Ten Ways Socialism is NOT Killing the Private Sector

Author: February 6, 2012 10:04 pm

There is no more frightening word in the American English lexicon than the word ‘socialism.’ Socialism destroys freedom. It destroys innovation by destroying the ability to profit. Under a socialist system, all color will be drained from life. Individuality will be lost and creativity will be squashed. Life will be unrecognizable. Well, at least that’s what we are told. Is that really true? Does socialism leave us a dreary world, lacking in choice and liberty? Will we all be forced to eat the same food, read the same blogs and watch the same movies?


If real life is any example, the answer is a resounding “No!” Socialism has been a part of American life for as long as America has been a country. Socialism has been surviving alongside capitalism. In recent years, capitalists have gotten very clever at competing in a socialist market. Here are just a few examples:

  1. The Post Office – Argue the success of the Post Office all you want. It is socialist. Unless my letter absolutely, positively has to be there overnight, I use the Post Office. In fact, I even use it when my letter or package does absolutely, positively have to be there overnight. When corporate America sends me bills, they send them through the Post Office. It’s cheaper than the alternatives, yet, FedEx and UPS are thriving.
  2. Water – The US has one of the largest water treatment systems in the world. It is run primarily by the government (aka socialism). Most Americans shower in socialized water. They cook in socialized water. They make their coffee with socialized water. Yet, in 2009, Americans spent over $10 billion on private sector, bottled water.
  3. Social Security – Every American is eligible for Social Security. Americans who can afford it, look to the private sector to help with their retirement. Investments in 401k’s and other private investments are worth trillions of dollars.
  4. National parks – National parks are enjoyed by nearly all Americans. National parks are purely socialist. Private land sales don’t seem to be affected.
  5. Schools – Public schools are socialist. No, that doesn’t mean they are teaching a public agenda. It simply means they are supported by tax dollars. The public has a say in what is taught. Private schools have always existed, they most likely always will.
  6. Universities – Same as above. I don’t think Harvard is having a difficult time competing with the University of Massachusetts and vice versa.
  7. School lunches – Send your kid to school with the lunch you made or give him a couple of bucks for a socialized school lunch. It’s your choice.
  8. Gyms – Most cities have city rec centers. Most cities have multiple private, for profit gyms.
  9. Libraries – Book stores might be suffering, but it’s not because of libraries.
  10. Public health care – Seniors have socialized medicine. They can see nearly any doctor. The VA has socialized medicine. They can also pay to see any doctor they want.

Every successful country in the world operates under a combination of socialism and capitalism. When done properly, they support each other, giving people the best choices for quality and cost efficiency.

Originally from; http://thepragmaticprogressive.org/wp/2011/07/11/ten-ways-socialism-is-killing-the-private-sector/

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13 Comments

  • The DoD is a socialist entity by this definition. The sad part is that corporations that use the DoD to secure and protect resources generally do not pay taxes to fund it, yet they use it all the time. The all volunteer force IS NOT made up of rich people. In theory, and if you believe RW propaganda, the DoD “protects our freedoms.” They do not.

  • Richard Haynes

    Over half the libraries in the country were founded or funded by one individual – Andrew Carnegie and remain free to the public due to donation and charitable trust funds.

    “Spend the first third of one’s life getting all the education one can. Spend the next third making all the money one can. Spend the last third giving it all away for worthwhile causes.”

    That is NOT socialism.

  • Re the post office.

    Conservatives like to argue it is Exhibit A in how the government can’t run a business.

    Of course, the Post Office carries a lot of “junk mail” at below cost for business advertising purposes – so they applaud gov’
    t subsidies of commerce and yet complain when those subsidies cost money.

  • RH, you clearly did not read this, you directly contradicted what they were saying, especially with regard to #10. And RickPerry has ensured that parts of Big Bend national park are taken away so the state can sell the leand for specifically shopping strips.

    Next, this list did not include other socialist features such as infrastructure, police, fire, teachers, and military.

    • I read this article, down to the nonsensical sentence I quoted, the apples and oranges comparisons in many of the points, the lack of understanding that private producers supply the school lunch system, and the basic misuse of the word socialist. Socialist is a specific term meaning communal ownership of the means of production. The police do not compete with private security firms. The police are a different concept. The same applies for the fire department and the military. These are public services. There was a time when libertarians believed that public ownership of all roads was a way to keep socialism out of the country. Roads are not social control over the means of production. They are part of a general infrastructure. Just because something is provided by the government does not mean that thing is socialist.

      Misuse of the phrase “socialist”, which is done here, is a very common issue among both the left and the right for different purposes. The right uses “socialist” to scare people away from public services. Here she blurs in necessary private services to make socialism look different from what it is. My issue is with the label here. Governmental services are very clearly different from socialist production. We could argue the post office is a socialist production system, but there it competes with private carriers with advantages. We could argue the water supply, but I would put it in with necessary social infrastructure for any economy to function. We are now labeling everything the government does as socialism. It is not.

      And where I contradict the piece is where the piece is wrong. A single payer system is different from a single provider system. Government hospitals (county, specific VA hospitals) do exist. Veterans do not go to any hospital whenever they want for free. They receive primary service at specific VA centers. Look up Hines VA hospital or Walter Reed medical center to see the difference. If all hospitals were run by the government or a collective of the people, then they would be socialist.

      • Kimberly Mebane

        As a vet, you are correct when you say I can’t go to any hospital I choose. however, if there is a service I need that the VA doesn’t offer, they will send me somewhere that does offer it. For example, when I was pregnant I was sent to an alternative health center to receive care since the VA doesn’t do obstetrics care. the prenatal care, labor, delivery and post-partum care were done at a private hospital but the VA footed the bill.

  • Oh, my god! I wish I could briefly explain what is wrong here. Since there is so much, I won’t be brief. Let me go point by point, but first explain that there’s a difference between a public service and socialism. Public police and fire is not ownership of the means of production. They are necessary services that are best supplied by government. The author confuses the two in so many places it’s not funny, but there’s so much more wrong here.

    1) Um. Laws actually prevent UPS and FedEx from competing with the post office on an even playing field. They have managed to survive despite this, but the competition is, in point of fact, stifled.

    2) “The US has one of the largest water treatment system in the US (sic)”? What is that supposed to mean? More importantly, this is like the road system. This is a basic infrastructure necessary for any social system today. Bottled water can’t compete with this. It’s a different product.

    3) By taking money directly out of people’s hands, that is money that will not go into private systems. Social Security is designed to promote subsistence, but private savings are for wealth. They are two different items.

    4) What on earth does a national park have in common with private land, other than it is actually a parcel of land? They have different uses and purposes. Because there’s a park doesn’t mean that a strip mall or a gas station or a house will be rendered obsolete. Apples and oranges.

    5) A school could be argued as a public service, one that can be challenged by a private service, but public schools have never been considered public ownership of the means of production.

    6) See 5.

    7) *Private companies* lobby to provide school lunches to private schools at a rather hefty cost, and they are not anything that can be labeled as remotely healthy. Any article on the system or even watching Super Size Me would show that. They are not socialistic, healthy, nor cheap. This is the weakest argument here on any level because I would suggest that fat and carb laden lunches are not a service to the kids.

    8) A library neither sells nor makes books nor dvds. This isn’t a socialist means of production or sales. It’s a public service. The market isn’t even the same. Apples and oranges.

    9) Again, it’s not the means of productions, and the rec center is a service for the people, not a product that’s sold.

    10) The doctors are private providers. Medicare is a public payer. A truly socialized medical system would be more like the county hospitals or the VA clinics, where the provider is also run by the government.

    • kurt szumiesz

      What a very unrealistic and uneducated view of what socialism is. All the services mentioned are provided by tax money pooled to the ‘government’ from ‘the people’ in a capitalist society, not a collective system of need before want that is run by ‘the people’ instead of the ‘government’. Socialism when done right, would require very little government oversight and size, where capitalism requires quit a bit to ensure monopolization and gouging do not occur — and to provide social services (not socialism) where such a service is needed regardless of its implementation strategy. ~My opinion anyways.

    • kurt szumiesz

      Oh, didn’t mean for that to reply to you R.H. I’m in essence agreeing with you, not the Author.

    • Kimberly Mebane

      My library sells books. I dunno about yours.

      • At full retail price?

        • No library would sell books at full retail price, because they’re not “new” books. Do you pay full retail when you go to a second-hand bookstore? I don’t think so. Libraries sell and/or give away books that have been on their shelves for years, sometimes even decades. Why would they bother charging full retail for a book when it could be an old edition, out of print, or may even contain severely outdated information?

          Should learning be restricted to the rich? Should we shut down public schools and repeal the IDEA (which guarantees A FREE PUBLIC EDUCATION FOR DISABLED STUDENTS)? So far, all you’ve done is bash the learning process itself.

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