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Our nation’s mixed economy thrives -- Dennis Anderson

September 12, 2018

Recent letters praising American capitalism are following Fox News’ lead and citing Venezuela as an example of the failures of socialism. I don’t know what economic system these writers think we have. The U.S. economy is mixed, with elements of both capitalism and socialism.

What socialist elements most bother these people? Is it public libraries and education? Is it airports, the interstate system or the streets in front of their homes? The Center for Disease Control or the National Institute of Health? Medicare? Perhaps it is trash collection and snow plowing that put the bug up their noses.

When people speak of the prosperity that capitalism brings, they are apparently unaware that middle class wages in this country have been stagnant for decades. The private health care and insurance industries have never met the nation’s needs, despite the vaunted genius of the private sector. On the other hand, cars and drugs are safer than they used to be and the environment is much cleaner than it once was -- and the driving force hasn’t been the private sector.

Our mixed system has worked as well as it has -- and it could work better -- not despite government intervention, but because of it.

Dennis Anderson, Madison

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