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Recently a local candidate, espousing communist and/or socialist beliefs, got some votes. Then there were a couple of letters to the editor in support of her candidacy and ideas. And then the floodgates opened with anti-communist letters, reminding us of all the evil that has been done in the name of communism.

But, what the anti-communist letter writers have not reflected on is the reason why citizens might become interested in communism or socialism (two different things, in my opinion).

The reason is that the U.S. economic system is failing many Americans. Our leaders claim we are in an economic "boom," but only the wealthiest of the wealthy are gaining ground financially. The middle class and the poor are left out, and services for the poor have been cut. The current version of capitalism "appears" to be rigged for those who already have more than they need.

When capitalism is at its best, there is a large middle class benefiting. But that is not the case today.

In addition, those at the top are benefiting from a very socialistic safety net. "Too big to fail," claimed the Bush administration as it gave $750 billion in tax dollars to bail out the banks in 2008. And the next year the Obama administration did the same. That's socialism, not capitalism. It's just that it's the rich benefiting from it.

In real capitalism there is open competition and no one is too big to fail. But that's not what's happening in our country.

Mark Weiss

Philomath (Nov. 25)

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