Trump and Pence have said that the US will never be a Socialist country. Meanwhile, the “Resistance” has not exactly opposed that statement, when the only thing they are “resisting” is the Progressive left, which moves inexorably further toward finding Socialism highly favorable.
Thing is, even claiming that the US will “never be a Socialist country” is an inane comment to begin with. It demonstrates a complete ignorance of the fact that this country has many Socialist-leaning programs and constructs in place which have been present for many decades. Without these programs, the US economy would almost completely collapse and our society would definitely collapse. This is beyond question or doubt to any rational observer, as so many of these programs and constructs form the bedrock on which our society stands.
I have stated before the definition of socialist programs means any government program which is funded by society for the benefit of society, is by definition, Socialist in nature. The word Socialist has the root word of social, meaning society and the members of that society.
So, let’s take a look at a short list of some of the programs to which I refer-
Public schools. Public schools are what provide basic education to tens of millions of children and teenagers every year. Without public schools, only the most affluent in society would be able to afford the lowest level of education. Without education, this country stands no chance of competing with other countries in any area of industry at all, especially highly skilled areas involving science, technology or math. Jobs supported- Tens of thousands of teachers, teachers aides, bus drivers, maintenance people, housekeepers, textbook publishers, cafeteria workers and delivery drivers. That is only considering the jobs directly supported, not the downstream effects.
Social Security. Millions of Americans depend on Social Security for a (barely) living income. Each one is a consumer and taxpayer. They buy food, clothing, vehicles, pay rent or mortgages, buy medications, etc. Jobs supported- I’ll leave that to your own imagination.
Medicare/Medicaid. Millions of Americans receive Medicare/Medicaid benefits for medical care, while they would be mostly unlikely to afford medical care otherwise. Their health and often life depends on those benefits. Jobs supported- Doctors, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, nurses aides, pharmacists, pharmacy techs, radiologists/techs, respiratory therapists, physical therapists, medical equipment manufacturing/delivery/repair, medical waste personnel and many more. Once again, these are only jobs directly supported.
Public roads. Public roads form the structure on which all else in our economy functions. Without public roads, all industries without exception would cease to be able to work in any meaningful capacity. We drive on roads to attend school, go to work, go shopping, travel for vacation, go to the doctor or hospital, see a movie, deliver goods, receive mail. Jobs directly supported- Construction, maintenance, planning. Jobs indirectly supported- Everything else.
Public health departments. While public health departments don’t provide a massive number of jobs directly, our society relies on them extensively. They set standards for restaurant and food processing safety and monitor trends in local disease management. Consider how many restaurants get warning stickers or are shut down due to health code violations each year. There have been many times when disease outbreaks have been tracked to certain restaurants. Imagine if this system did not exist. Nobody would be watching over these things. The “free market” causes the problem, so would not offer any solutions until some private citizen figured out a trend, which would only happen after hundreds became ill or even died. In other words, how would you like your rat meat served?
Police/jails. Even if you are not fond of the police, would you really want to live in a society in which public policing did not exist or were privatized? Where there were no jails and nobody to enforce laws? Where vigilante justice held sway? What if someone accused you of something which you were innocent of? Who would investigate and decide your innocence? Or your punishment? Yes, our policing system needs revision and oversight but that is an entirely different subject. Jobs supported- Tens of thousands of police, detectives, police aides, jail guards, medical examiners, vehicle sales, maintenance, cooks.
Justice system. Related to police, the justice system may have flaws but courts are the system by which guilt or innocence is established. They are also the system by which liability is determined when corporations damage the public health and trust. While it needs oversight and revision, can you imagine the court system not existing or only being available to those with wealth? Jobs supported- Millions of judges, clerks, lawyers, legal aides.
Prisons. Yes, our prison system is far too large and far too privatized. Still, a prison system funded by society is necessary. Where else would we house violent habitual criminals and murderers? How many more would we have if prisons did not exist? What if they were completely privatized, along with the courts? How would you defend yourself and who would oversee abuse? Jobs supported- Tens of thousands of prison guards, nurses, maintenance personnel, delivery drivers.
Public libraries. Maybe you have not personally used a library for years. However, millions of Americans use public libraries every month, not only for books but it may be the only internet service they can access. Either for entertainment, research or for a job search. Children and teenagers frequently use libraries. Jobs supported- Thousands of librarians across the country. In addition to the job searches mentioned which mean many more jobs indirectly supported.
Consumer protection laws. I won’t venture naming jobs directly supported but you benefit from consumer protection laws, which are purely socialist in nature. Lemon laws, renter protections, mandatory vehicle recalls, vehicle safety legislation, product safety legislation and on and on which benefit society. These laws would not exist if left to the devices of a capitalist system. In fact, they have been vehemently opposed by capitalists over the years.
OSHA. Worker safety laws are socialist in nature. Period. Once again, they were opposed strenuously by capitalists when even suggested, claiming they would destroy the job market. Of course, that didn’t happen. What did happen was the implementation of job safety standards which have prevented unknown millions of on the job injuries and illnesses.
Wage protection laws and minimum wage. There is only one legal entity which protects your wages as an employee, the wage and hour division of our government. Who is also responsible for EEOC laws. I know, white supremacists don’t like that part. If your employer does not pay you, this is who tells them they are breaking the law. They are also responsible for enforcing minimum wage laws. Each aspect of their function has been fought tooth and nail by capitalists for decades. If there were no minimum wage in force, employers would attempt to pay such low wages that all wages would be forced so low that almost no citizen of this country would have a living wage.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The FDA is responsible for the safety of our food and any medication available in this country. While they have not done a good job of this for years, their record has plummeted as one director of that agency after another has been named after being a major drug company executive, enabling the agency to fast-track unsafe medications and processes which were never safe to begin with. In most cases, they use data provided by the manufacturer rather than independent research. Still, overall the majority of medications are safe as directed. Without the FDA, we would still have Mesmerism, snake oil and any of a long list of unsafe substances available with no control at all. Obviously, revision is needed but those revisions include more funding so the agency can do a more effective job and separating the agency from corporate interests. Reducing funding and allowing drug companies to run amok is not an option. So more socialism is needed, not less.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA has been underfunded, inadequately and inappropriately utilized for many years. That does not detract from the fact that this agency is needed for disaster response. The fact is that this is another agency which should be expanded, not shrunken. Some may claim otherwise..until they or their state need the services of this agency.
All volunteer military. While we can absolutely debate and harshly criticize the role our military has been playing across the globe for decades now, we cannot deny that a military force is mandatory. Not to a fraction of the size, expense and extent that we have, of course. But for the security of our own nation, we need a military. In addition, the National Guard works in tandem with FEMA in emergency response. If anything, we should probably make the entire military forms of a National Guard and eliminate all other military branches. Decrease funding and personnel levels while maintaining domestic security. The military is publicly funded through taxes, thus by society. So the military is absolutely a socialist organization. In some respects, the military is blatantly Communist, with communal housing, clothing, training, food and medical care.
These are only a few examples of how this country has had Socialist programs and constructs for as far back as most living Americans can recall. Combined, the programs which support jobs maintain tens of millions of jobs. While the programs supportive of society ease suffering and support a functioning economy. Without these systems in place, our economy and living standards would cease to exist. When people rage against Socialism, they are raging against the American way of life. They are also showing complete ignorance and lack of education. They focus on a label without understanding what that label means. So, if you object to Socialism, pick your poison. Look at the list above and state clearly what you want to eliminate and how it could be realistically replaced by a capitalist system with no oversight. No double speak, no vague bullshit, be precise. Show details of how it would work. If you cannot do that, then bow out and don’t bother to reply.