What I meant was there are no truly Socialist Countries there like South Africa, Zimbabwe, Cuba or North Korea, for instance. Capitalism, even “controlled market economics” Capitalism allows the growth of wealth and the pursuit of happiness. Perhaps the middle way is a healthy Capitalist economy with a Socialist-leaning Government providing limited universal medicare and education and some limited wealth redistribution to prevent the worst effects of poverty, while being careful never to tax to death the Golden Goose that generates that wealth.

The calculations were done by economists in the 80’s, and the optimum is that the Government is limited to no more than 20% of GDP. A flat tax of 20% on either Income or Goods and Services would achieve that, and limit the size of Government. The government should be able to do all the humane things for their population with 20% of GNP, but they would have to stop spending 16% of GDP on the Military; the target should be 2%: that is what Trump is demanding of NATO countries, after all.

In Australia we bailed the Banks out during the GFC, but have added an insurance tax on the 5 major banks for that protection, so they are paying it back and more.

We have universal medicare paid for by a 2% levy on income tax, compulsory except for those below the poverty line, who get it for free, but there are private health insurance if you want more services and a private room in hospital.

We have free education with public schools run by unionised teachers who cannot be sacked, except for child molestation. Australia is falling behind the rest of the world in basic literacy and numeracy in spite of having the highest per capita spending on education in the world. Anyone who can afford it sends their kids to private schools.

University is 75% paid by the Government, 25% by the Student with Government loans for students who can’t pay that 25%. Because the money is paid to the Universities at a flat rate per student, the Universities are expanding exponentially with fluff degrees in meaningless subjects like Gender Studies, Social advocacy and activism, Political Science and the like. As a result of the aforementioned literacy and numeracy shortfalls, we can’t get enough people to do degrees we actually need: science and engineering, so we have to bring in immigrants for skilled jobs.

I conclude that Australia has lurched too far to the Left, while America may be a little too far to the Right, and so be failing its most vulnerable citizens. On the other hand, both Australia and the USA are in the top 20 happy Countries of over 200 countries in the World, so we are doing better than most.

I work in IT, Community volunteer interested in Politics, support Capitalism as the best economic system for lifting people out of poverty, Skeptical scientist.

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