Referring to Matt Grocott’s opinion piece “Socialism in America” in the Aug. 27 edition of the San Mateo Daily Journal, I am amazed that a former mayor does not know the difference between socialism, communism and dictatorship. He mentions a Florida man who embraces socialism, despite his parents fleeing Cuba. They were fleeing communism, not socialism.

Grocott mentions China and the former Soviet Union.

Again, he confuses communism with socialism. Venezuela is mentioned. This is a complete different ball game. It is a socialist country only by name, truly being a dictatorship. Then he goes on calling the failed attempt by the Mayflower people to grow crops communally “socialism,” obviously not realizing that communism derives from commune.

And then he steps into another trap. Grocott says, “Socialism will not lead to equality for all but will lead to some having great wealth and the rest living in poverty.” So we must be living in a socialist country already, where 10% of the people amassed 80% of the wealth. Really? Did Grocott ever ask himself why countries with social agendas are doing so well, like all of Scandinavia, Germany and many other European countries?

Done right, socialism works in the best interest of all people. Grocott then laments about the wealth Biden, Sanders and the Obamas have amassed. He keeps mum about President Trump, who made his millions through bankruptcies, leaving investors and workers holding the shaft. Frankly, I am surprised that the Daily Journal printed his flawed opinion.

Franz Kemper

San Carlos

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(9) comments


Guaranteed public education, public transportation, fire departments,

police departments, public libraries, every branch of the US military,

roads & highways, Social Security, Medicare/medicaid, public, not private prisons & jails, public hospitals, the Veterans Affairs Administration, public universities,

public parks, public toilets. public drinking fountains, public parking, public everything >> are some examples of socialism in our country.

Tim E Strinden

Dirk, the fact that Scandinavians may not laugh in public as much as other people does not mean they are not happy. They just tend to show their emotions less than folks in other countries. Haven't you heard about the Norwegian who loved his wife so much he almost told her? :)

Tim E Strinden

I left out that it's the Norwegian "farmer" who loved his wife so much....

Dirk van Ulden

Jorg - you can say all you want but if Norway's economy depends on almost 50% on its revenues it is essentially an extraction economy. Be that as it may, the other European countries have issues that go much deeper than the figures that I provided. Ask any European about stifling regulations, early determination as a teenager whether you will be pursuing a college education and no second chances as we have here, high taxes on everything you can imagine, including national sales taxes, mandated annual vacation periods where all craft folks are forced to go on vacation at the same time, and the list goes on. Have you talked recently about their daily lives, the resignation that sets in at a very early age that the 'system' will provide? Happiness is subjective, laughter in public is a rare occurrence in the Nordic countries. That should tell you much about happiness.The effects of socialism are not understood by us in the US but it is obvious that that system does not encourage innovation and independence. Most if not all recent inventions originated here in the US and are subsequently adopted by our European brothers without even a thank you.


Dirk: Looks like you lost track of what the discussion was all about!


Dirk: Instead of me trying in vain to educate you about a country I obviously know more about than you, why don't you simply Google "Norway's economy" to get some facts, - including that oil export is less than half of the country's export.

Dirk van Ulden

Dear Franz - like many others on this site who allege to know all about the great economies of Europe, you may need to update your facts. Based on information provided by the EU members themselves, I almost hesitate to inform you that all is not well in Europe with their socialist based governments. Unemployment is rampant ranging from 6.3% in Sweden to 9.9% in Italy, All other major economies' unemployment figures fall in between. GDP growth is quite anemic ranging from 1% in Italy to 1.9% in Germany. The Scandinavian countries that have relied on security protection from the US and neglect to make payment to their defense budgets are not managing much better, 1.9 to 2.2%. Coupled with negative interest rates (yes, you have to pay your bank to take your deposits!) and being further dragged down by failing economies such as Spain and Greece, I truly wonder where this misplaced fascination with the socialist-inspired government systems come from. The truth is planned obsolescence and, fortunately, most Americans have no desire to embrace it.


Dirk: Why don’t you check out the facts and educate yourself, before you trash with usual Republican glee, countries you know nothing about? Norway enjoys one of the best and most stable economies in the world, with exceptional social services and unequaled equality and prosperity, in addition to being one of the happiest countries in the world! You ought to be ashamed of yourself for being so frivolous with your shallow analysis.

Dirk van Ulden

Jorg - since when are facts and figures shallow? Only to those who deny reality. Norway, with a minute population, is an aberration in Europe and is only wealthy and stable because of its massive light crude and natural gas reserves pumped from its territory in the North Sea. Like Russia it has in essence become an extraction economy. It should be obvious that I know more about current European issues than you do which I addressed in my original article. You are stuck in the last century with obsolete opinions not based on anything but a craving for the past...

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