There is a trend that has been happening for the last 100 years, particularly in the USA. They associated the word “socialism” or more important the term “socialized” with “communism” or “fascism”. The core idea of socialism is people working together to achieve common utilitarian goals. What you have in the USA, in particular, is something called a Social Democracy. A social democracy is different then socialism and most countries of the world have been figuring out the best methods of implementing it.
There is a commonly held belief that the “free market” can solve all problems. If you believe in evolution, we have two billion years of proof, if you don’t, then we have six thousand years of proof that when social concepts are implemented they can accelerate “free market” growth substantially. If the USA truly had a free market ideal, they wouldn’t be united or have the constitution. People working together for a common goal is not a primary capitalistic concept but it may be an accidental consequence. When we look at a jungle for instance, we see a sea of death made up by creatures constantly killing each other with a broad range of quality. To date only one creature has emerged from that entire debacle with the ability to create fire, that would be us. Thanks to anthropology we know that, besides tools, one of our most definitive characteristics which lead us to our ultimate domination was the implementation of socialistic principles like the family unit.
In this regard, the USA used to be one of the most progressive social democracies on the planet. They worked together building a social infrastructure which business could operate and compete on top of because consistency is not a characteristic of the free market; if private organizations were responsible for building road infrastructure, you would get a patch job and the best roads would end up being built around the most profitable companies which in turn would just make them even more profitable and make it almost impossible for new comers to enter this “free market”.
Many business people in the united states who have become successful will believe they were 100% responsible for their success. They will usually discount the roads they used, the police that defended them, or the government regulations that were in place to actually allow them to be competitive. In some cases entire companies would not exist if it was not for the initial research and development done by the government (the internet for example). They will use this 100% belief to justify that everything they have earned belongs to them and the government is stealing it from them with taxes where in actuality the government by means of the socialized infrastructure they built is actually the primary and also most important investor in their company.
Despite the USA having a social infrastructures for fire, police, roads, hydro, garbage collection, and military (sure there is more) you still have a large amount of Americans pushing against ideas like Obamacare. You might think that from the liberal leanings of this post that I would support something like Obamacare but you would be wrong. Obamacare is an attempt to implement socialized healthcare in the worst possible way to keep Americans happy who are still being influenced by world war 1 and 2 American propaganda on communism and socialism. Healthcare is a required service, no one chooses to get sick, just like no one chooses to require water to survive. You don’t need a car but you do need healthcare. Healthcare should be a federally run single payer system without private organizations holding your life or death in their hands. As a percentage of GDP the USA spends more on healthcare then any other country who properly implements socialized healthcare. In addition, they claim to have the best health care system in the world yet their population has a shorter life span and higher infant mortality rates then other countries with socialized medicine.
As a Canadian, a lot of other Canadians I talk to (not all) understand why we pay the taxes we do for healthcare. I pay to help those when I am not sick so that if I get sick they pay for me. It’s common sense and co-operation. Sure there may be economic issues that have to be addressed to make it more sustainable over longer periods of time, but there will always be economic issues – you only have one life.