Not the same.
Affordable health care is not a true socialistic program. It’s a system for involving private insurance companies in providing health insurance for everyone. Most of us eligible for Social Security and Medicare have and continue to contribute to these programs. They are not completely paid for by government.
Although there are quiet complaints in Sweden today as to paying minimum out of pocket before actual government subsidies kick in, even Sweden, usually referred to as a real socialist system, is not a country where “production is government owned or even controlled and where the economy is government managed,” the real elements of socialism.
I’ve indicated earlier that present superficial forms of socialism, where social programs have been adopted are dependent on free market systems, referred to as economic capitalism.
All so-called socialist programs are supported by free enterprise systems as there are literally no true socialistic economies. But not one of these countries, including our own is without some market interference. Market regulations are not the basis of socialism.
Most so-called socialist and welfare programs of today are forms of income redistribution devices. They are designed to move funds and services to needy people who would not otherwise have these funds and services normally attainable.
In order to diminish the need for many separate programs and to place these funds in the hands of individuals to be used in the free market on an equal basis, Switzerland, not Sweden, certainly a free market country, is considering an income distribution program that would make available about $2,800 per month to every citizen whether poor or rich.
This would pretty much remove welfare programs and make it possible for every adult to make their own economic decisions. Such a program, if it were considered for this country would of course be called “socialism.” However, we can readily see the income redistribution aspects of this kind of program.
In this country income disparity has become such a significant economic concern. The institution of such a direct program to replace “welfare” would provide a sound base for every citizen to live by and a base for economic consumption.
This would be accompanied by an immediate spending revitalization and a long run support of the consumption aspects of our economy.
We don’t know whether the Swiss will approve of such a program but we do know that never in a hundred years would we in this country begin to even consider such an income redistribution system.
After all, the underlying dispute between our two political parties is income distribution and the role of progressive income taxes as its basis.
Imagine how a system of making $2800 per month available to every adult in America would have worked to keep our economy from going down the tank during our great recession over the past five years—no need to distribute food stamps? But this would require the evil of some income redistribution.
One of the results perhaps, fewer home mortgage foreclosures? But would we want a society as reasonable as that of the Swiss?
The carrying of concealed weapons to church and even by school teachers, the building of border fences and the removal of minimum hourly rates for workers seems to makes more basic sense to us.
We don’t want any of this “Europeanization.” French wine and German cars are O.K. of course and perhaps some Danish cheese.