My letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer re: Is Bernie the good socialist?

Re: What kind of socialist is Bernie Sanders? by Joseph Betz

Dear Sirs:
Professor emeritus Joseph Betz thinks that Bernie is a good socialist, similar to the myth of the “good dinosaur“, a movie to which I took my three year old grandson. Professor Betz says that “Economically speaking, a government that guarantees social and economic rights is socialist; its opposite is capitalist.” He further states that “…socialism does not mean Karl Marx’s government ownership of the means of production,…” Sorry, professor, but that’s exactly what socialism means. To support his views Professor Betz resorts to the least persuasive form of argument–a call to authority. Professor Betz is enamored with the United Nations’ 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the Catholic bishops of the United States call for government programs to secure “Economic Justice for All”. Bernie may not be a socialist; he may be simply another politician who is willing to use the police power of the state to regulate business and confiscate property in order to meet his vision of the just society. However, neither Bernie nor Professor Betz offer any logical support for their views. I suggest that both read Claude Frederic Bastiat’s The Law for starters. They will learn that self-ownership is the basis of all law and the foundation of the sanctity of private property. Limited government was formed by self-owning citizens to secure their rights. Bernie and Professor Betz, like so many these days, turn the citizen/government relationship upside down in order to further their own self-interests. Both should be ashamed of themselves.

Patrick Barron

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