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Scandinavian Attributes

December 29, 1988

I read with great interest Marshall's piece on Scandinavia (Dec. 14) and was surprised to learn of their problems due to socialism.

However, as a resident of San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district, I daily witness the existence of our nation's homeless (there is a difference between being homeless and deadbeat) in the streets and parks and wonder how a nation so rich as ours can allow so many of its children to wallow in poverty, the mentally ill to barely survive on their own and the homeless (many of whom are veterans) to literally eat out of trash cans.

These are scenes I did not see growing up in Orange County, nor are these scenes I want to see. While there are no easy answers to Scandinavia's socialism problems or the United States' capitalistic problems, theirs seem minor compared to ours.

Many people will read this article and say to themselves, "See, socialism doesn't work" and dismiss it as a total failure instead of looking at some of their ideas as solutions to our failures, just as many walk by the homeless and tell themselves that these people just need to get a job. That kind of attitude sure makes it easier to sleep in a warm bed at night and not concern ourselves with others.

DOUG FARSON

San Francisco

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