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In the mid- to late 1980s, after seven decades of effort to achieve pure communism, 25 percent of the Soviet Union's perishable agricultural production rotted in storehouses, Moscow markets could only provide 57 percent of the vegetables demanded, and, on any given day, only 19 of the 80 most basic consumer goods appeared on the shelves. Astoundingly, in 1988, Anatoly Chazov, the minister of health, conceded that, across the entire Soviet Union (the largest country on Earth), 30 percent of the hospitals didn't even have indoor plumbing!

In the 21st century, we have seen socialism reduce one of the world's largest and most viable economies (Venezuela) to rubbish and impoverish her people. Similar (lack of) success stories are observable on a daily basis in North Korea and Cuba, among others.

A discussion of socialism's presumed benefits is far from a simple debate on philosophy or theory. We have 100 years of practical application in diverse places at different times, and the results are always the same — total and complete economic failure leading to miserable quality of life.

Yet Cameron Green, Noah Bartholomae and, presumably, Paige Kreisman would have you believe this is the ideal toward which we should strive — and 37 percent of you in her ward bought into that and voted for her.

If I were a liberal, I'd be stunned by how far from reality so many of my brethren are straying, and I'd be scared to death that my comrades could wind up doing (again) something that I would have thought impossible — nominating someone who could actually lose to Donald Trump.

John Brenan

Corvallis (Nov. 16)

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