The issue of socialism came up recently. A coworker of mine -- a self declared liberal -- said, "There's all this talk of Obama being a socialist. I don't believe any of it."
So I thought to myself, "Is Obama a socialist?"
Of course I have my opinions, but I don't want to state my non-expert opinion here. However, I picked up a book at the library last week called, "Catastrophe," by Dick Morris and Eileen McGann.
I didn't pick up the book to get more one sided bias, but with this specific question in mind. You know no liberal is going to admit to being a socialist any more than a bear is going to admit to not liking meat.
So, being a professional political analyzer, and former political advisor for various politicians, including Bill Clinton, I thought Dick Morris would be in a good position to diagnose the issue of "Is Obama a socialist."
First of all, we have to define socialism. Morris provides the definition here:
In modern geopolitics, the term 'socialist' refers broadly to the Social Democratic ideology followed by the left-leaning political parties of Western Europe, who want to expand the role of government in their countries. They want to establish a broader cradle-to-grave social welfare system and to widen the influence of public institutions."From there, he goes on to describe how to determine if a nation is socialist, and whether Obama fits this bill:
"The best shorthand to determine where a nation is on the capitalist/socialist scale is to measure how much of it economy is in the public sector -- in other words, what percentage of its GDP comes from government spending. By this measure, the U.S. has ranked well to the right of almost every other major industrialized country in the world, with the sometime exception of Japan.Pre Obama, he writes, "U.S. Government spending once accounted for 36.4% of our economy, it is now rising to 49% -- sending us soaring past Britain and Germany and nestling in right under France -- the model of a modern socialist democracy."
Morris adds, "So, when it comes to Barrack Obama's spending programs, 'socialist' is no political slur. It's a simple description."