Letter: Better examples of Socialist nations than USSR

December 16, 2013 

Richard Olsen (Letters, Dec. 13) disputed the anti-capitalist comments in my earlier letter, holding out the USSR as an example of failed socialism, and quoting columnist Kathleen Parker, who said that capitalism has raised more people from poverty than other systems.

I would say the example is not the USSR, but Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland, all parliamentary democracies controlled by socialist ideas of fair play and corresponding limits on the market (redistribution).

Each is characterized by some of the world's lowest income inequality, highest educational levels, healthiest populations and highest levels of happiness. With all due respect to Parker and Olsen, our own country is democratic in name only, characterized by an extreme form of unregulated capitalism in which multinational corporations manipulate the system at will, producing embarrassing income inequality, poorly educated workers, comparatively low life expectancy and high rates of crime, violence and mental anguish.

I also stated that capitalism was anathema to the Gospel. It is noteworthy that the Nordic nations are still predominantly Lutheran.

It was not Marx who first said "from each according to his ability, to each according to his needs." He lifted a description of an earlier socialist society from another source (Acts 4: 32-35). Opinions vary, but facts are facts.

RICH DAVIES, Kennewick

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