The World English Dictionary defines Socialism as an economic theory or system in which means of production, distribution, and exchange are owned by the Community collectively (the government,) usually characterized by production for use rather than for profit, by equality of individual wealth, by absence of competitive economic activity, and usually by government determination of investment, prices, and production levels.
The Leninist theory is similar to socialism in that instead of having a socialistic government that transitions from capitalism, it would embrace communism: characterized by the distribution of income according to work rather than to need.
The definition of Capitalism is an economic system characterized by private or corporate ownership of capital goods, by investments that are determined by private decision and by prices, production, and distribution of goods that are determined by competition in the free market.
Most older Americans will have no problem differentiating between Capitalism and Socialism. Over the past several years we have witnessed many European governments turn to Socialism.
Americans have lived under the Capitalistic economic system since the founding of the United States. Older Americans remember after the “great depression” of the 1930’s that it was jobs created as a result of WWII that strengthened the U.S. economy. At the close of WWII the government continued to encourage business growth by assisting returning veterans with obtaining employment. Of course it was a slow process but over the years the United States became the number one exporter of world resources.
As time passed the government began providing social programs such as social security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment benefits, food stamps, low income housing for the poor, and the list goes on and on. While most of these programs were greatly beneficial to Americans, older Americans remember that almost all these programs had limitations. They knew that they would only be eligible for a short time, they knew they had to find a job, a place to live and stop relying on government hand-outs.
And they did! Many started small businesses and in turn hired employees who were able to care for themselves. Others went to work for major corporations and earned ample wages.
A lower income class of workers were able to move up to middle class and higher.
This was Capitalism.
Today, as the younger generations are becoming a larger segment of the population, they seem to believe one does not need to start at the bottom and work up. They seem to believe that education, housing, and medical care are a given right provided by the government. They have joined unions demanding higher wages. Lower paying jobs are not an option. Their philosophy seems to be 'why work for a wage when you can get more money from the government from various programs without working.' They seem not to have a clue that the government does not make money. The government extracts it from American taxpayers. The younger citizens now want to take it from the top income earners in the country and give it to lower income folks. If this were the case, the top income earners would tend to hire fewer people and the lower income folks still would not go to work.
This is called Socialism.
Now this sounds all fine and dandy to anyone who has not visited a country whose governmental philosophy does not end with and ISM or and IST. Most world travelers and military personnel who have visited non-capitalist countries will agree, these countries are a nice place to visit but they wouldn’t want to live there.
If you have toured Mexico beyond the large tourist cities and metropolitan areas you have seen there are two distinct economic levels of people. (Not drug lords.) The very rich and the very poor. I have seen this in Italy, Hong Kong, the Philippines and numerous other small countries.
I know many will disagree with me on this subject, but our government has lost its AAA credit rating in the financial world. Our national debt is larger than it has ever been in our history. Our unborn grandchildren will still be burdened with today’s national debt.
This is a well-traveled road to Socialism, as can be readily observed in many European nations. Is this what you want for the future of the United States?
Before you make any rash decisions about this article, learn a little more about capitalism and socialism.