Many years ago when the price of gasoline went to $1 per gallon, I can remember being told how fortunate we were since the price of gasoline in Europe was well over $2 per gallon. I guess we are still supposed to be fortunate since the current price of gasoline is around $2.50 per gallon and I read that the price in Europe is $7 per gallon and more.

Why does it matter?

It matters, because over and over again, I keep reading how we need to be just like Europe. If Europe is so attractive, then why do we still see many more Europeans migrating to the United States than we see United States citizens migrating to Europe?

It all began with some Europeans deciding they did not like the way things were in their homeland and they decided to migrate to a place that either would be, or was called, the United States of America. It began with some English folks and over the centuries French, German, Italian, Polish and others followed.

They did not come here to make the New World like the world they left, but to be a part of and assimilate into the new country that had become their new home. Sometimes it was tyranny, sometimes it was religious freedom, sometimes it was economic issues such as starvation, and other times it was cultural issues. The United States grew and prospered to become the greatest country the world has ever known.

Why would we want to be like Europe? Europe has experimented with socialism and it has or is in the process of failing. Proponents of socialism tell us to look at Sweden. Socialism in Sweden has failed and many sectors of their economy have been forced to retreat back to capitalism. Huge taxation has been necessary to support the socialism.


The huge riots currently underway in France are spreading to other European countries as I write this. These riots are a direct result of taxation finally crossing a red line that has brought out the masses. The media try to portray the participants in these riots as extremists. More recent reporting indicates that it may be primarily composed of folks from the middle class.

Mass immigration was embraced by many countries, resulting in huge backlash in most of those countries in the form of extreme violence evidenced by increased crime or, once again, riots between mainstream and foreign cultures.

There is a darker side to socialism. Current events tell us of the horrors of socialist Venezuela. There is a complete lack of items necessary to daily living. Some people are starving. Crime is rampant. Chavez and then Maduro became virtual dictators. Once the richest country in South America it is now in anarchy. Anarchy followed by dictators and then followed by government crackdown has been the norm for socialism.

Let us not forget that a dictator named Hitler was responsible for the Holocaust and the death of 6 million Jewish people and an estimated total of 20 million people. Why is that relevant? Hitler was the leader of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party.

A dictator named Stalin was the leader of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic and was responsible for the death of an estimated 62 million people. A dictator named Mao Zedung was the socialist and communist leader of China and was responsible for the death of an estimated 45 million people.

Would it be an exaggeration to say that these factual cases could presage a similar condition in the United States by embracing socialism? I would certainly hope so. However, history tells us to beware as the idealism of socialism leads to expanded government, a permanent ruling class, a frustrated population, anarchy, and a dictatorial government.

It is completely baffling as to why we would want to become like the European countries that were left behind. We should continue on the path of leading the world with an economy and culture that has proven superior and let them continue to follow us.

Another View is a weekly column written collaboratively by Dale Landrith of Camden, Ken Frederic of Bristol, Paul Ackerman of Martinsville, Jan Dolcater of Rockport and Ralph “Doc” Wallace of Rockport.

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