To The Editor:

I have enjoyed the discussion about socialism in The Valley Reporter over the last several weeks. One letter asked, “Do you really trust the government over yourself to solve your problems?” and quipped that the great Winston Churchill once said (about socialism), “Its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

This was interesting as Winston Churchill himself was a beneficiary of a kind of socialism that we practice here just as well, if not better. This could be called corporate socialism, aka our beloved free market. This free market, so cherished by our two political parties, is little more than taxpayers subsidizing corporations with massive bailouts, handouts and other gifts in the same manner that the lower economic classes in Great Britain subsidized the aristocracy of which Churchill was so much a part. I admire him, have studied his life, read his books and even met someone who knew him, but he did not have to look far to see that the misery he was talking about enabled his life in the 1 percent of British society.

Democratic socialism has all but eliminated poverty while our reverence for the market seems to want to enhance it. In Democratic socialism corporations are still private, but they have to stand on their own without taxpayers propping them up. Democratic socialism is also an integral part of our lives here: public education, interstate highways, police and fire, EMS and mountain rescue squads, Medicaid, Medicare, town employees, Town Meetings, the VA system, to name some random examples.

We elect governments to solve issues and problems that we cannot possibly solve by ourselves – education, health care, infrastructure, low wages and income inequality, and so on. If only our federal and state governments could be made to understand that we elected them to solve these problems and not just to subsidize corporate socialism.

Walter Carpenter,

a Valley employee during ski season

Montpelier, VT