1968: National Leaning Toward Socialistic State

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Editors note: The following editorial, written by Charles Stoddard, Jr., appeared in the Jan. 24, 1968, edition of the Empire Courier. The Daily Press acquired the editorial from Tom and Mike Mathers, and we were struck at how current it sounded despite its age. Without citing its origins, this editorial — which is appearing now exactly how it did in 1968 — could be mistaken for one written today.

The trend of America thinking in political circles for years has been leading to a Socialistic State. This means everyone contributes to the pot and it’s dolled out to those who don’t have as much as those who are contributing.

We have been of the opinion that American Democracy, designed to encourage and flourish under capitalism was one of the reasons this nation has achieved the goal it has. But now, more and more, the nation is being led to believe this isn’t a good thing.

An editorial in a recent issue of a large daily newspaper stated in part “The United States is approaching, if it has not reached, the point at which enough is being produced for everybody to live at a minimum level of decency and for many to live in affluence at the same time.

“Economic theorists at the beginning of the last century were very much preoccupied with the problem of distributing income. But they and the economists who came after them were forced to recognize that there simply wasn’t enough income to distribute.

“Today, however, in a nation that produces at a rate of $800 billion worth of goods and services a year or $4,000 per person, it may be realistic to return to the problem of income distribution.

“One approach to that problem is through the guaranteed income plans that have been discussed with increasing frequency during the last few years.

With so much income on hand, it ought now to be possible to bring even the poorest citizen to a decent level of subsistence, while the rest of the population continues to enjoy a high level of affluence.

“We need to go on finding ways to produce and to produce more efficiently. But as the pie grows larger, we will need to become more and more concerned with distributing the pieces so that everyone will receive a decent share.

We completely disagree with the line of thinking and believe the majority of Americans do too. We disagree not because there aren’t some who need help in this country, because of the philosophy that giving hand outs is the answer.

Retraining, education, reeducation, and an opportunity could be the responsibility of the nation to its people. But to take from those who are willing to work and produce, and give to those who are not will destroy the very thing that has made this country great.

If the founding fathers of this nation had thought socialism was the answer, they were certainly capable of establishing this form of system. Since this nation is now the greatest in the world under the present system of democracy, it certainly doesn’t mean the system is wrong or should be changed.

If this nation is so wealthy why is it we go in debt by the billions of dollars year after year?

We might even be convinced that hand outs were essential if, this nation had the great wealth the editorial speaks of. We say, so what to the statement our gross national product is $800 million. We say, so what that the nation is producing at the rate of $4,000 worth of goods and services for every adult and child in the country.

Any individual, or business or corporation or government that continually spends more than the income is soon to go bankrupt. To us it is far more sensible to keep strong and healthy, than to provide everything for everyone.

How can this philosophy that there is so much wealthy that the problem is now with the distribution be accepted by any person who stops and thinks?

Is a proposed $8 billion deficit, which will be approximately $8 billion providing a 10 per cent tax is added, a display of prosperity and wealth? We haven’t had that much economic theory to accept this type of thinking.

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