I usually abhor weighing in on presidential politics as it is a very divisive issue. However, with Bernie Sanders losing to The Hillary by 0.3% (after multiple fraud accusations and six coin flips) in Iowa and then winning Hew Hampshire by 22 points, I feel the need to clarify just what a Socialist is.
Bernie Sanders is listed as an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats. He openly admits he is an avowed Socialist.
A Socialist is defined as "a member of a political party or group that advocates socialism." Which leads to the question, "what is Socialism?"
The Dictionary defines Socialism as, "a theory or system of social organization that advocates the vesting of the ownership and control of the means of production and distribution, of capital, land, etc., in the community as a whole."
This means that the government would own and control everything. Before you think that's a good idea (rather than those evil corporations), consider this:
If you are under 25 years old, you have not lived when the USSR existed. The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics [my italics] was formed out of the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution and dissolved under its own weight on December 26th, 1991. The USSR was exactly as the above definition. The State controlled everything.
For example, the farms that produced food for the USSR were "collectivized" meaning they were controlled by the government. This plan worked so well, the United States was selling great quantities of wheat and other food to the USSR. In the 1970's, the farmers were allowed "small plots" where they could grow food for themselves and sell the extra. Those small private forms outproduced the massive collective farms.
The Purges under Stalin was where at least 20,000,000 (that's 20 Million) Russians died by the hand of their own government. They died from starvation because the State didn't want to feed them, or they were worked to death in "re-education camps." When that wasn't fast enough, the USSR resulted to just shooting them.
As a fine example of how wonderful it was to live under Soviet control, all you had to ask was, "which way were the people running?" In August 1961, the Soviet Union erected the "Berlin Wall," which physically separated West Berlin (under the Control of the US, England and France) from East Berlin (under control by the USSR). That wall was torn down in November 1989. In that time, over two hundred people were killed trying to escape East Berlin into West Berlin. Uncounted hundreds more died crossing the general border from Soviet Bloc countries into "western" countries. Those Cubans trying to flee the "workers paradise" of Cuba (a Socialist State supported by the Soviet Union) would overload rafts and risk their lives crossing 90 miles of open ocean to get away from that kind of government.
Really, how many Americans (or Europeans) made the trip to become citizens of the Soviet State? Pretty close to zero.
Every country founded on Socialist principles has not survived. The producers of each country could not (or would not) produce enough for those who were content on the free ride.
Bernie and The Hillary love to hold Sweden up as an example of "how Socialism works."
Let's take a close look at Sweden and the United States, side-by-side:
|Country Size||175,896 sq. mi.||3,805,927 sq. mi.||Sweden is 5% of the size of the US, between Texas and California (#'s 2 and 3) in size.|
|Population||9.8 Million||322.3 Million||
Sweden has 3% of the US population, between Michigan and Georgia (#'s 8 and 9).
|Minimum Income Tax||48.3%||Zero||Sweden's Income tax is for all income over about $2,700/year.
50% of US households pay no Federal income tax.
|Sales Tax||25%||Under 10%||Sales Taxes are local in the US.|
|New car cost||$65,480||$21,342||VW Golf Sedan, $23,386 Cost + 180% tax.
|Gallon of Gasoline||$6.10||$2.43||Need I say more?|
While there are some things you can go from a certain size and scale up to a larger size, I don't think you can take something and literally multiply it by a factor of twenty and expect it to work in the same exact manner.
Please remember facts like this when you think about "Feeling the Bern."
2/16/16 UPDATE: I knew I forgot something! There is a 180 percent tax when you purchase a new car. I have updated the table above appropriately.