I need some clarification on a few things because the rhetoric being thrown around town with regards to socialism, or socialized medicine seems to be little more than ill-conceived vitriol. Bill Day’s cartoon shows Jesus being “condemned” as a socialist because he seemed to stress quite a bit that we should look after the sick, the needy, the widows, the poor. If our society, in 2013, puts in place a system that does these things, imperfectly mind you but it is humans in charge so imperfection is a given, and it is paid for by us all, what do we call it if not a “social” programme?
I want to simplify this complex argument as much as possible because what I am interested in is why a number of people (a large number it seems) do not want to pay for someone else’s well being? I heard a dj on Fox Sports radio rail against having to pay for someone’s health care when the person put themselves in the hospital by being overweight or smoking or generally living unhealthy. This dj said he lived a healthy life and took care of himself and therefore had fewer medical needs. Ok, but is this “unhealthy” person still not a person? Do we look at unhealthy people (however you would define this) as lesser people who need to learn a hard life lesson by being bankrupted for needing medical attention? Or worse?
I understand it is frustrating to see people seemingly abusing our welfare system by continuing to live destructive lifestyles while most of us struggle to make a good wage and take care of ourselves and our families. I see quite a bit of misery in and around my workplace. Yet I also feel pity on people who need help and get it from programmes my tax dollars go towards. I agree to live in this country with other people and the more we participate together in taking care of each other, the more kinship I feel with the other people in my country. I also think Jesus had some pretty good things to say and if he says take care of those who need taking care of, I’m happy to do so…even if I am labeled a socialist.
I am interested to hear what people have to say about socialism and why it’s good/bad/ugly or if it is directly opposed to free market capitalism or can the two live together in some way.