Dear Editor:

What's in a name? Grant Wiegert and Pat Wemstrom take exception to my referring to Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren as Marxists (Mirror-Democrat/Times-Journal Letters, Dec. 11-12), but neither offers any reasons for their belief to the contrary beyond Wiegert's assertion that both deny being Marxists. Of course they do; they both know that such an admission would consign their campaigns to Andrew Yang status.

The usual argument made here is that they can't be Marxists, as they don't advocate state ownership of the means of production as Marx did. Accepting such pedantry at face value would make the candidates' positions more akin to the National Socialism of 1930's Germany. Hitler didn't nationalize Krupp; he merely directed production without the necessity of taking the responsibility of ownership.

While Karl Marx might have accepted that state direction of the economy was an acceptable substitute for outright ownership, I would be willing to describe the candidates as Nazis (the German abbreviation of the Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei or NSDAP, Hitler's party) if that would satisfy the writers. Certainly the class warfare and income redistribution rhetoric of the candidates, mirrored by the writers, would be right at home in the pages of Das Kapital. A rose by any other name ...

While space limitations preclude the debunking of all of the writer's Democrat talking points (Sorry, Pat. Democrats are hardly democratic. Ask Bernie why he wasn't the nominee in 2016.), we should first note that both Chuck and Pat Wemstrom regularly argue that "the wealthy must pay their fair share" but are unable to define exactly what constitutes being "wealthy" or what their fair share might be.

Pat's recitation of the deficiencies of Chicago's public schools raises a few inconvenient questions. Why, despite spending more money per pupil than any other country on the planet, do U.S. students remain uncompetitive on the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) as usual?

If throwing money at the educational system were the panacea Pat seems to believe it is, why do Utah students score in the top 10 on the National Assessment of Educational Progress despite per student spending that is lowest in the nation and $4,000 below the national average?

As I wrote before, if we buy the high tax, big spending arguments of Democrats, we may all be asking, "How can we be so stupid?"

David E. Hanson

Savanna