South county has nothing to fear from ‘Red Menace’ of communism

Opening the editorial page of the Call last week, one might have felt transported back in time to the decades of the Cold War.

In his letter, Darold E. Nelson compared St. Louis County’s new trash-district plan to the first steps of communism. This comparison is reactionary, outlandish and totally inaccurate.

Trash districts are not communism. Communism is a revolutionary process in which the first step is actually a violent overthrow of the owning classes by the working class. Once in power, the working classes abolish all forms of private property.

The trash-district plan does none of these things. The plan could not even be considered socialist as socialism requires the government to own and operate businesses and redistribute the profits equally among all classes in society.

I don’t think I will be seeing any of the profits made by the waste company that won the bid for my trash district any time soon. The fact that private companies actually competed for the opportunity to serve districts is actually the antithesis of communism.

What St. Louis County has done is not communistic in the least, it is standardization. Standardization is a process that almost all governments of any size must go through in order to protect the people. Would Mr. Nelson call health codes communism? Would he consider building codes or fire codes to be dangerous to free enterprise? All of these could possibly force a small business to fold due to the cost that business must incur to meet the government’s standards, but in the end we all benefit from government regulations that seek to maintain a basic level of quality over necessary social services.

And while I agree with Mr. Nelson that creating a complicated bureaucracy should not be society’s answer to every problem, to paint St. Louis County’s decision to implement the trash-district plan as the beginnings of a Marxist revolution seems unnecessary.

So relax, south county. Our community has nothing to fear from the “Red Menace” of communism.

Paul Stanley