Mr. Garofalo Goes To South Korea

Farmington Representative Pat Garofalo (36B) spent some time during June in South Korea as part of a tour with the American Council of Young Political Leaders.  In a story in ThisWeek Newspaper, he said, “The amazing thing is when you see South Korea’s success, you see benefits of capitalism, and when you look at the suffering in North Korea, you see the failure of socialism and communism.”

Wait a minute.

Is the socialist system in North Korea really the reason for the suffering, or is it a malicious dictator who thinks the people of North Korea are his pawns?  There are not many truly socialist countries, but Portugal is one.  Do we consider Portugal and North Korea equivalent in failure and suffering?

Perhaps I’m jumping to conclusions with Garofalo, but it seems that so many Republicans blame everything bad in government on government.  All they have to do is whisper the “S” word – socialist – to rile up their base.  Those same politicians don’t look in the mirror to see the real problem.  It’s often not the political/economic theory we use to describe the government system that makes it unworkable.  Rather, it is the people running the government.

Garofalo didn’t mention that the South Korean school system he praised as “a better 21st-century educational system” than we have, is a socialist entity.  Public education in general is socialist, at least by the Republican scare-tactic definition of what socialism is.

He praised a transit system process that uses strips on the road to charge electric cars and buses while they drive.  He didn’t mention that it was developed at the Korea Institute of Science and Technology, which is a government-funded institution.  That sounds socialist in every sense of the Republican definition.

The word “socialist” is thrown out by people like Garofalo to scare people.  When did public funding within a democracy become equivalent to socialism?

Here in our own community of Farmington, we have a socialist fire department, a socialist police department, and socialist garbage pick-up.  The clean water comes from a government-run facility, and my son plays hockey at a socialist hockey arena.    If you want to go way out on a limb, you can say our co-op gas company is even communist.

We can define a word based on a political agenda and use it any way we want.  However, we still want all of these “socialist” services, and we don’t want to pay more than we have to. 

It is time to get rid of manipulative politicians with their self-serving political agendas and buzz words.  It’s time to elect people who have the interest of the community, state and country in mind.

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