Is socialism really so bad? That was a question from my hairdresser, when I told her after last election that Obama would change the USA and we would slowly become a socialist republic.
And I said “YES“, because I know – I grew up in a socialist country, the former Czechoslovakia. After the government nationalizes everything, there is no private business left. You work for the government, your children go to government schools, you shop in government stores (you hardly find there what you need – shortages of everything all the time). You can only visit a doctor allocated to you, and the government controls where you travel (you’re not allowed to leave the country without a special permit). And you listen only to radio stations owned by the government and see only TV programs approved by the government.
Some people here just don’t get it and think that this cannot happen here. The first communist president in former Czechoslovakia, where I grew up, was elected in a free election. He promised to “spread the wealth by taking it from the rich and giving it to the poor”. Soon after that, everybody was poor; only the politician were rich (they had access to specials stores where they could get everything they wanted).