Mt. Vernon Register-News

December 14, 2013

Democracy and capitalism not synonymous


The Register-News

---- — Editor:

I read Mr. Jere Shaw’s Dec. 11 letter in the Register News and find it very interesting that one who has been employed in government service would be so opinionated and totally misinformed about what constitutes the role a republican (representative) form of government.

One item that I wholly agree with is Mr. Shaw’s concept that our government is not about equality but about the equality of opportunity. We all know that many factors play into opportunity for where each fits in society. Factors such as intelligence, inheritance, health, birth family, government policies, and luck have great presence for life factors such as wealth, health, social status, and yes, equality by whatever definition.

One huge fault of Mr. Shaw’s letter is his equation of capitalism and democracy as being synonymous. When capitalism is unbridled the fruits flow to the corporate chiefs, shareholders, insiders, influential, rich, and powerful with rewards for the worker being token at best. I do not begrudge capitalism, however, I do not hesitate to dislike it when the powerful use the influence of money to create laws that rob segments of working society from the ability to enjoy life benefits. Outcomes predicated upon greed and laws that favor inequity of benefit for all men weakens a democracy not strengthen it. Thus democracy is held powerless for the majority. The system that is now presently being practiced in our country is more akin to an Oligarchy than a democracy. A few receive the rewards provided by the many, yet the few want even more. These few for the benefit of the few are willing to sacrifice the education, health, and opportunity for happiness of the majority. Pursuit of these goals is shortsighted for the future of our country.

Mr. Shaw makes the statement that the ACA is socialist in nature and as such is the path to a welfare state that is destroying the middle class. This Republican promoted law (a few years ago) is not socialist in that capitalism remains very much at play in its success or failure. Single payer would strengthen (my opinion) this country and should be the goal. We are far from becoming a socialist state. Unchecked and government sanctioned wealth transfer will be our downfall.

I do agree with Mr. Shaw that we need to reject many of the politicians (regardless of party affiliation) holding local and high office today. The answer comes with public financed election reform. Money in the political arena is the fabric destroyer of democracy. Mr. Shaw seems to be spouting the propaganda of the Tea Party versus the reasoned and weighed analysis of an independent, informed, and educated individual.

Dexter Edmison

Belle Rive