The president’s attack on socialism in the State of the Union speech needed to be made. My take is that a little socialism, like a little knowledge, is a dangerous thing. American culture is defined by those who shaped our country. Their rugged individualism, creativity, self-reliance, generosity, love of competition, risk taking and success-oriented nature made this country unique and great.

As a theory, who could argue that socialism doesn’t sound good. Everyone gets free health care, free college, free internet, great roads, guaranteed housing, free transportation and guaranteed livable annual salaries, and no one goes hungry. Certainly these are the promises of the theory.

But if socialism is so great, how come it doesn’t work?

Do you like advancement based only on seniority or on merit? Do you like huge bureaucracies or efficient market systems? Do you like competition where the best wins or do you like everyone getting a participation award? Do you like massive government expenses and suffocating taxes or do you like less government intrusion, lower taxes and an opportunity to succeed based on your own initiative?

Socialism suppresses individuality and motivation. Though we’re all born equal, the capitalist view is one of equality of opportunity and the socialist view is that all are entitled to an equal share of the pie. The rub comes in the premise of socialism, that the individual is there to support the state. The capitalist view is the state is there to support the individual. Take a little socialism if you will. I think it’s dangerous and I’ll take free-market capitalism every time.

Jamie Gough

Camp Road

Charleston