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Letter: Societal decay

In a socialist society, everyone has equal wealth, medical service, social status and recognition. In a capitalist society, each person reaches a level in life determined by his or her accomplishments. During the first half of my 80 years, the United States was a confirmed capitalist society.

In 1956, I was a private stationed at The Ordnance Guided Missile School in Huntsville, Ala. I was a member of a large team of instructors teaching state of the art guided missile systems. The team included civil service, military officer, enlisted and civilian technical personnel (RCA, Raytheon, and GE). Everyone had a college campus attitude striving to do the best possible job in his or her particular job.

It worked out well for me. Within three years, I was promoted through the ranks to staff sergeant and then received a direct commission to second lieutenant. I wasn’t aware of it at the time, but the drift toward socialism existed. A few weeks before becoming an army officer, the military uniforms were changed. They went from a contrast between enlisted men and officers to appearing the same. The average person not connected to a military way of life saw no difference.

Several years later, I attended army flight training at Fort Rucker. It was the most difficult year of my life. We were told at the start of the program, that the instructors were going to try to make us quit. The idea was that they did not want quitters flying army aircraft. At the end of some days, I had an urge to kill the instructor and burn the plane. It was a happy day when I finally pinned on my aviator wings. Approximately five years later, it seemed like everyone was wearing wings. A new directive came down, whereby any person having any job on or near a plane could wear wings. The wings were slightly different but not noticeable to the average person. There are similar situations in the civilian work force. For example: janitors became building custodians and garbage collectors became sanitary engineers.

In my opinion, these acts remove an element of individual motivation. In recent years, money is taken from those willing to work and given to those that do not. People seem to become comfortable with life receiving money for doing nothing.

LOU BARBER

Ruston, La.

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