Jim is getting VA benefits; that is a vast social welfare benefit which he earned. This penchant to cast the term “socialism” as something evil does a disservice to us all.

Even on St Helena, where Jim lives, there are plenty of folks living with the results of generations of social and financial inequities, about a couple thousand below the poverty level, a significant number of single parents, … would you choose not to help those in need?

So, I guess “fiscal conservative” means he doesn’t want to spend a dime to help someone else. Would Jim disagree that our model of government is “… OF THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE, FOR THE PEOPLE.” If that is “socialism,” I am all for it

– Tim Dodds, 

retired educator on a teacher’s pension, thankful for Medicare benefits, living on Lady’s Island

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