Socialism has gained more attention in the press for the last 2–3 years. Yet even those who advocate Socialism typically tend to view it and present it as merely the most humanistic system available. They sometimes struggle to defend Socialism using terms beyond the humanistic side.
However, Socialism works best on many economic levels. We have had numerous government programs in this country for decades and they are the most successful government programs which benefit society and the economy. Examples of these are:
Community fire departments
ALL consumer protection laws
Public policing (okay, in concept)
Public health departments
Miranda Rights/Public defenders
College grants and government loans (in concept)
The entire VA system
The entire military system
That list can go on and on.
But let’s focus on examples of how Social programs help the economy. Anyone who has read my writing previously has probably read some of this before. Call this a handy-dandy guide which you can share with your capitalist neophyte friends and opponents.
Let’s use an example of food stamps. I will bypass the fact that most food stamp recipients already work full time. It is said that for every $1 spent on social support programs, the economy gains $10. I would contend it is more than that. In any case, that concept is rarely elaborated on. So let me explain how this works.
Food stamps spend at a grocery store just like money. Even more so with modern EBT systems. So, each time food stamps are spent, they support payment for: Cashiers, managers, stock people, maintenance, housekeeping, truck drivers, food processors, farmers, ranchers and dock workers.
At each level and each job supported, the worker is also a consumer. They pay taxes, which support schools and roads, so there are more jobs involved. By the thousands. They rent or buy homes, so we involve construction and sales. They buy vehicles, so include auto workers and sales. They buy clothes. TV’s. Cell phones. Go to movies. Listen to music. Go on vacations. All the things involved in ordinary consumerism.
So the same concepts hold true for Social Security. Housing assistance supports property owners. You think they care where the money comes from? Ask a grocery store manager is they care whether a person pays with food stamps or debit card.
Medicare and Medicaid support the vast majority of medical facilities in this country. Yes, you may hear minor complaints about payment controls toward doctors. Ask that doctor why they don’t stop taking government-funded patients. Ask how many times the same doctor has had payments denied for insurance carriers and what the result was. Unless you are talking to “boutique” providers, they generally support the government programs.
I will cover universal healthcare in another article.
These are simply examples of the reasons that Democratic Socialism is not only viable but highly preferable to the system we have in place. To a limited degree, we have lived in a Democratic Socialist society for many years without calling it that. Our major failures have ALL been related to capitalism and/or corruption.
Try to imagine this country eliminating all the social programs I have mentioned and all the jobs it would destroy both directly and downstream. Is that a country you would want to live in? Some people have the illusion that they would be unaffected. Look at the list above and think again.
Capitalism is a system which feeds on itself and protects only itself. It cares not for the environment, not peace, not health, not life. I have stated before that in Capitalism, even the capitalist holds no value. Only their possessions hold value. If a capitalist is completely sold on their system, they are completely willing to kill or allow people to be killed for their system. Which makes them useless to society. So, if they lose their wealth, they are useless to their own system. If they lose their money, they have made the conscious choice that they hold no value to anyone at all. It is truly a religion. Money is their God. Banks are churches, bankers and CEO’s are priests. Their battle for profit is a holy war. Anyone who opposes the religion is a heretic. Anyone who does not offer a profit in some way can be a sacrifice.
This is more than humanism. This is our way of life. The battle between Democratic Socialism and capitalism is waged on the fear of words. Those words carry the weight of billions of lives. No war has ever truly been waged which did not involve profit. It is time to stop being afraid of words without understanding what those words mean and what is behind them. Because in some way, your life depends on it.