When did socialism become a dirty word?

Wake up, Canada. You do want socialism but you have to pay for it.

Socialism is people paying for health care every month so that should an expensive health problem arise it will be paid for. Socialism is getting paid when you lose your job. Socialism is compulsory vacation time. Socialism is a paycheque when you’re too sick to work. Socialism is upgrading infrastructure like storm sewers to meet rising demands so that our streets are not flooded in a heavy rainstorm. Socialism is having our streets plowed when it snows so that we can get to where we want to go. Socialism is taking care of people who cannot care for themselves.

These are not bad things and socialism is neither a bad word nor a bad practice. It works very well in countries like Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Venezuela. Yes, taxes are higher with socialism. The services people receive are not free and the money has to come from somewhere. It comes from the industries in those countries and from the people who can afford to pay taxes. It’s a system that allows people to live in harmony.

In his letter (PNR, Aug. 14) E.W. Bopp says socialism is proving to be an abysmal failure throughout the world.

The real failure is the far-right political parties in countries like USA, Canada and European Union. It’s here that we are destroying our atmosphere, water and farmland, shutting down unions and legitimate strikes, moving jobs to low-wage countries and denying reasonable wage increases to workers.

Big companies have everything to gain by supporting these neoliberal governments who will return the favour. They can use their unearned billions to pay for sexy ad saturation campaigns to get you to vote for exactly the kind of government you don’t want.

Wake up, Canada. You do want socialism but you have to pay for it.

Pat Carson

Sidney