Op-Ed

Forget the ‘Green New Deal.’ Kentucky isn’t ready for socialism.

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So much of the talk coming from the left today surrounds the idea of America becoming a “Democratic Socialist” country.

Ideas hyped by Democratic Socialists seem to be exciting and stimulating to millennials, such as “free” health-care, college tuition, monthly stipends whether working or not, just to name a few. And this is presented as a way to enhance our economy. This, then, begs the question as to why people flee socialist countries to come to America.

The “Green New Deal” is attractive until one starts to look at the overall costs and what must be given up so that the “Deal” could be implemented. Phillip Klein wrote in the Washington Examiner that the “Cost of the ‘Green New Deal’ would dwarf moon landing, highway system, and New Deal itself.”

The Deal calls for replacing 88 percent of our current energy sources, nuclear energy, natural gas, and fossil fuels. The U. S. Department of Energy estimates a loss of roughly 5.8 million jobs if this happens, and total dependency on renewable energy sources.

Sen. Bernie Sanders’ Medicare-for-all is estimated at $32 trillion over 10 years. Yet, not one of the proponents of the Deal explain how these “ideas” will be paid for or implemented. And no one mentions that this applies to the United States only. The rest of the world is on their own.

Sen. Diane Feinstein recently told a group of school children who questioned her for not supporting the Deal, that we, (America) “…couldn’t afford it…” She was challenged for her brashness with the youth who obviously had been “schooled” as to what to say and how to say it. Thank you, Senator Feinstein for your honesty.

Some Democratic Socialists claim we in America already have socialism; Medicare, armed services, and Social Security are always mentioned as being socialistic “in nature.” I guess the money I paid into Social Security doesn’t count, nor does the monthly premium that is paid from my Social Security towards Medicare, nor the amount of federal, state, and local taxes that I pay. And what about the Kentucky teachers who are not eligible for Social Security because they don’t pay into it?

The definition of socialism is that the “community” (government), owns and controls property, goods, and production. And then the government pays for services and all share equally.

I think we need to look at Venezuela to see how the distribution of wealth worked in that country.

Socialism requires the “sharing” of economic gain regardless of one’s contribution to the gain. Capitalism allows individuals to own and control their own land, money, form businesses, all in the “pursuit of happiness” found in the Declaration of Independence.

We are faced with a choice of giving up on the American dream and relying on those who tell us that we have a right to have a share of what someone else has earned. However, those who espouse this philosophy don’t seem to be sharing much of what they have earned through the capitalistic society in which we live.

When I see the Democratic Socialists tearing down the walls around their home (or homes), donating significant amounts to charities, refusing to take a salary for the work they do, and generally start living as they are expecting us to live, I will try to understand the appeal. Until then, “..do as I say – not as I do..”

So, is Kentucky ready for socialism? I think not.

Reach community columnist Barbara A. Ellerbrook of Lexington at baellerbrook@twc.com

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