For some people, socialism is a dirty word. That would be true if socialism and capitalism were mutually exclusive. A society based exclusively on either system would be doomed to failure.
Rather our nation is a blend of capitalism and democratic socialism.
In capitalism, the ownership and control is in the hands of private individuals. In our society: manufacturing, distribution, most of transportation, banking, the majority of the medical industry, and so on ... are all under private ownership and control.
Democratic socialism prescribes that certain institutions be part of the government, under the control of our elected officials (and ultimately the people). These include: the military, the post office, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, public roads, parks, public schools and so forth.
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Unfortunately, America's balance between capitalism and socialism has become eroded. The top 1 percent now control more wealth than the remaining 99 percent of our population. Because of their wealth, they have undue influence over our election process and the legislation passed on both the state and national level. Excessive capitalism is turning our nation into a plutocracy: a society governed by the wealthy.
In order to turn this around, we must get rid of the control that money has over our elected officials. This would require major election finance reform. And, it would demand that we reestablish the balance between capitalism and socialism in America.
A more socialistic society should include: the strengthening and expansion of Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid; the establishment of universal healthcare; a breakup of the big banks; free tuition at all public colleges and universities, and corporate tax reform.
We are the richest nation on earth. Resetting the balance between capitalism and socialism in America will strengthen the middle class and give everyone a more equal chance for success. This is what Bernie Sanders wants to accomplish.