Another Dave Ball op-ed, another predictable and misleading rant against Democrats and socialism. He incessantly uses the word socialism as a scare tactic, but does Ball even know the meaning of socialism? Per Wikipedia, “Socialism is a political, social and economic philosophy encompassing a range of economic and social systems characterized by social ownership of the means of production and workers' self-management of enterprises…” A similar definition from a quick Google search; “Socialism is a populist economic and political system based on public ownership (also known as collective or common ownership) of the means of production. Those means include the machinery, tools, and factories used to produce goods that aim to directly satisfy human needs.” Practically speaking, this means that the government takes over the means of production.
I call on Ball to cite one Democratic politician who wants the government to take over the means of production. He will not be able to put his money where his mouth is and produce an example. Instead, what progressives like Bernie Sanders espouse is more akin to the Social Democracies of Europe. These are all free-market economies. I encourage readers to not buy into Ball’s scare tactics and research this on their own. In the meantime, an easy way to conceptualize the issue is to distinguish private from public. Public can be considered akin to socialized. That is, tax dollars are collected and used by the government (federal, state, county, and municipal) to provide services such as Social Security (socialized federal pension plan); Medicare and Medicaid (socialized federal health insurance plans); state game lands (state-controlled hunting lands); lakes, reservoirs, and boat launches (federal, state, or local); national forests and parks (socialized federal recreational sites); state parks; roads. This also includes public assistance in all its forms (food stamps, school lunch programs, etc.). There are many more. Does Ball or those who agree with him use any of these services? Most certainly.
Ball closed his oped by calling on readers to reject socialism. That would require not using or accepting any of the above-mentioned services or amenities. To do otherwise would be the height of hypocrisy.