is it a bad thing?
And no, calderoh, it doesn't necessary mean a monopoly, nor is it identical with communism.. What it does mean is that the elected government (at all levels, also your state and county adminstration) feels a responsibility for the people who elected them. That can be in health, in schooling, in public transport, in police and fire departments, to mention only a few..
A lot of people - especially in the US, I think - seem to feel that it's up to the individual to take care of himself in these matters. But other coutnries - Scandanavia in particular - have realized that society today is made up of people together, and that a basic function of an elected government is to help those people with essential services - like healthcare and good public schools. (In Norway, also the children of the royal family attend normal public schools.)
Pooling of wealth for the "common good". We already have many social programs here in this country. Police, Fire, Schools, infrastructure, etc. . . but beware. . . to much government can actually hinder growth. Also, the more Big Nannie Government gives to us, the more rights they take away -"for the common good". LOL, beware of "the common Good" Also known as "politically correctness"
Pure socialism is a system where everyone "works according to their ability" and "receives according to their need".
In practice, this has never existed. Instead, varying degrees of socialism exist. For example, social security, medicare/medicaid, public education, police, fire, county hospitals, etc. ...are all forms of socialism.
Government owns / controls all - redistribution of wealth - a government big enough to give you everything, is big enough to take everything you have.
"works according to their ability" and "receives according to their need".
...of course this is decided by government, also...
so, its like a monopoly?