My take: all approaches to governing people lay on a spectrum and each is interdependent with the economics of that society. Because the terms cover widths on that spectrum, and are not able to be pigeon-holed, no one conveneient definition of a term such as socialism, and, hence, no one convenient dismissal, is acceptable to a thinking person.
Socialism has many current forms, some more invested in governmental "control" and involvement (western European govenrments) ostensibly stemming from the belief that people will not pay for that from which they do not receive immediate benefit; i.e., roads, health care, the military (need taxes to pay for these things). Yes, the US is a socialist state as well, as it governs some aspects of production, some aspects of capital disbursement (in the form of the Fed, quasi-governenmental instititutions such as Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, special US-backed corporate loans ala Chrysler in the 80s), health care and wealth distribution (taxes). We just do it to less of an extent that some claimed "socialist" states.
If there is anything I would like people to undersdtand, it would be that socialism is not a bad word, no more so tham "dog", and that your unbiased assessment, as opposed to your knee-jerk dismissal, is warranted to truly understand and judge this concept.
And, by the way, the working forms of socialism in the modern world (US included), are "social democracies".
And, American cowboy, I know you've been brought up to believe you are independent and it is your manifest destiny to strive to whatever length to outcompete, but remember you live in a community and those you outcompete will lose, and your charity should have been given prior to their loss, or their need to receive a handout. In this way we all win and enemies or the disenfranchised no longer exist.
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