Lawrence O'Donnell was right on his show tonight, we're all socialists now. And he was right, there is good socialism and there is bad socialism but don't tell that to those people who haven't even figured out the difference between socialism and communism. To have any type of safety net for those who are old, unemployed, disabled or otherwise unable to afford retirement or basic services on their own qualifies as socialism. To what extent it goes and how it is carried out determines whether or not it is "good" or "bad" socialism, not by the opinion of a tubby cable news pundit who sees a traitor behind every tree and scares his elderly viewers into buying gold.
Excessive nanny state socialism is toxic to business and unbridled, unregulated capitalism is poisonous to society as a whole. The trick is to find a happy medium between the two, to have a population that doesn't fall through the cracks in hard times but at the same time, is motivated to be self reliant, not dependent on handouts for an entire lifetime. Common sense would dictate that this is possible but common sense seems to be lacking any more. At least that's the conclusion one would draw from watching any news program and their politicians who rail on about the evils of socialism while assured of government funded healthcare and a pension most of us could only dream about.