Readers write: Positive views of China and Puerto Rico, and portrayal of socialism

Letters to the editor for the Dec. 10, 2018 weekly magazine.

Alvin Baez/Reuters
A woman walks among hundreds of pairs of shoes displayed at the Capitol to pay tribute to Hurricane Maria's victims, in San Juan, Puerto Rico on June 1, 2018.

Positive views of China, Puerto Rico

Many thanks for The Monitor’s View articles “In China, a great leap in corporate governance” and “Puerto Rico says ‘Come on down!’ ” in the Sept. 24 Weekly Print Edition. To read two really positive articles relating to areas that in most news reports tend to be negative was so refreshing. Jack Ma in China exhibits such a strong business ethic of freedom from family domination in his immense online shopping market, Alibaba. 

Then to discover the growing inner spirit of courage and determination in Puerto Rico, in what many see as a hapless area following the disastrous effects of hurricane Maria and the halfhearted assistance from prosperous America, warms the heart. 

Puerto Ricans deserve to develop a profitable tourist trade that can bring employment to many of its needy populace.

David Barker

Barnstaple, England

Portrayal of socialism

I am a subscriber and appreciate the enlightened perspective of the Monitor, but I couldn’t be more disappointed with Mark Sappenfield’s editorial commentary, “The triumph of gray,” in the Oct. 15 issue. 

Socialism is not “the other extreme” of capitalism. Socialism is exactly what the cover story by Mark Trumbull and Eoin O’Carroll is all about: placing some constraint on capitalism. Furthermore, the editorial cartoon about fish also foments an inaccurate illustration of socialism by suggesting it is “a bit too far” as though it is synonymous with communism. 

The problem I am addressing is that by describing socialism this way, the Monitor reinforces the ignorant understanding of the term. I believe that socialism is, simply put, constraining capitalism to some degree for the good of the community. Even Adam Smith, the godfather of capitalism, realized that government needed to constrain greed to ensure honesty in the market. Now that really doesn’t sound so scary, does it?

John T. Spence

Covington, Ky.

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