Many people don’t seem to get it, or get hung up on fear of the word, “socialism,” when our first modern "socialist" president was actually FDR, and all presidents since him have either supported or been unable to undo the socialist institutions we have.
Public schools are socialism. Medicare and Medicaid are socialism. Social Security, of course – also the FHA - agriculture price supports - oil company price supports - the Small Business Administration - Wall Street bailouts...
"Socialism" just happens to be the way people in a society take care of each other, offer help when needed, accomplish goals and tasks to benefit all. "Socialism" is simply community; government is the tool a community uses to help its members and itself as a whole.
We are socialists already. Americans must stop letting politicians in service to the wealthy and big business mislead them with the constant drumbeat of "socialism is communism, socialism is government control, socialism is Big Brother." Socialism is what we want it to be and nothing more; it's what we have now but not enough of it. Society itself is socialism by definition.
The truth is that without socialism we wouldn't be as well off, as wealthy and healthy as we are - and still we have a long way to go in all those measures of a good life.
We are the wealthiest nation in the history of the world and, according to President Trump, the economy is “booming.” Yet most Americans have little or no savings and live paycheck to paycheck.
Today our rate of childhood poverty is among the highest of any developed country in the world, millions of workers are forced to work two or three jobs just to survive, hundreds of thousands of bright young people cannot afford to go to college, millions more owe outrageous levels of student debt, and half a million people are homeless on any given night.
Over 80 million Americans have inadequate health insurance or spent part or all of last year without any insurance, and one out of five cannot afford the prescription drugs they need. Yet instead of improving or reforming the Affordable Care Act, this administration is doing everything it can to destroy your coverage.
The top 10 American drug companies, repeatedly investigated for price fixing and other potentially illegal actions, made nearly $70 billion in profits last year, even as Americans paid the most per capita among developed nations for their prescription medicine. And yet, drugs are only 10% of your health costs. It's your medical bills that cause more worry and financial hardship, and are now the leading cause of bankruptcy in the U.S. Slowing the growth of pharmaceutical costs would put only a small dent in the much bigger problem.
And now the Trump administration has dropped one of the biggest portions of its plan to reduce drug prices.
Top executives in the fossil fuel industry spend hundreds of millions on campaign contributions to elect candidates who represent the rich and the powerful, while denying the reality of climate change.
Back in 1944, in his State of the Union speech, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt reminded the nation that economic security is a human right, and that people cannot be truly free if they have to struggle every day for their basic needs.
I agree. We must change the current culture of unfettered capitalism in which billionaires have control over our economic and political life. We need to revitalize American democracy and create a government and economy that works for all of us. Doesn't that sound right to you?
Democratic socialism is about improving the lives of lower and middle-class Americans who have been left behind; that we create a government that works for all and not just the few at the top. I don’t believe government should own the means of production, but I do believe that the middle class and the working families who produce the wealth of America deserve a fair deal.
Some politicians dishonestly try to link socialism with those of authoritarian regimes. We can drop the politically charged word "socialism" because it simply doesn't apply any more. The term Progressive is a better fit and the principles it stands for: a true democracy, one that abides by the principle of one person, one vote, and that doesn’t allow billionaires to buy elections.
Today, nearly every major Democratic candidate embraces some form of universal health care, along with a host of other ambitious policies aimed at curbing inequality and climate change. Does that make them actual socialists, though? Is Trump a socialist for using taxpayer dollars to bail out our farmers hit hard by his disastrous tariffs?
I think we need to talk about things in a new way so we can talk about the real issues affecting all Americans if we didn't have these out-dated political terms gumming up the works that allow unscrupulous people to make accusations that don't actually make any sense, instill fear and have to be discussed, leaving less time to talk about the crisis that our nation is in.
Remember that the next time you hear someone trying to make you afraid of "socialism." Ask yourself why they're talking about that instead of how they intend to make our government work better - for all Americans.