Letters to the editor from this week's Chronicle:

Redneck Review!
No. 253 - 3/2/2020
Politics!  Last week it was noted that self-claimed socialist Bernie Sanders, infatuated in the past with socialist countries like Venezuela, Cuba, even our traditional rival, Russia, had a substantial lead in the Democrat's race for presidential nominee in 2020.  He did stumble a bit in the South Carolina primary later, as Joe Biden made moderate gains. Still, several  forecasters are claiming Bernie has a good chance of becoming  the Democrat's 
nominee! SUPER TUESDAY votes in Democratic primaries will tell the story very soon!
Review 252 claimed that a hard look at socialism coupled with a dash of common sense will convince the average voter that the United States DOES NOT WANT A SOCIALIST for their president!  Historical examples of the 100% failure of experiments with that system so far should be convincing, but as promised in the last paragraph of that review, a simple example might add some common sense to that claim.  For that, we credit READER'S DIGEST from several years back for that example, modified by myself for use in the classroom. Here it is!
Imagine a very primitive community of four side by side shacks, called Households A, B, C and D, located left to right on a meadow down below a high mountain off to the right, with a cool spring providing the water the community needs for survival. Imagine the mountain off a distance to the right, far enough away that it takes each family 6 hours daily to climb and get the water they need each day.  Imagine also that the struggle for food alone takes an average of another 6 hours just to survive, and that a third 6 hour effort is needed for the other items that come up in a family's daily struggle for survival; wood for heat, skins for clothing, etc.
Clearly this is a very primitive community, requiring 18 hours each 24 hour day just to survive!  Note also that all ARE EQUAL in their struggle for survival!  Then Household A, located on the far left of the picture you have of the community,  gets an idea, and they realize a ditch from the spring to their home would save the 6 hrs/day of hard effort!  But B, C, and D are not interested, because the 18 hour day they are already working has them exhausted.  So A decides to go it alone, and for the next several months, spends an extra 2 hours a day building the ditch down the mountain TO HIS HOUSE, forcing A of course to run the ditch passed B, C, and D!
A pause is needed here!  If we call the beginning situation of the four families  S1,  then it is clear that ALL ARE EQUAL, each spending 18 hrs daily just to survive!  Adding the four 18 hour days, it is easy to see that the total community effort to survive is 72 hours. So we represent the start as  S1-72 hours.  But with the effort of A to build the ditch, we now have A spending 20 hrs daily, the others 18, so we will label this S2-74 hours. Clearly there has been a rupture of the EQUALITY that existed in S1, as A now spends 20 hours a day to survive, not 18, so the wealth status of the entire community has gone down!  It takes 74 not 72 hours to survive!  And poor A is dragging his fanny, as his INVESTMENT in time is costing him dearly, and he is now the most disadvantaged household in the community!
But, now S3!  The ditch is complete, the water running down the mountain, past B, C, and D, to A's house!  Now look at the community situation!  A spends 12 hrs a day, while the others are stuck at 18!  So two things have happened!  The total community effort to survive now is only 66 adding 12+18+18+18!  Wow!  The community standard of living has improved 6 hours!  But, A is now the WEALTHY home in the community, since A rests in the sun while the others travel 6 hours to get their water! What happens next? Especially if a Bernie comes along and sees A smiling in the sun while the other three toil again up the hill 6 hours!  (Concluded next week! Meanwhile, you imagine the three or four things which could happen next!)
Jake Wren

Cottonwood, Idaho 83522


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