Mary Nickum obviously has never actually experienced Socialism. If she had, she’d know its insidious, oppressive nature.

I’ve experienced it in many countries, having visited about 160 on all seven continents. My first was in Czechoslovakia in 1969, and again in 1970 and 1976, when it was behind the Iron Curtain. Ms. Nickum can argue that it was Communism, not Socialism, but that’s tantamount to saying that Capitalism is not Democracy. I saw universal poverty and deprivation. I studied Slavic languages and attempted conversations, but most were unwilling to talk except for a brave few.

Things that we took for granted in our capitalist countries, like food and toilet paper, were luxuries there. Shops had empty shelves, and the few that did have bread or meat had very long lines. I saw fruit and vegetable carts with produce so blemished that we would not even use for pie filling.

I’ve also been to every other pre-USSR country from the Baltics to the Balkans. I’ve been to Venezuela and Cuba and can assure Ms. Nickum that every single one of the “ordinary” people would jump at the chance to come to America. In fact, many risk their lives to do so. Socialism has never worked successfully anywhere in the world.

As Winston Churchill once stated, “The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” In a variation of another of his quotes, “Capitalism is the worst economic system, except for all the others.”

Another area where I also totally disagree with Ms. Nickum is that women are equal to men. They are not! They are far superior to men. Women don’t start wars or do any of a number of stupid things that we men do.