Jan 19 7 WVW Pages - page 8

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Washita Valley Weekly
“My Community Magazine”
February 20, 2019
God Bless America
A conservative view of national, state and local politics
Steve Fair is the Chairman of the 4th Congressional
District for the Oklahoma Republican Party. He may
be reached by phone at 580-252-6284 or email at
Read more at stevefair.blogspot.
com. The views expressed in this column are his
and his alone and does not necessarily represent
the views of the Oklahoma Republican Party.
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At the State of the Union address, President Trump declared, “Tonight, we renew our resolve that
America will never be a socialist country.” CNN’s instant poll said 76% of Americans approved of that
statement. “Here, in the United States, we are alarmed by new calls to adopt socialism in our country,” the
president said. “America was founded on liberty and independence - not government coercion, domina-
tion, and control. We are born free, and we will stay free.” Senator Bernie Sanders, (I-VT), an avowed so-
cialist, frowned at the president’s remarks, but most Democrat members did stand after Trump’s statement.
Socialism is an economic system where the ways of making a living (factories, offices, etc.) are owned
by society as a whole, instead of private owners. Socialists believe that production and distribution of
goods should be controlled by the government rather than private enterprise. There are many varieties
of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them. To be fair, Bernie Sanders and
other socialists in Congress have never called for government takeover of private business. Their socialist
model is more like Europe’s, where social safety nets (health care, housing, food stamps) are paid for by
higher tax rates. The U.S. has moved closer to the European model in recent years,
Socialism rewards mediocrity while capitalism rewards those who are productive. Capitalism is free-
dom, socialism is economic slavery. Capitalism promotes a free market - socialism works to control the
market. President Reagan said, “Millions of individuals making their own decisions in the marketplace
will always allocate resources better than any centralized government planning process.”
Few schools teach the difference between the economic systems, so many young people gravitate to
socialism since it seems fairer to everyone. Recent polls show more than 40% of those under 30 years of
age favorably view socialism. But they should be careful what they wish for. Sir Winston Churchill said,
“The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the
equal sharing of miseries.” America has moved closer and closer to the European model in recent years,
but ultimately every socialist system fails. A classic example is Venezuela, a purely socialist country, in
both governmental and economic crisis.
John Galbraith, a liberal economist and an advocate of socialism, said in 1970 that Democrats should
use the term socialism because it described what was needed in America. But after receiving negative
feedback, the Ds dropped the tag in subsequent years. With the recent election of two members of Con-
gress who are openly socialist, perhaps that is changing.
Based on what President Trump said in the State of the Union, it is clear he plans to hang the socialist
label on the Democrats in 2020. Democrats deserve the tag since their political philosophy has moved
to more government intervention and more taxes. Trump’s strategy is sound, since the vast majority of
Americans do not agree with socialism.
Attorney General Issues Alert on
Social Security Phone Scams
 Attorney General Mike Hunter today warned Oklaho-
mans to be aware of phone calls from scam artists claiming
to be with the Social Security Administration (SSA) and
attempting to steal social security numbers and money.
 A scam will typically involve the con artist telling indi-
viduals their social security number has been suspended
because of suspicious activity, or because it has been
involved in a crime. The scammers will then request for
the victim to confirm their social security number in order
to reactivate it.
 In other instances, scammers will tell victims their bank
account is about to be seized. In order to keep it safe, the
individual needs to put money on a gift card and give them
the codes.
 Attorney General Hunter said scam phone calls are
extremely hard to trace and the best course of action is to
hang up the phone.
 “Oklahomans need to be on high alert about this grow-
ing, deceitful scam,” Attorney General Hunter said. “If
they receive phone calls with someone claiming to be
with the SSA and asking for their social security number
or money, they need to hang up the phone immediately.
Authorities with the SSA will never call an individual
requesting information or money over the phone.
 “Although my office welcomes consumers to file
complaints, the best action individuals can take is to learn
about these scams and be informed to prevent loss.”
 In 2018, the Federal Trade Commission reported
complaints about fake social security calls were up nearly
1,000 percent compared to the previous year, costing
Americans $10 million. In the last two weeks, the attorney
general’s consumer unit has received 13 complaints regard-
ing the scam.
 The FTC offers the following tips to avoid being taken
advantage of by a scam:
 • Ignore the calls. The SSA will never call to threaten
your benefits or tell you to wire money, send cash, or put
money on gift cards. Anyone who tells you to do those
things is a scammer, every time.
 • Don’t be fooled by a caller ID showing the SSA’s real
number 1 (800) 772-1213. Scam artists use computers
to easily show any number on a caller ID, which is also
known as spoofing.
 • Never give any part of your Social Security number,
bank account or credit card number to anyone who con-
tacts you.
 If Oklahomans receive unsolicited calls from anyone
claiming to be from the SSA, they are encouraged to file a
complaint with the FTC at: FTC.gov/complaint. Individu-
als are also encouraged to file a complaint with the attorney
general’s Consumer Protection Unit at:
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