Letter to the Editor

If you’ve ever raised kids you know that each kid thinks the other kid is getting better treatment and complains, “it’s not fair.” 

One day when my kids were about 8 and 9 years old, I asked if they wanted to engage in an experiment. I told them I would make everything equal between them for the next 24 hours. What one got the other one would get. They were very excited and then asked what would happen if I didn’t make things equal. I said, “If I don’t make everything equal then I’ll clean the toilet with a toothbrush.” They laughed and agreed.

The first thing I did was to take them for a Dairy Queen ice cream. I asked them to go get their 6-year-old friend next door to go with us. As we rode in the car the kids were in the back seat discussing the ice cream they wanted. Jessica wanted a chocolate cone and Karen wanted vanilla in a cup. When we got there, I ordered them all a medium size vanilla. I have never seen kids so miserable eating ice cream. Jessica didn’t get chocolate ice cream, Karen didn’t get a cup and the medium was too much for the 6-year-old, so half the ice cream was thrown away.

On the way home, Karen said she needed a toothbrush so I stopped at the store. Karen said she wanted a purple brush. I picked up four green toothbrushes, since that was the only color with four brushes, and started to the counter to pay for them. Jessica said she and her friend didn’t need a toothbrush and I said, “Yup, I know, but it’s fair and equal.”

Now at home, it was allowance day. I gave each of them the same allowance, which for Karen, was the same as Jessica and less than her usual allowance. Karen complained that she did more chores and should be given more and I said, “I know, but it’s fair and equal.”

This went on for about eight hours. After dinner I asked them if they wanted to continue for the full 24 hours. They looked at me with big eyes and said in unison, “We talked it over and we don’t want to ever be equal again for as long as we live.” Young people are idealistic and many think fairness is being equal, it’s not.

Socialism is seductive, suggesting that all your needs will be met by taking from the rich and spreading the wealth, so that everything will be fair and equal. It won’t. If you confiscated all the wealth of the top 10 percent it would be about $25 to $30 trillion, which would barely cover our national debt, much less pay for all the socialist agenda. What do you do when you run out of other people’s money? Capitalism isn’t perfect but it’s so much better than a socialist economic and political system and agenda.

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(3) comments


Ms. Trees, thanks for your entertaining letter.

Here's the Merriam-Webster definition of socialism:

1 : any of various economic and political theories advocating collective or governmental ownership and administration of the means of production and distribution of goods

2a : a system of society or group living in which there is no private property

b : a system or condition of society in which the means of production are owned and controlled by the state

3 : a stage of society in Marxist theory transitional between capitalism and communism and distinguished by unequal distribution of goods and pay according to work done

I haven't noticed anybody advocating for socialism, except a vociferous few. I have noticed that "socialism" is a code word, used in an unsuccessful re-election campaign, by an individual known for making false accusations, who childishly refuses to concede.

It seems to me that you're confusing socialism with government redistribution of wealth.

It's ethical to tax wealthy people at a higher rate than everyone else. It's sound economic policy.

The above-mentioned person, who was not re-elected, imposed massive tax cuts, that caused the national debt to spiral upward. Eighty percent of the tax benefits are going the top 1%. This is an economic disaster.

Three Americans control as much personal wealth as the bottom 50%. That's three vs. 163 million. This level of income inequality will tear our society apart, and must be stopped at all cost.

I would advocate for a guaranteed minimum annual income, funded by a financial transactions tax, and increases in capital gains and dividends taxes.


By the Merriam-Webster definition of socialism it would be most accurate to point out to children that a Family is a miniature socialist society. In that society there is group living, the means of production is controlled by the state (the parents) and members of the society (family members) are provided for according to their needs.

The "lesson" provided by Ms. Trees to her children does not reflect the reality of any existing socialist society, but the management of a family household under normal conditions does.


Ms. Trees, I nominate you for “Mother of the Year.” You gave form and substance to Sir Winston Churchill’s observation: ”Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy; its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.”

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