By: Joe Mauricio
For most people today, socialism is freedom from lousy corporate jobs or working 80 hours a week in a job they detest.
The charismatic voice of such sentiment is a Democratic Congress woman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, the lightning rod of a new American politics.
The definition of democratic socialism to me is the fact that in a modern, moral, and wealthy society, no American should be too poor to live. Trump, unerring in his instinct for the jugular, declared, “We believe in the American Dream, not the socialist nightmare.”
Europe demonstrates, however, that socialism and free market are compatible. Like in England, it favors significant state intervention in the economy.
The country has paid a price for its social solidarity, particularly in high employment. But France has prospered. It has a vibrant private sector. It is a capitalist economy, among the world’s seven largest.
The parties that produced Europe’s welfare states had different names, but they all embedded the balances—of free market and the public sector, of enterprise and equity, of profit and protection that socialism or its cousin social democracy stood for.
A 21st century American election is about to be fought over socialism. Amazing when Berlin Wall fell beneath communism about 30 years, capitalism searched over the rubble for global opportunity. Ideological struggle seemed over. But growing inequality by-products of financial globalization have thrust socialism in center stage.
For most people today, socialism is freedom from lousy warehouse job or working 80 hours a week in a job you detest, for people you also detest.
Despite the theoretical benefits of socialist economic systems, there are also disadvantages that may arise in its application. Here are some key points…slow economic growth, less entrepreneurial lack of motivation by individuals due to lesser rewards, it creates distorted or absent price signals, results in reduced prosperity, has low possibility, and has negative social effects.
Economic liberals see private ownership of the means of production and market exchange as natural entity or moral rights, which are central to their conceptions of freedom and liberty.
A word of caution: The United States was founded in contradiction to, not as an extension of Europe. Self-reliance is to America, what fraternity is to France.
Socialism is no silver bullet. The basic requirement of any Democratic candidate is to make the forgotten, the struggling, and the invisible American society feel visible again. ##