We Americans have been deceived by the notion that individual desires preempt the needs of society; by the Ayn-Rand/Reagan/Thatcher aversion to government regulation; by the distorted image of 'freedom' as winner-take-all capitalism; by the assurance that the benefits of greed will spread downwards to everyone.
Our current capitalist-driven inequalities will only be rectified when people realize that a strong community makes successful individuals, not the other way around.
These are a few of the ways we would benefit with a social democracy:
My mother used to say "If wishes were horses then beggars would ride." Everything said in this piece is true but no one has a doable way to move the USA from where it is now, balanced unsteadily on the top of the Capitalist heap to the kind of democratic socialism that could bring about these reforms has been put out there.
This article from the current Counterpunch presents, in my never humble opinion, a good rundown of the current political zeitgeist in the too soon start up to next year's election and why the hope the at the citizenry will wise up and "go Socialist" is a long shot slim hope.
They'll go to the polls and vote for either [chocolate] Hillary Clinton or [vanilla; boy is he ever vanilla] Jebby! b/c those names are familiar, and as long as they have enough money for their 6-pack and ramen they'll continue to consider themselves lucky! Meanwhile, the 5% that know what's going on will do everything we can to wake up our fellow peons even though we realize it's a fool's errand we are on.
Sure, Hillary is a corporate Democrat (I'm voting for Bernie) but she is a million miles away from any of the GOPERS. She will not criminalize or ban abortions, she will not appoint far right wingers to the supreme court, she will not try to destroy or privatize Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. She will not try to repeal the ACA, as flawed as it is. She is not a creationist or a climate change denier, as the GOP is. By the way, if Bernie loses the primary, he will be supporting and campaigning for Hillary. I await the usual onslaught of vicious insults.
I'd bet she would at least partially privatize and/or weaken social security and watch Medicare, Medicaid, and education disintegrate further. What's a girl gonna do when she owes the MICC and the banks so very, very much? That's partly why nurses are for Bernie.
"We Americans have been deceived by the notion that individual desires preempt the needs of society..."
Yes and no... that "notion" is based on, since the advent of televised advertising, trillions of $ of increasingly sociopathically based 'marketing' premises configured to extract the absolute highest profit by demonizing/marginalizing denying all but that which is 'under the roof' or 'on the floor' of the "workplace".
From money actually being 'debt', flipped in sing-song cartoon versions of magically appearing end-'products', the REAL economy, people and places, biomes and balances, the breadth of aggregate lived wisdom is scorned o mask the genocidal configurations demanded by a system so eloquently put by Jeremy Scahill - 'the giant vampire squid' - reflecting that cartoon version of concurrently sucking the life blood and squirting ink of obfuscation as its predominant imitation of the diastole/systole rhythms of beating hearts.
We face the gross distortions of GDP, fractionalized impoverishment in something akin to a 'where is waldo' game of societal identity free from the colonizing cyclops.
The Republican candidates in their debates are certainly making a good case why supporters of Bernie Sanders (or Martin O'Malley) should vote for Hillary Clinton if their candidate doesn't win the nomination. Trump and Carson are well out in front and those trailing don't exactly inspire confidence. Trump wants to build his wall (with Mexican money) and deport 11 million people. Carson wants to get rid of both Medicare and Medicaid. Rubio doesn't want to tax income from investments. Cruz seems intent on cutting or ending all government programs not associated with the military. The list of bad ideas seem endless. Of course, for people living in the many red or blue states where the presidential election isn't really contested it doesn't matter who they vote for except with regard to their own conscience.
I may well not know How to move the immovable object, the American legislatures, away from the irresistible force, corporate lobbyist campaign contributions, but I damn well know Where to start and that is with the caucuses and primaries and a vote for Bernie Sanders. Clinton would make a fine Vice President but she hasn't the will and the needs of the people at heart, Sanders and Clinton in 2016.
That is because she is a corporate democrat. These creatures of Wall Street gladly allow the populace to gain their social issues such as marriage between any two humans, legalization of marijuana. right to choose and the appearance of legal equality. However when it comes to real meaningful concerns like Campaign finance reform, income inequality, carbon fuel reduction and replacement, and real tax reform we find nothing but chatter and the sucking of teeth, There is no place for a real cultural adjustment without a huge concerted push by a overwhelming majority of the citizenry demanding fair elections And voting in overwhelming numbers to achieve this end. This political revolution must erase the false barriers of party affiliation and Transcend the petty quibbling the really small stuff on a cultural level that divides black and white and brown and tan and allows the power brokers to play us like a marionette orchestra.
As noted above Ayn Rand was a Russian emigre whose family lost its money when the Bolsheviks took over and they fled Russia. The question the powers-that-be should be asking is was she really a communist mole hell-bent on destroying the economies of the western democracies, as that is precisely what she and her accolytes have done?
There's a ticket to win the hearts and minds of those in the Shadow Secret Government who might be Happier With Hillary to elevate her into the office the LBJ way. Sanders For President T-shirts with a target on them perhaps.
I particularly liked point 3. We taxpayers paid for the infrastructure and much of the basic inventions, yet silicon valley is allowed to take all the profit. In a more fair society we would at least demand greater pay back in taxes on their profits instead of the peanuts we receive.