so·cial·ism (sō’shə-lĭz’əm) -noun
- Any of various theories or systems of social organization in which the means of producing and distributing goods is owned collectively or by a centralized government that often plans and controls the economy.
- The stage in Marxist-Leninist theory intermediate between capitalism and communism, in which collective ownership of the economy under the dictatorship of the proletariat has not yet been successfully achieved.
cap⋅i⋅tal⋅ism /ˈkæpɪtlˌɪzəm/ -noun
an economic system in which investment in and ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange of wealth is made and maintained chiefly by private individuals or corporations, esp. as contrasted to cooperatively or state-owned means of wealth.
If you had to choose one side or the other, which side would you fall on? I’ve listed the true definitions per (Dictionary.com) to give you the true meaning but some people prefer examples. These examples are some of the things that are currently being proposed or discussed in the news.
Social Security – We pay for someone else’s benefits and expect someone else to pay for ours at some point. (Socialism)
– A Capitalist would say, let me save up and earn my own interest. Let me reap the benefits of my money sitting in a bank and use it to live a lifestyle that matches what I’ve invested my entire life for. The problem is Americans in general have NO discipline. We dig ourselves into a rut of debt and don’t save enough for an emergency much less enough to live 10/20/+ years on when we cannot be gainfully employed any longer. A Capitalist would say, “You snooze, you lose.” A Socialist would expect the government or the community to bail them out of their own irresponsibility. Personally I think that if a person cannot pay for themselves down the road, then it should be their family’s duty, or their church’s duty or even a voluntary community fundraising effort not a government issued program forced on persons that don’t feel it is fair or warranted. Once again we reward irresponsibility.
Federal Regulations of Banks – The government is in charge of financial institutions and eliminate massive profiteering from private Banks. (Sounds like a good thing right?) (Socialism)
– This eliminates competition and competitive pricing driving the costs up to whatever the government sees fit. Look at any current program that the government started to ‘help us’ and eventually turned into a money making function to help recuperate their massive financial losses due to their inability to manage their own finances. Our government can’t even balance it’s budget and hasn’t been able to for decades. What makes you think that they can do it with YOUR money. (Not the money that WAS yours that you owe in taxes, which is technically theirs, but YOUR current monies.)
Nationalized Healthcare – The government regulates healthcare for all persons. All persons get the same basic healthcare no matter their statuses and/or income. (Socialism)
– We are one of the last great industrialized countries without Nationalized Healthcare. It gets shot down by anyone that brings it up. This is one of the few Socialistic practices that I can say I’d probably get behind. So long as they offered a optional healthcare position for persons that wanted extra coverage and are willing to pay out of their own pockets for the upgrade. Government regulation would take the pharmaceutical companies and force them to lower their extreme prices. This would put more medication in the hands of those who normally would not have the option for it. I say that as a Capitalist agreeing that these companies are abusing the system and have no consciences.
– The downside to all of this is we are all paying into a system that gives equal healthcare to persons that choose not to take care of themselves in a manner you may believe should be necessary. People who choose to smoke or drink or even kill themselves with hard drugs still get the same healthcare as someone that tries their best to take care of themselves. We pay once again for someone else’s extra costs due to their irresponsibility.
Based on these few major items, where do you fall? There is no wrong answer. Each side has it’s good and bad points. Personally I’m a Capitalist and although I may not agree with a 100% Capitalistic message, if I had to choose I would choose that side of the line. I am a firm believer in helping each other out as a society but I believe it perpetuates laziness and welfare cases. I am a firm believer in the old “You should work for what you get.” doctrine. I also believe that Capitalism drives ingenuity and creativity. “Why should I invent something new or try to derive new ideas if I won’t profit from it. Why should I work hard at contributing something new if everyone else benefits if I succeed but no one loses but me if I fall?”