Recently, many political hopefuls on the Left in the US have “come out” as socialists. Some may have been socialists all along, whilst others may merely be hoping to cash in on the popularity of avowed socialist Bernie Sanders in 2016.
Whatever the answer, those on the Right have gone into attack mode, fervently stating, “The US will never be a socialist country!”
This will unquestionably become the primary emotionally based issue until the 2020 election.
Of course, in the modern world, very few countries are entirely socialist, or entirely capitalist for that matter. Most are a combination. Certainly, no country is free from government sticking its fingers into free enterprise, even if it’s just as a regulator. It’s just a question of the degree of government meddling.
So, what will be the fate of the US in 2020? Will this be the death of capitalism there? Will it become a country in which goods and services fall under government control?
Well, let’s have a look.
Social Security is a most decidedly socialistic government programme, one that takes up (according to figures provided by the US Office of Management and Budget) 24% of US government spending.
Medicare, Medicaid, etc., also come under the heading of government-run management of goods and services, thereby defining them as socialist in nature. They’re responsible for 26% of government spending.
Add to that, Safety Net Programmes (9%), Benefits for Veterans and Federal Retirees (8%), Education (3%), Transportation Infrastructure (2%) and Science and Medical Research (2%) – all of which can be provided by the private sector – and the number rises to 74%. Another 4% of expenditure comes under the “miscellaneous” heading, but much of this, too, can be performed by the private sector.