When Miss Mildred Sessions was teaching government at Treutlen High School we learned about democracy, dictatorships, constitution, and theories of capitalism, socialism, and communism. I don't remember anyone taking sides on these subjects, as they were taught for our general benefit. Miss Sessions came from a family that valued education. Her mother was County School Superintendent. The closest that Miss Sessions came to pushing a personal opinion when she told a funny story about a local teenager.
The young man knew better, but he was out on the town and got ahold of some strong drink. After he had imbibed too much, he didn't have better sense than to go home in his stupor. He caught it bad when he faced his father. "What a disgrace! I've taught you better than this!" On and on he raged.
Finally, in his own defense, the young man said "Daddy, I know I done wrong and I aim to do better, but it ain't as bad as what you done!"
"What did I do that was so bad?" the father asked.
The son answered "You voted for old Hoover!"
Today, I get the idea that some of the younger adults, those in their 50s, didn't get the education that my generation got. I don't know if it's bias in the curriculum or the particular teacher, but somehow a number of students were not taught; they were indoctrinated. They missed a lot of history.
If they had spent two hours studying Hoover and his two predecessors, they would know that excessive capitalism is a bad thing.
If they had spent two hours skimming Roosevelt's New Deal, they would know that a little bit of socialism is a good thing.
If they had spent a little time watching Reagan on TV and the Berlin Wall coming down, they would know that "giant" enemies are not so big when their beards are removed. It showed that the U.S. did not need a land base in Vietnam to fight communism. Hindsight is perfect. The current wars need lots of study, and part of the evidence should be the lessons of Vietnam.
The health care issue is divided into two main groups. One has good insurance that they are assured will never change in what it provides or it costs. Recent history has shown that the trend is set, so that 99 percent of the insured will be swallowed up, too. If there is no health care law, just wait. The other group are those who have been struggling with health care inflation. They can't pay the high insurance rates; they can't pay the inflated medical costs. Some of them are the working poor whose employers do not provide health insurance.
Some people have a fear of "government run" health care, but they ignore the known faults of "capitalist run" health care. When excessive profits dictate the health care of America, we will never be the leader that the world is expecting us to be.
The health care solution is not either-or. It's what has always worked in America: Enough capitalism to make improvements at contained costs with reasonable profits. Enough socialism to provide preventive and emergency health care for everybody. If capitalism can't control costs, and history has already proven that it hasn't, then give socialism a shot at the problem.
William A. Ricks