Readers’ Forum Mar. 29

172

Help a fourth-grader out

Dear People of the Great State of Utah,

Hello! I am a fourth grade student in North Carolina. In fourth grade, we do state reports, and I have chosen your state! I am very excited to learn more about the great state of Utah as I work on my report.

Most of the information that we get for our reports will be from books and websites. We also like to get information from people who live in the state, too. This is why I am writing to you. I was hoping that you would be willing to send me some items to help me learn more about the best things in your state. It could be things like postcards, maps, pictures, souvenirs, general information, this newspaper article or any other items that would be useful. You can mail items to the address below. I really appreciate your help!

Sincerely,

Stephen Johnson

Mrs. Dodd’s Class

Charlotte Latin School

9502 Providence Road

Charlotte, NC 28277

Socialism, really?

Recent pieces in this forum suggest that our education system has failed today’s students, some of whom apparently believe that socialism has little to do with government, that our society already has many socialistic aspects and that socialism is the only way to care for the less fortunate in society.

Let’s start with basic definitions. Socialism advocates the social, or community, ownership of the means of production. A community has only one instrument to do so, and that is government. Essentially socialism is the merging of economic and government systems. So of course it is a system of government. There is no way around it.

Next, does the U.S. have some aspects of socialism? Yes, but that fact does not prove its virtue. On the contrary. Obamacare is the prime example. No, the whole system isn’t government owned yet, but that is clearly the end game, and what a disaster it has already become. But to suggest that all government activity denotes socialism is to understand nothing.

The military, roads, and schools are necessities of civilization. They are not means of production that produce wealth. Rather, they cost us money. They are services we pay for. In socialism, the government would be the road builder, and they would probably be horrible roads. In capitalism, government pays private enterprises to build the roads, and if any of them did horrible work, they would soon be out of work.

Now, about caring for the needy. To think that socialism is kind and capitalism is cruel is hardly to think at all. Capitalism has proven itself the best way to produce wealth. How we use it is up to us. That’s where religion, ethics, and a sense of community come in. In socialism there isn’t supposed to be a group called poor because everyone is equally poor, except for the ruling oligarchy.

The founders got it right: God-given rights to liberty and the fruits of one’s labor, combined with personal responsibility and righteousness, enabled by the Constitution and its proper economic complement, capitalism. It is what once made America great and will save us now if we embrace it again.

— Randall Lund

Heber, Utah

Leggings are not pants

Leggings are everywhere, on men and on women, in the gym and out of the gym, at school and in a meeting. They are stretchy, versatile, comfortable and trendy, but they are not pants. Leggings have much more in common with tights, Spanx, and underwear — would you wear those in public with nothing over it? For obvious reason, the answer is NO. On men especially — you MUST wear shorts over that! As much as you may want to show it, no one wants to see it. The question remains: when are leggings appropriate and when should you just say “no”? The safe call is to just say no. Please consider a more modest approach.

—Celeste Ingersoll

Laguna Beach, California

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