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Friday, September 11, 2009

Socialism and Socialized: NOT THE SAME THING

I have watched with dismay how the conversations in America around health care reform have gotten so vitriolic that it makes me wonder how in the world I could be from such a country. Where in the world is our civil discourse? One thing that is making me particularly crazy is the cries of socialism that are emerging because of some of President Obama's ideas. People do not understand socialism. There is nothing about what he is proposing that is socialist. But most folks aren't willing to do their homework and understand what it is he is talking about.
I live in Sweden, a Social Democracy. Sweden is NOT a socialist nation. It has SOCIALIZED programs, but the people have elected their leaders and have chosen their way of life. Yes, taxes are high and yes there is a contract between the people and the government, but the people have chosen this and they could un-choose it in any given election. We are not living behind the iron curtain. In fact, life is pretty darn comfortable for us here in this little Scandinavian country.
In case you need a little more help in understanding the difference between socialism and socialized programs, please understand that America already has Socialized programs. Check out this link for a cute way of looking at it.
So, what I really want is for people to quit saying that President Obama is trying to make America into a socialist nation. It's just wrong and ignorant and does not help us get closer to a good solution for a bad problem like health care in America.