The people's voice of reason

Tears & Laughter: Socialism is not the answer

Most people – I think – are paying attention to the 2020 election. Whether watching Trump riding on what seems to be a rising tide, or following the Democratic primaries and caucuses, everybody is watching to some extent even if only for entertainment.

Democratic Socialist Bernie Sanders is doing better than expected. Even the confused and chaotic Democratic party seem shocked at how well he is doing as attempts to usher in Michael Bloomberg continue.

I am not a socialist myself. I was interviewed years ago by Jean Martin, longtime beloved writer for the Selma Times Journal. In her article she described me as pretty and practical. I was a bit surprised by her description. She was being really generous with the first, and spot-on with the latter. I can be too practical. I rely too much on common sense and logic. I sometimes lean toward simplicity and minimalism. I appreciate freedom and value individualism greatly.

So by nature, I don’t particularly understand socialism. I mean, I comprehend it, I just don’t understand why anybody would want the government to control all aspects of economic activities including production, distribution, and consumption. It is the quickest way for everybody to become poor.

During the primary coverage, anytime Sanders supporters are asked why they support Senator Sanders’ run for president I tend to listen.

I have never heard any of his supporters say anything other than they want free healthcare – for everyone, but mainly themselves I presume – and they want their student loan debt forgiven.

What justification is there for paying off student loans for people? If a person chooses the wrong career path for themselves, or they quit college, or they use student loan money for other things than education, or they chose to major in something that has no field of jobs when completed, why is the government – or rather the tax payers – responsible for those student loans?

If debt is forgiven for those who don’t pay, would not then those who did pay their loans back or never got them in the first place deserve the same amount of money given to them via check or tax credit?

The answer to that of course is the idea of free college education for all. And free education for all would equate to a useless education for everybody.

Student loans are not mandatory. Those considering a loan should think it through, then think it through again. Make sure your career choice is going to pay enough to cover the student loan and also cover living expenses. Maybe consider a community college. Consider a skill, a trade, or a vocation like nursing. If you are willing to get a skill or vocation, and if you are willing to work, you will not have an issue with paying back student loan debt.

If you learn an in-demand skill – whether through a certification program, an apprentice program, or on the job training – you will not be haunted by student loan debt because you will be making over a hundred thousand dollars a year within a five year time span. You will be able to make a living, plus you will also have health insurance provided by your employer.

It is a win/win situation, and eliminates the silly notion of turning the United States of America into a socialist country.

Amanda Walker is a contributor with The Selma Times Journal, Thomasville Times, West Alabama Watchman, and Alabama Gazette. Contact her at or at


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