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. Â 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. Â 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? Â 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. Â This dj said he lived a healthy life and took care of himself and therefore had fewer medical needs. Â Ok, but is this “unhealthy” person still not a person? Â 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. Â I see quite a bit of misery in and around my workplace. Â Yet I also feel pity on people who need help and get it from programmes my tax dollars go towards. Â 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.