I know this is going to torque a few of my readers, but it's just my opinion, and you are perfectly within reason to disagree.
I've been thinking about socialism lately, and I'm coming round to believe that it may actually be a good thing...
I was talking with a buddy while we were running the other day, and he made an interesting comment. He's one of those real right wing leaning, gun enthusiast type people, the kind I usually avoid political discussions with, but that aside.
He made the comment that he felt that capitalism, socialism and communism were all perfectly fine ways of running a country. The problem is when people get greedy and abuse the system to benefit themselves. We may not have agreed on who should have been voted in as president last year, but I wholeheartedly agree with him on that.
So... With that in mind, allow me to share a couple of ideas as to why I think Socialism would be a good direction for the US to head in. I do speak with some authority on this, since I spent some time in New Zealand, which is run on a socialist system - even though while there I thought socialism was 'The Devil'.
1 - Health care
It's the hot topic right now, so why not! Everyone in New Zealand has access to decent and affordable health care. It's not just emergency health care, it's everyday prevention type stuff too. The problem with only providing emergency health care is that generally by the time you think you need it, it often too late. A key argument against Universal Health care is that the US has the best health care in the world. Leaders from other countries come here for medical attention... But the question I would ask, is... At what price do we have the best health care? Price being the key word. It's all about money, and if you have a lot of it, you can afford the best. If you don't... Sucks to be you, I guess!
2 - Standard of Living
The thing I really like about New Zealand was the equality. While there were some who were rich, they were few and far between. But at the same time there weren't very many poor people either. Minimum wage is pretty high, and top wage earners don't make much more... Or if they do, they get taxed at a higher rate. It puts people on more of an even playing field. The main argument against this is the lack of motivation, but check out #3
3 - Quality of Life
I loved living in New Zealand, because of the Quality of Life. People care passionately about Rugby, Cricket and Beer. The pace of life is slower and people are very laid back. Part of this is cultural, but I think that culture has been impacted by the Socialist form of government. Money isn't the object for our existence, but it seems like in the United States, its become that. We want more, we want it now, and we want more that the other guy has. It's how we measure success. Money isn't the object of your existence in New Zealand, rather it would appear that life is.
During the election last year, many accused Mr. Obama of being a socialist. I think somehow Americans have it in their minds that socialism equals everyone is poor, wears drab clothing and has to stand in line for bread at the store. The thing is though, even though some of his ideas are definitely socialist, he ran with them as his platform, and as they say on American Idol... America voted.