Welfare states work

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

In "Keep checks coming" (Forum, Oct. 1), Darrel Manning speaks of "collapsed socialist governments," of which there are none. All modern democratically elected governments, including the United States, provide certain functions "socialistically," such as police, fire protection, education, infrastructure and safety nets.

Those governments that, with voter support, tax more heavily than the United States and more adequately provide the above functions (and others) are reviled as "socialist." The northern European "welfare states" exemplify this, with taxes edging toward 50 percent of gross domestic product.

A comparison of the performance of those functions in the more "socialistic" states to similar functions in the United States makes emulating them nothing to fear. Compared to the United States, their measured superiorities are not responsibly questioned: less unemployment, less poverty, better and far cheaper health care systems, superior education outcomes, balanced budgets and international trade balances.

All this without gross economic inequalities, while maintaining investment and job-creation and happier populations than the United States.

John Ellison

Salt Lake City