There’s a bit of noise today concerning Senator Lindsay Graham’s appeal for Federal aid in the wake of the unprecedented rain his state is receiving, mostly because he voted against similar aid to New Jersey when it was devastated by Hurricane Sandy. While I am aware that much of the contention over the earlier bill was due to the way that it was paid for, my concern with Senator Graham’s appeal is that it exemplifies the necessity of socialism in any economic system, but especially in a republic.
A quick note about socialism. We’ve feared the word greatly thanks to the Cold War and the failed USSR. Yet there’s a huge distinction between government controlling goods production and distribution, and government controlling services offered to the general populace.
In no way can we imagine the Congress passing legislation that dictates how many cars Ford Motors can make, what color, and what price to charge. The USSR learned the hard way that government control of goods is a disaster; think of the destitute bread line pictures so ubiquitous during the Soviet regime.
However. Our Congress certainly passes legislation allowing for road building and repair, national defense, national energy; and in times of emergency such as extreme rains and subsequent flooding, specific financial relief. In no way can the State of South Carolina meet the needs of its citizens in the face of this unpredictable natural catastrophe, of course it relies on the national coffers to help rebuild. Federal taxes garnered from private citizens, set aside for redistribution to devastated areas is a beautiful example of the necessity of socialism, especially in a republic such as ours.
We face a national election in about a year and the word ‘socialism’ is getting thrown around in the mix since one candidate is vocal about his socialist tendencies. There’s confusion and fear and anxiety associated with word, understandably so. But we must come to terms with the idea that socialism absolutely has its place within the economic framework of our nation. Especially in times of natural disasters.
Here’s to the citizens of South Carolina, may you find the strength and courage needed to endure.