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The new definition of "socialism" in America and the Affordable Care Act.

Socialism means the government owning most or all of "the means of production." There are a handful of countries still trying to implement it, of which America isn't one. The expansive new definition of "socialism" to mean any government action that has an intended or incidental distributive effect is what caused people to look up this word. There is scarcely a government action that doesn't have an intended or incidental distributive effect. Republicans like defense spending, giving oil companies "incentives" to drill for oil, building stadiums at public expense to provide sports teams a place to work, etc. All of which entails taking money from some people and spending it to the benefit of other people. So Republicans, too, are "socialists", according to the new definition of socialism being bandied about this country. The entire tax code is a great means of redistributing wealth to the richest members of our society. By taxing labor so much more heavily than capital, and through a thousand subsidies, credits and offsets, it acts to redistribute wealth up the income ladder.

As for the continuing howls that being "forced" to buy health insurance is somehow the end of freedom, please give a rest already. Most of you rending your garments over the ACA already have insurance through your employer; you’ll just get more services in return for your premiums (and free preventative care.) You don't "have" to buy insurance. If you can't afford it, you'll get the help you need to get it. If you can afford it and just won't, you'll have to pay what the Supreme Court has declared to be a tax. The government has the power to tax or not tax in order to encourage activities it would like to see more of, like drilling for oil or helping to pay for the access to health care you get under the Affordable Care Act.

It's really just too bad if you don't want to do so because you have to. It's one of the responsibilities that come with being a member of this society, which, by the way, you can decide to not be if you want. The exit door is wide open. However, be aware that most any other country that will let you in will also require you to pay taxes, and it won't let you pay them a la carte, anymore than the US does. Their governments will decide to tax you for things like, you know, defense, making oil executives even richer, giving sports teams a home and assuring access to medical care.


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