Here’s my thinking on the capitalism/socialism discussion:
1. Too simplistic to think of this as an either-or situation.
2. Definitions of each are critical to any discussion
3. “Socialism” has been used as scare word for the last century.
4. We already have certain “socialistic” programs: Medicare, Social Security, Foodstamps (WIC/Snap), Defense Industry.
5. Medicare and Social Security are highly successful and exceedingly useful programs. Foodstamps are an invaluable aid to some.
6. Fire and Police are “socialistic” in that they are government working together on a social problem.
7. Social programs as part of government activities for a safety net can be beneficial to society.
8. When the right yells “socialism” they are (it seems to me) referring to Nationalistic Socialism from a century ago which included nationalizing industries and huge government control. Today’s “socialistic” actions are solutions to problems and not about ownership and control.
9. Our capitalistic society has regulations which have been absolutely necessary (think food safety, drug approval, worker conditions, no child labor and more).
10. The problem with our capitalistic system is that if moves toward wealth and power concentration and these have reached the state where they are causing societal problems.
Just so you are clear:
I am a progressive capitalist in that I understand that free trade and commerce are a basic nature of any society and any political system. I also strongly support entrepeuneuring and the freedom and opportunity to start a business. I recognize that capital formation is essential to this process.
I just think that this late stage capitalism concentration of wealth and power is a real problem. It is clearly one of the root causes our political strive. Capitalism could save itself if more of the benefits (DIVIDENDS) went to workers.