Big scare word in the U.S. is socialism. From the uses it has been put to it’s obvious most people don’t have a clue about what it really means. They just know it’s a bad thing, or so they’ve been told. So let’s start off with a dictionary definition shall we? From dictionary.reference.com;
1. a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole.
2. procedure or practice in accordance with this theory.
3. (in Marxist theory) the stage following capitalism in the transition of a society to communism, characterized by the imperfect implementation of collectivist principles
There not so scary now is it? Notice it does not necessarily government control of production and distribution though it practice that is usually true. Notice also that social welfare programs like national health insurance are not socialist by nature. In fact Otto von Bismarck, the Iron Chancellor, introduced the modern social welfare state programs in the German Empire during the Nineteenth Century. He did this both to forestall the rise of the Social Democrats and because he knew that the social welfare programs would benefit the state as a whole.
Now the U.S. Government having majority control of two of the three major Detroit auto companies that is incipient socialism. Not that it looks like the take over will be permanent. If Obama really were a socialist he would have nationalized Wall Street.