When Bernie Sanders appeared poised to win the 2020 Democratic primary, many of the pundits – “liberal” and “conservative” alike went into an absolute tizzy over the possibility that the US might elect a “socialist” president. It’s time to better understand what is meant by “socialism” and the hysterical stigma associated with it.
Taxes are the price we pay to live in a civilized society. Who better for the tax revenues to benefit than the tax payers? People never complain about socialist fire and police departments. This is because fire and police protection are viewed as universally needed by all citizens and therefore better provided across the board by the government. As it turns out, all other civilized countries on Earth have applied the same reasoning to health care. As a result, Canada, Europe, Japan, etc. all pay 40-50 percent less for their health care than the US and everyone is covered.
Many of those same countries realize that providing young people with free university education is a wise investment for a society to make. Not only do Denmark, Sweden and Germany have robust economies with more millionaires per capita than the US (yes, you read that correctly), but the people are healthier and by many measures, happier.
Public schools, public libraries and the Interstate Highway System are all examples of social spending that many people could be expected to support.
While there may indeed be inefficiencies inherent in government spending, in the case of health care, eliminating the corporate bureaucracies, office buildings, CEO compensation packages and private jets of a dozen insurance companies makes for a tremendous savings. The only reason this is being debated is that so many of our “leaders” are extremely beholden to the misguided idea that any and all government programs are inefficient and things are better done by the free market, etc. (To better understand the psychological shortcomings of our “leaders” see the sections on The Economy, US Foreign Policy and Human Consciousness.)
The US is already a socialist country lavishing hundreds of billions per year on weapons manufacturers ($600 hammers and $900 toilet seats are more profitable than $29 toasters). The Federal Reserve continues to hand hundreds of billions per year to the banks in an effort to keep the economy afloat – thus accounting for the stock market’s performance and the skyrocketing wealth of the already wealthy. The US government gives lavish subsidies to the fossil fuels industry and to big agriculture. All Bernie Sanders and others suggest is that US socialist spending benefit working class people at least as much as the wealthy elite.