Professor’s views are not facts
Editor, The Beacon:
This is in response to the opinion letter “Brexit: What’s It Got to Do With US?” by Dr. William Nylen.
Dr. Nylen presents opinion as fact. On describing those who don’t share his views, Nylen has visions of pickup trucks filled with guns, Confederate flags and full ashtrays dancing in his head.
His letter citing conservative demagoguery is long on generalities and short on real statistics. He apparently cannot distinguish between people who are aghast at both Trump and radical progressives, and right-wing extremists. People who fear progressive activists are not all racist goons.
Professor Nylen rails against the top 5 percent and our present form of capitalism. If a tenured professor, Dr. Nylen likely significantly exceeds the current U.S. median family yearly income of $63,000, and is doing well himself.
We have a large population of people who are not safely in a tenured position and do not have the resources to publish judgmental descriptions of others. Many of these people are concerned that we have heavy emigration from troubled societies where the emigrants are not melding with American society as they did in the past. They also resent academicians and celebrities describing them as reactionary bigots.
It is clear that billionaires have excessive wealth and that we should adjust our economy. But I’ll take what we have now over government-controlled economies such as Cuba, Venezuela and Russia.
Whether socialism or communism, substantial government control results in bureaucrats living in luxury compounds while the rest live meager lives.
As my wife found during a Cuban stay for a religious interchange, rural Cubans have been pushed almost back to the Stone Age, and the police state has informants everywhere.
Using Scandinavia as an example of successful socialism is misleading because although these societies do have high taxes and generous safety nets, they are largely capitalistic.
Dr. Nylen professes a desire to only tweak our economy, but his use of the words “social democracy” and his praise of progressive leaders show an activist urge. There is some stressed logic on the desirability and popularity of democratic socialism — such as Bernie Sanders claiming that most want his whole progressive agenda even though they are somehow voting against him. The electability issue may be a facet of this, but is likely not the whole story.