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Blog Entry: My Final Comp I Paper
Blog: LES TEMPS NE ROULENT PAS
My Final Comp I Paper I've been taking Composition 111 this year, and my final paper for the semester is just a research paper about anything. My topic was socialism. Enjoy, and please feel free to (peacefully) debate n' stuff.
Socialism: Yesterday's Cure for Today's Problems
Since its beginnings, the United States has followed, or tried to follow, the ideals of capitalism. However, in the process of ending economic crises, the United States has often turned to socialism. Why? Socialism involves the governmentâ€™s involvement in major industries, such as transportation, health care, and education. Since the end of the USSR, however, socialism has had quite the negative connotation in the United States. Meanwhile, across the Atlantic Ocean, Europe has adopted a new form of socialism: Scandinavian socialism (Judis 142). This new form of socialism is basically making a nation into a welfare state, or a nation whose government oversees that all of its citizens have basic human rights and goods. Still, many Americans believe that capitalism is the only way to maintain economic stability. In contrast, it is socialism that will ultimately benefit the United Statesâ€™ economy.
First of all, how will socialism benefit the citizens? As stated, in a socialist nation, the government provides all of its citizens with health care and electricity, among other things, at a very low cost. For example, France provides all of its citizens with high-quality, affordable healthcare. France has been following the ideas of Scandinavian socialism, and at the same time, they have one of the best economies in the world today. So why canâ€™t the United States government take over several of its ailing industries? Many opponents to socialism argue that it is, â€śUtopian, expensive, or unwieldyâ€ť (Judis 143). However, even during the reconstruction era after World War II, the United Kingdom authorized a national health service that provided all citizens with healthcare, and even when it was going through an economical hardship, its liberal socialist economy prevailed, therefore showing that Scandinavian socialism can work â€“ even in the worst economic conditions.
Benefits of socialism can even branch to smaller sectors once dominated by private businesses. While the food service industry would remain part of the private sector, their employees would be ensured by the government to receive fair pay and basic workersâ€™ rights. The same goes for all private sector employees throughout the nation. And with all employees of a nation receiving decent paychecks comes the rise in the countryâ€™s economy due to increased spending and wealth of its citizens.
In many situations, opponents to socialism often connect the idea to a dictatorship. What is the difference between a dictatorship and a government takeover of the economy? The definition of socialism has changed dramatically since the fall of the Berlin Wall and the United Soviet Socialist Republic (USSR). During most of the twentieth century, the idea of socialism almost was equivalent to a dictatorship. This was mainly because the USSR was a dictatorship. But today, socialist nations provide all â€“ or most â€“ human rights to their citizens. In fact, in order to be a part of the European Union, a country must have a good or improved human rights record. The idea that a socialist government would infringe on a citizenâ€™s well-being is absurd. Therefore, along with numerous economic benefits for a nation, socialism will also improve the quality of life of many citizens of the nation.
Opponents to socialism also argue that it is not fair for the government to intervene on every sector of the private service industries. Despite the many benefits of socialism, this argument can be easily confirmed; it simply isnâ€™t fair for a private business to compete with the government. In his article, Muhammad Yunus finds a middle ground between capitalism and socialism. It is called, â€śSocial businessâ€ť (Yunus 9). Social businesses are almost a cross between charity and business (Yunus 9) - a charity is nonprofit and only has the capacity to help those in a certain situation, while businesses have the capacity to expand on a global scale, and eventually reach villages and towns that donâ€™t have the same charitable services as larger cities. A social business will be for-profit, but the profit, rather than ending up in a CEOâ€™s bank account, will be circulated or even put towards a new service the social business will provide. There are plenty of benefits to social businesses, but there are also many drawbacks. For instance, every human has some degree of greed; therefore, social business owners and CEOs may have a chance of using the profit to their own benefit, rather than the businessâ€™, which is the primary reason the world is facing economic hardship today.
The benefits of Scandinavian socialism are plentiful, and they can range anywhere from healthcare to highways. If education, welfare, healthcare, transportation, and even the postal service were run completely by the government, every citizen will have an equal opportunity in receiving each of them. Because of that, poverty will be much less of an issue than it is today. Despite the endless benefits, the majority of Americans continue to oppose the idea of socialism. If there was one alternative to capitalism and socialism, however, it would be social business. But the urgency of the economyâ€™s state leaves no room for alternatives. And despite the word, â€śSocialist,â€ť being thrown around by politicians as an insult today in the US (Judis 143), there may be a day when it will be considered just another political party as it is all over Western Europe. If we can share our culture heavily with Europe, there is no reason that we shouldnâ€™t follow their footsteps and share their collective economical theories.
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posted by cmiller2011 on Wednesday 9 December 2009 at 3:56AM
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