o you do admit that “Socialism” can have two meanings: one (the old-timey one) as a label for a particular economic system; the other (more modern one) as a label for a group of political parties and the platforms thereof (which nowadays often have little resemblance to the old-timey economic definition).

No. I admit that it has a meaning, which is then co-opted by a political party for marketing purposes. The political party does not have the ability to change the meaning.

Your Merriam-Webster source is exactly the same as mine except they add “or fear”. Again, maybe not nobody uses the “fear” definition; but definitely few people do. The “-phobia” bit also being a medical term is also weird and not that great, but I don’t think it actually confuses anybody when it comes to “homophobia”.

Nobody’s confused. It’s simply a misuse of a term with an accepted meaning.

The Hoover Dam is quite obviously a means of production — it produces electricity, doesn’t it?

The point is that it is not a going concern without taxpayer money. Nobody would have built it, so it did not replace a private utility with a public one.

Whether or not private money would have built it is irrelevant.

To you. Not to me. Or the definition of socialism. If the government runs something that could be run in the private sector….bad. If the government runs something that can’t work in the private sector……I have no philosophical problem with that, outside of the fact that the government usually does a poor job of running things, unless they are quite simple.

As I wrote in my last post: things are complicated. Sometimes a more interventionist approach is called for. Sometime a more laissez-faire approach is called for. Both too much and too little baking soda can ruin a cake.

Without objection. For example, in the US, the horse has left the barn on “free market health care”. So, we find ourselves in need of a government managed system that distributes care as needed.

However, “government managed” is not “government owned” or “government run”, and the fact that “government” is in the mix does not mean it does not have a need to run efficiently from an economic standpoint.

I think there’s a lot of evidence that when an undeveloped country wants to industrialize, state intervention can help. All the various “Economic Miracles” in East Asia followed roughly the same model: heavy government investment in infrastructure (often paid for by state borrowing), courting of foreign investment, and government support for large industrial corporations. [Incidentally, how many times does this have to succeed before they stop calling it a “miracle”?]

There’s no question that total government control over an economy allows it to move faster at times. I have documented, in other places, a personal experience in Shanghai where an outdoor market that had been in place (and with permanent structures) for decades was gone between the first time I visited and the second time three months later. Why? Because the government wanted the real estate.

That’s your tradeoff.

So don’t mistake me for arguing that government intervention is always good or doesn’t have negatives. I’m not saying that at all.


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Data Driven Econophile. Muslim, USA born. Been “woke” 2x: 1st, when I realized the world isn’t fair; 2nd, when I realized the “woke” people are full of shit.

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