Phil Grant does all Democrats a disservice when he broadly paints us with the socialist brush [“Do not dismiss the pivotal role of profits,” May 2]. This, of course, will be the Republican strategy during the 2020 elections — bring AOC (Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) into the picture at every juncture. And yes, we know AOC is way left, but we love her anyway. That doesn’t mean we agree with her. Grant regurgitates information right out of an Economics 101 textbook like he’s teaching us new stuff. Truth is, most of us Democrats are OK with capitalism — it’s worked for us for hundreds of years, and yes Mr. Grant, we do realize companies have to make a profit. What worries us is that this profit motive may push companies to not always do the right thing.
Maybe without the EPA some companies would dump their waste products in the rivers to save money. Maybe without minimum wage laws they would pay employees as little as they could get away with — let the free market forces determine wages, never mind if it’s not a living wage. Safety in the workplace? OSHA? Wouldn’t need it under pure capitalism. Profits would be adversely affected by paying for guards over all pinch points. Tell employees to be careful, that’s all.
My point is that I don’t think Democrats are against capitalism. And we don’t want pure socialism. What we do want is capitalism with socialistic controls to prevent the abuses that could arise if profit and market forces had total control. Government needs to continue to do this — as a compassionate overseer. Social Security, Medicare, EPA, OSHA — we like these things. They protect us. If profit is the only motivation in a society, I doubt we’d have them.
Milbridge summer resident