The phrase “democratic socialism” has been popping up all over the news. Some of the liberals are split about weather they agree with this system, and Republicans think it’s just the newest radical idea that all liberals are turning to. Even though many people are forming their opinion without even knowing what the term means.
Democratic socialism is based on the belief that the economy should be run to meet the needs of the public. This would mean several changes to our economy, including free healthcare for all, higher taxes for the wealthy, more job security for all people, and members of the laboring class serving on the boards of big corporate companies so every voice is heard.
The term democratic socialism has been around since the 1900’s and has become popular again because of democratic socialists in our government today such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders. Both Sanders and Ocasio-Cortez have made assurances that democratic socialism isn’t a drastic change in our government, it’s more or less just expanding on what our country already has.
Some socialist programs already exist in the United States. These programs offer services like medicaid, free public education and support from the government in getting food, health care, housing and financial support to people who really need them. However, some people just want to add more.
The ideas of democratic socialism sounds favorable on paper and works in places like Denmark with people claiming it to be the “happiest place on earth.” The Danish experience generally higher income, lower inequality, more innovation and free college. All of these programs make it easier for people to succeed in life, be stable and have the ability to live like every other person in the country no matter what socio-economic group they were born into.
On the other hand socialism has failed in a places like Venezuela because of the leaders the public have put in power, who have tried to push and make the government work. The ideas and policies have resulted in rising inflation, food shortages, lack of good medical care, and less and less oil production. Seeing what could happen, the U.S. needs to decide if democratic socialism will work in our capitalist society.
Before the question of introducing democratic socialism to our country can be addressed, we need to know whether or not people would support it. According to a Gallup poll, senior scientist Frank Newport discovered that about four in every ten people say that we already demonstrate socialism in today’s society. It also indicated that 57 percent of democrats view socialism positively.
One student here at Loy Norrix who is passionate about not only history but the politics happening in the country involving all sides is Maeve Hodge-McNutt.
“I think that as soon as we want to give more opportunities to people, especially for people of other classes, we call it socialism, and put it in such a negative light, and compared to things like communism.” Hodge-McNutt continued, “I think people need to educate themselves on what socialism is but more importantly what democratic socialism is.”
Even though there are so many conversations about democratic socialism going on there are some people that are not involving the younger generation. These are the people we should be concerned about, Generation Z or the Millennials. According to Axios, 37 percent of the votes from the polls in 2020 will be from Generation Z and Millennials, or people ages 18-38. These people are shaping their opinions and the views on government, along with the possible changes they can make. Also 49.6 percent of them agreed that they would rather live in a socialist society.
Junior Mariah Avery thinks that her generation is very open and united than the other ones. “We are more accepting to different people, ideas, cultures and classes. We don’t just want to get rid of the things that made our generation and our society worse we want to improve them,” said Avery.
The United States is definitely headed into a new direction whether it be for democratic socialism or just an era where opinions are shared and that everyone’s voice is heard. The ideas that are resurfacing are certainly interesting. People should be open to something that could improve our society not just from a political and economic standpoint, but the atmosphere we are creating around us as well.