Creating a Thriving Middle Class
Just like the Indy racers
It’s socialized, not socialism.
I get it. When you look at some failed socialist states, it stirs fear. Caution though, socialized concepts are not socialism any more than playing catch means you’re playing baseball.
Let’s play catch.
If you watch sports, game shows, American Idol, Survivor, you want the players to match up evenly. Level competition makes watching entertaining. Competitors must try their best. Any lax effort by one creates an opportunity for another. Competitors must always stay “on their game.”
Indy racers use identical cars, engines, and even tires. Everything is uniform except the drivers, mechanics, the pit crew, and fine-tuning the engine. That keeps the races close and exciting for the fans. The best driver with the best team — not the best car — is the winner. The even playing field fosters innovations and subtle nuances to succeed. Once someone innovates for an advantage, now everyone is better.
Juxtapose that with competitions where the winner is a foregone conclusion. If you know you will win, why try hard, and where’s the incentive for innovation or refinement? An even playing field makes everyone better. The only ones who want to watch or participate in a lopsided match are those with the advantage. Here, only the elite thrive.
What about you, the player?
If you play games or competitive sports, you probably appreciate an even playing field, too. Remember when you taught your children to play a game. You didn’t try your hardest because it would discourage them from learning. Once they achieved your level, you needed to up your game to match theirs.
Professional sports teams already know this. They share television revenue. They develop an entry-draft whereby weaker teams get the better picks. The concept of rules and referees enforce equity by penalizing cheaters.
If you put that perspective into a social system, you also derive an even playing field that promotes competition. That’s socialization, not socialism. Democratic countries that use socialized concepts create a thriving middle-class.
Universal health care, unemployment insurance, financial aid, progressive taxes, support for the disenfranchised, make us all better.
Socialized ideas do not a socialist make.
Social democracy: As a policy regime, it is described by academics as advocating economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a liberal-democratic polity and a capitalist-oriented mixed economy.
Michael Rousell PhD is the author of The Power of Surprise: How Your Brain Secretly Changes Your Beliefs. He studies life-changing events.