Letters to the Editor

Readers write about the presidential election and debate the roles socialism and capitalism should play in the US economy.

What the election means to many voters

Regarding the Nov. 3 Opinion piece, "My wife made me canvass for Obama; here's what I learned": My 60-year old husband, who is also white and middle-of-the-road, feels so strongly about this election that he just traveled back to his home state of Colorado to do get-out-the-vote work for Senator Obama. Because he speaks Spanish, my husband canvassed primarily Latino neighborhoods around Denver, and he came to many of the same conclusions as author Jonathan Curley.

This election is about people responding to a need for hope, for idealism, for inclusion. I don't know who will better deliver the answers, but I'm betting on the candidate who asks us to be better and to believe in ourselves.

Margaret Larson
Bellevue, Wash.

Mr. Curley may be a Republican or a Democrat; it's irrelevant to the growth in his life. He is one of the few people I've heard speak out in this campaign from a perspective of understanding, not fear.

Tarri Hall
Ottowa, Ontario

Thank you, Mr. Curley. Your simple, elegant account of real, personal change is one of the finest things I've read about the historic choice America is poised to make.

Jim Zien
Thetford, Vt.

What Mr. Curley found on front doorsteps in the South is what I think is happening, too, based on a view from California. Thanks in very large part to the Obama campaign, the American people are once again finding common ground in the political process. It's not about the big things. It's about whether we actually still have the heart and hope to believe in the American dream.

Gary Patton
Santa Cruz, Calif.

Socialism vs. capitalism

Regarding the Oct. 31 Opinion piece, "Is Barack Obama really a socialist?": I say yes, and Obama's socialism cannot work. Socialism fails every time it's tried. It is both immoral and impractical. It denies the right of private property, obliterates the right of the individual, and destroys the only system that can lift the standard of living for everyone. Socialism does not produce economic growth; it only produces stagnation.

Michael J. Hurd Ph.D.
Rehoboth Beach, Del.

How can Senator McCain, Governor Palin, or any of their supporters cite socialism as a serious objection to Senator Obama's tax proposal? Governor Palin collects extra taxes from the oil companies in her state and uses the proceeds to send every resident a check from the government. What the Alaska governor is doing sounds a lot more like socialism than anything the Illinois senator is proposing.

Jack Higgins

Author Donald J. Boudreaux unfortunately overlooks the downside of capitalism in this commentary. As long as profits go up when productivity goes up, capitalism is considered to be working, regardless of the social conditions it produces.

We need to see our economy as a continuum between socialism and capitalism. We must always monitor social justice along with economic growth and adjust our policies to maximize both. Ideology and labels need to be ignored and the functional outcomes of policies must be closely monitored, allowing us to swing left and right as conditions require.

Rolf A. Nesse
Coeur d'Alene, Idaho

The Monitor welcomes your letters andopinion articles. Because of the volume of mail we receive, we can neither acknowledge nor return unpublished submissions. All submissions are subject to editing. Letters must be signed and include your mailing address and telephone number. Any letter accepted may appear in print or on our website, www.CSMonitor.com. Mail letters to Readers Write and Opinion pieces to Opinion Page, 210 Massachusetts Avenue, Boston, MA 02115. E-mail letters to Letters and Opinion pieces to OpEd.

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