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Sun., Feb. 16, 2014

Pragmatic about governing

Let’s start with some definitions: communism, where the government owns everything; socialism, where the citizens as a group own everything; and capitalism, where certain wealthy, rapacious and/or lucky individuals own everything or, at the least, diligently work toward owning everything.

As a realistic pragmatist, I’m not willing to write off the best ideas of communism and socialism just because the names are scary and my tea party boss told me to hate them. Certain products and services could use socializing: basic health care, transportation, water, education and food come immediately to mind. Certain others need not be socialized: guns, luxury cars and butt implants, for example.

If everybody has what they need of survival basics, then society is stable. When the system shorts people on the necessities, we get what is politely termed “social unrest,” possibly accompanied by violent upheaval.

So far as societies go, realistic pragmatists much prefer stable.

China has figured out a way to combine its communist system of government with certain aspects of our capitalist system. Observe: the greatest economic success story of all time. Why can’t American capitalism do that, too? We could do it fairer and better!

Oh, wait. Now I remember.


Nancy Runyan

Spokane Valley

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