In response to:
I am not sure how you define socialism. My friends approve of the Affordable Care Act because it provides a safety net for those whose life is ravaged by health problems. Sometimes, as you suggest, people may cause their own health problems by being lazy or irresponsible, abusing drugs or food; most times, though, health problems strike with much randomness. So I agree with them that universal health care is a good idea. Almost no one I know fits Hayek's straw man, of claiming that we should have an equality of material position. Progressive income taxes, yes -- but that still allows for (I'd say encourages) entrepreneurship, innovation, change, etc -- look at US history since the end of WW2.
Given what we know in 2012, saying that capitalism will make a society richer than socialism should be about as controversial as saying the earth is round, not flat. Yet, a recent Gallup poll shows that more liberals have a positive view of socialism than capitalism. This is only possible because there are so many perverse incentives that drive the promotion of socialism. If you're a politician, socialism puts power in your hands while capitalism takes it away. If you want to use the government to control people's lives, socialism is a wonderful vehicle to do just that while...
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