I believe the letter writer has a myopic view of the word collectivism. I believe its definition is being rewritten by the hard right, just like their redefinition of the word, socialism. Collectivism as practiced in the home, schools and neighborhoods means we all protect and look after one another's children. Yes, it "takes a village."
Collectivism, in its form of financial engineering, well, the letter writer is correct, in that it never works. It didn't work in the U.S.S.R. They operate under capitalism, now. Collectivism didn't work on Wall Street either and that's capitalism. Leveraging the dollar to 30 to 1, or in some cases, 40 to 1, and building an economic foundation on a house of cards, is folly. It collapsed and brought devastation to the private sector in the form of high unemployment and record number of personal and small business bankruptcies across this land.
Again, collectivism in the form of financial engineering always fails the American people. Just like the Great Depression and just like the Great Recession of 2008, it always fails the economic fabric of America. When we read the definition of a word in the dictionary we must look at it's broad application to the different aspects of this American way of life. Trying to change definitions, whether it be collectivism or socialism is a disservice to the American people and our dialogue of the issues.