Private sector management of health care is a failure
The letter by Michael J. Riemann of Sept. 2 is beautifully written, worthy of any first class PR advertising firm. His concern for Wall Street and the insurance industry is touching. The geniuses of free market capitalism, failed profoundly. They pleaded with the people to “take them over.” They are already back and flourishing while many ordinary people still can’t find work.

Medical care is not a luxury to be foregone, nor a commodity with competitive styles and versions. Priest or pauper, care is good enough or it is not. The health insurance industry has been an abject failure. A model demanding big profit is simply too expensive.

Mr. Riemann cites Pharaoh as a metaphor for the cruel and enduring consequences of concentration of resources in the few. Pharaoh was not elected by the people. He was placed and sustained in power by class and religion. Pharaoh was not a democrat and he certainly was not a socialist.

He more nearly resembles business doing what business does: exploiting desperate people’s needs and extracting maximum treasure. It always works until the treasure runs out. The appetite for wealth never seems to run out.

I am also intrigued with Mr. Reimann’s rhetoric of the ’50s. I wonder why we are seeing language reconstructing Third Reich history again. It has for years been familiar only to those alive during the McCarthy era.

Almost immediately following the end of World War II, American supporters of fascism began to rewrite history by conflating the Nazi movement with the Marxist Bolshevik revolution. Mr. Riemann’s letter repeats the misrepresentation.

Hitler was not a Marxist socialist of any stripe. The Nazis early on dropped “workers” from their name while retaining the word “socialist.” They never delivered on the promise its use suggests. It was set up with the collaboration of German and not a few admiring American industrialists.

Among the American enablers were John D. Rockefeller, Henry Ford, the Mellons and the Carnegies. It was Rockefeller that almost single-handedly exported the racialist philosophy, eugenics, to the medical establishment of Hitler’s Germany. Eugenics, of course, provided half the rhetoric fueling the holocaust. Violently anti-Marxist, the Nazi movement provided the other with propaganda inflaming fears of Red Menace. Sound familiar?

Well-read and educated scholars universally accept the term fascism as most descriptive of the managed economic system of Hitler.

Wealthy and ideological entrenched powerful men fear democracy. They fear a democratic government which empowers the people to share in the resources of the nation. It’s not democracy we should fear, and the Bolsheviks are buried in Red Square.

W. Lorraine Watkins