From Badtux, the Snarky Penguin:
"So what is Socialism?
"Well, you listen to today's right-wing blogosphere, and it becomes clear that they haven't a clue. They appear to believe that 'Socialism' is the same thing as redistribution of wealth. By that standard, President Dwight D. Eisenhower was a socialist -- he had no problem with a 90% income tax rate on the top bracket in order to redistribute wealth downward.
"The problem is, that's not what Socialist means. Socialist means that the government owns the means of production of wealth. Like when the UK nationalized Leyland Motors and called it British Leyland, or when France nationalized Citroen and Renault and made them state-owned, or when Britain nationalized the hospitals in 1948 and made them state-owned, or when Sweden nationalized its banks in 1992. That's Socialism -- the State owning major industries. Redistribution of wealth -- such as, say, taxing the rich in order to provide subsidies to the poor so that they can buy health insurance -- is plain old liberalism, which is not the same thing as socialism at all, let alone Communism, which outright outlaws private property beyond anything you can carry upon your own person.
"Words have meaning. Using words in ways that aren't applicable makes you look like an idiot to anybody who is intelligent. Which, I realize, is the minority of Americans, since 50% of Americans are below average; and average ain't so smart anymore, but still.... This ain't Freeperville, and we're a bit brighter 'round these parts :)."
-- Badtux the Liberal Penguin