Is socialism really a dirty word?

Definition of word socialism in dictionary

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Trump supporters are quick to bring up the term socialism when countering critics of the president’s policies. To them, socialism is the new dirty word which is often swapped for communism. Perhaps there is a fundamental misunderstanding of what the term encompasses.

Socialism, in the simplest of terms, involves making more of an effort to balance the scales between the rich and the poor. It is also a system whereby citizens work together to provide services to all. Here’s how the Democratic Socialists of America puts it on its website: “Democratic socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically — to meet public needs, not to make profits for a few.”

We have a strong economy and a low unemployment rate yet wages for the average worker have remained stagnant.The incomes of the top 1 percent grew faster than the bottom 99 percent in 43 states between 2009 and 2015. (Market Watch) According to a study by the EPI in 2017, CEO pay has increased from 20-271 times the average workers pay since 1965. We are also a capitalist society and those who work hard should be paid for that work. However, when does greed interfere to hurt society in general? Consider the salaries of Big Pharma executives.

This country already has many socialist institutions and policies. Among them are: Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, Veterans Affairs, the armed services, Post Office, CDC, NIH, FTC, FCC, interstate highways, bridges, railways, local, state and federal agencies, public schools and beaches, police and fire departments, national parks, zoos and monuments, national weather service, etc… This is socialism not communism.

So, when tagging someone as a socialist, you are reminding us of the fundamental good that socialism affords its citizens making it the antithesis of a dirty word.

Donna Gadbaw

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1 Comment

  1. I think we need to talk about socialism in terms of “capitalistic socialism” as practiced in Australia, UK and others, rather than allowing the definition to be narrowed to failed systems that were actually dictatorships like USSR, Eastern Bloc countries, Cuba and Venezuela.

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