This post was originally posted at The New Democrat on Blogger
When it comes to things like Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, Welfare Insurance, Medicare. Public Housing, Food Assistance to use several examples, I prefer the term safety net or a public social insurance system or PSIS. Which are insurances that people who need them can collect when, well they need them. But if you able to take care or yourself and you have what is called economic freedom that is the ability to pay your own bills and be self-sufficient in life with money left over to spend in things you want, then that is essentially the American dream.
Then that is exactly what you and this is how a safety net or PSIS would be different from what is called in Europe especially in Scandinavia a welfare state. Where these are all sorts of public program funded through taxes there to take care of people. I as a Liberal Democrat do not want to have to live off of government or anyone else if I’m able to take care of myself. That would be just one example that would separate me from a Democratic Socialist or a Social Democrat. Someone who bases their political philosophy on what government can do for people when it comes to economics.
If you want to use the term social contract, fine I’ll go along with that. But what I’m really in favor of when it comes to American capitalism is individual economic power. Again which is another way of saying economic freedom. And what I would like to see in this country and perhaps even go back to is an economic power system that is there for all Americans to be able to take advantage of to create their own economic freedom.
And this is where government plays its biggest role along with regulating predatory behavior. And this comes from making quality education and job training available for everyone universally to everyone K-adulthood if needed. So as many Americans as possible have that individual economic power or people power to be able to take care of themselves. And live a good life however they define that for themselves without having to use public assistance or private charity. In order to pay their own way and bills.
If you are talking about having a federal government so big especially as it relates to economic policy that it is designed to meet a lot if not most of people’s economic needs, you are no longer talking about a safety net or a social insurance system, but a welfare state. A socialist superstate big government at about as big as it can without nationalizing the entire economy and outlawing private property all together. And that is not what I’m in favor of.