Letter: The facts of socialism
Mr. Funt’s hagiography of FDR, Bernie Sanders, and socialism might have been more plausible if he had adhered to historical fact.
President Roosevelt did not “rescue the nation from the Great Depression.” While his New Deal programs did in fact put a lot of people to work, historians today rightly note the advent of World War II lowered unemployment far more while simultaneously increasing the Gross National Product, something Roosevelt’s work programs did not do at all.
It is also worth noting that FDR’s programs provided income and benefits in return for work, something Mr. Sanders’ proposed platforms do not do. Something for nothing has never proved a successful formula for any society. In “The Lessons of History”, Will and Ariel Durant’s introduction to their 11-volume “The Story of Civilization”, the famed historians point out that in all of known and recorded history, a span of over 4,000 years, no civilization has ever adopted a socialist form of government and endured more than 100 years. It hasn’t happened yet, nor will it. To quote the Durants: “The experience of the past leaves little doubt that every economic system must sooner or later rely upon some form of the profit motive to stir individuals and groups to productivity.”