Socialism: An Economic Ideal

A lot of discussion and debate revolves around socialism as a replacement for capitalism. It’s easy to see why socialism makes sense to many people. Socialists advocate for many of the things we all desire.

Why shouldn’t we get free healthcare? Is it not an integral part of the right to life? It would be good to have the ability to see a doctor whenever you want, and life-saving medication should also be available to whomever needs it.

And education. Doesn’t education contribute to the economic benefit of all citizens? Even people whose education seems like a distant memory (like myself) should have access to “Adult Education.” After all, the mind never stops learning.

But these seem like secondary needs compared to how we spend the bulk of our time — at work.

We work so hard at our jobs; shouldn’t we get the full benefit of our labor? And, shouldn’t we have more control over our work environment? Many advocates of socialism advocate a democratic structure in the workplace. Don’t you want a say in when and how you work?

The list of advantageous outcomes from socialism seems endless. Sign me up.

Before I make a full-throated endorsement of socialism, I need to take a closer look. I may want many of the same things socialists want, but I need to understand the foundation on which proponents of socialism will build this utopia.

I don’t, however, want to begin with an examination of socialism. People propose socialism as a replacement for something that already exists. In their minds that something consists of capitalism. So, before I can examine socialism, I must take a look at what the “capitalism” that it would replace.

Most of us think that we live in a capitalist economy. I want to find out, first of all, do we have real capitalism in this country, and if not, what sort of economic system do we have. Only then can we decide whether socialism would move us in the right direction, or, possibly, put us on the road to economic disaster.

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