Does caring about your neighbor make you a socialist?

It’s called the Golden Rule.  Every major religion and/or philosophy embraces it: 
do unto others what you’d have them do unto you.  It’s more than practical, it’s karma. 

The misguided among us would have you believe that there’s no place for caring about your neighbor in capitalism or the free market economy.  This is decidedly not the case.  In fact, a healthy, consuming neighbor supports capitalism and the free market by the very act of consuming.  Moreover, history has taught us over and over that capitalism and the free market require controls to keep it from self-destruction.  No, the real enemy of capitalism and the free market economy, and the thing that prevents our caring for our neighbor, is simply this: greed. 

This is, of course, no revelation.  We see it every day.  The “S” word (socialism) is the consummate evil (next to communism) in the American lexicon.  It’s the easiest thing in the world to call anything that limits acquiring “more” as being socialist.

Let’s take health care, for example.  The idea of everyone having reasonable health care is currently being labelled as “socialism”.   Really?   Is anyone suggesting getting rid of capitalism?  Or not paying more for a superior product or service?  Forgetting for the moment that most of the developed countries and economies in the world have adopted universal health care because it PAYS to do so (remember our healthy and consuming neighbor above?), and that the U.S. pays the most for the least beneficial healthcare among these countries, and that a constitutional argument could be made that there IS no freedom for the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness if you don’t have your health, why then do so many swallow this falsehood?  Simple, we have the consummate snake-oil salesman selling the theory.  If you tell the misguided (ignorant) something often enough, they will start to believe it. 

So the next time someone tells you that universal healthcare is socialism, gently remind them that it is nothing more than following the Golden Rule, and is an investment in promoting capitalism and a growing economy.  It won’t be easy or simple, but nothing worth doing ever is. It will require constant review of policies and adjustments to them, but it will be well worth the effort in every way that counts.

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