Well, first of all few people really understand the definition. Or have their own definition.
Secondly if “socialism” is equated with “healthcare as a basic right, like national defense” then yes, there are a lot of people who may not like Obamacare but simply are never going to be able to afford healthcare otherwise. Given the option between Obamacare, or a system like England or Canada has, and NOTHING, darn few are going to decide on the latter.
And despite the sentiment often prevailing in FR, there is a lot of unease at the fact a CEO now earns far more than their typical worker, compared to a few generations ago. The canard that some use is “Look at how well off the poor are, they have TV’s, Cable, 21” rims”, and “I don’t care how rich Gates is, I’m doing much better than my father did, why should I care if he had 50 billion in the bank”? Both arguments that work great on FR, Townhall or like places but are laughable at best outside of preaching to the converted.
The uber-rich might have well overplayed their hand, the fellow who owns Papa Johns is a good example; free marketeers seem to admire the guy, most of the people I know and work with would gladly pay 50 cents more for a pizza to have it made and delivered by someone who could go to the hospital if they needed to, or even just stay home sick with pay instead of being part time with no benefits.
I’m old enough to remember the Cold War, and know enough history to realize how badly the USSR messed up everything outside of brute force imperialism,,, but the people born the year the wall fell down are 22 now, the USSR might as well be Nazi Germany or the Roman Republic. And the acolytes of Rand and Von Mieses might do well to observe how well Bismark co-opted the socialist and labor unionist tide,
I wrote a graduate thesis in 1974 comparing post WWII economic results of East and West Germany.
That made me a conservative. In 1976 Reagan spoke of the same comparison.
Since Reagan left the scene, few have talked much about the underlying economic aspects of the nation’s system.
The most persuasive speakers about our capitalist history and success, are either dead and gone, or not very effective.
The solution to that has nothing to do with governance, and the fact that your coworkers sympathesize with it shows they have no understanding of economics, history, or human nature.
In America, no one is supposed to be delivering pizza as a career. The solution is to get yourself educated, or, if a professional career isn't your bag, to start your own business or learn a trade.
The result of a "remedy" in which entry level workers are financially encouraged to remain in low-skill dead-end jobs by subsidizing them is that it creates more and more people statisfied with that outcome, lowers the overall standard of living, and forces yet again more people into that very position.
If your friends actually believe that 30 million uninsured people can be brought into the healthcare system without seriously degrading the quality of care for everyone -- including those who exploit the system by going to the emergency rooms as their primary care doctors -- and if they believe that can actually be acheived by adding 50 cents to the price of a pizza, you have an affrimative obligation to point out to them that they are complete dumbasses. And an obligation to explain why.
There is no excuse whatsoever for an intelligent person to believe that a government program will be an improvement on an existing private sector solution. There is no historical or current precedent for believing that, and there are literally dozens of counterexamples staring your friends in the face right now. Ask them why FedEx and UPS are making money while a protected monopoly in the same business just lost $15 bn.
Ask them why they will go to the DMV in the capital of their state and wait literally for hours to have some surly jackass gurdgingly provide a duplicate vehicle owners card, while a private business on the other side of the state like AAA can do exactly the same thing at the same cost with virtually no waiting. Ask them why Catholic schools are able to deliver a better education at less than half of the cost of schools run by the government. Ask them why the primary and secondary education systems run by that government are among the worst in the world, while people from every corner of the planet are still calmoring to get into the private post secondary American system. Ask them why an 18 year-old tearing tickets at a movie theatre makes minimum wage, while the government employee manning a toll-booth on the Jersey Turnpike is averaging $40,000/year plus benefits for the same job.
The compassion of liberalism is a false compassion. There is nothing compassionate about encouraging human beings to be satisfied with a job a robot can do, while guilting the rest of us because we aren't sensitive enough to the plight of the downtrodden. Pizza delivery is a job for 16 and 17 year-old kids. Raising the cost of pizza means people either buy fewer pizzas or buy less of other things, including saving and investment.
Should CEO's make less money? You're damn right they should. And making sure they do is the job of their stockholders, bondholders and directors and has nothing whatsoever to do with governance and is NO business of the government. Empowering a government with carte blanche to "do nice things" sounds fabulous ... and inevitably leads to oppression, torture, and murder. Your friends (somewhere in the piles of bodies) someday will have at least the consolation that their "hearts were in the right places" before they died.