Want to see what Socialism ACTUALLY looks like, represented economically in graph form? Go here.
The same news site/blog also compares the respective socialism levels of Obama’s federal policies and Palin’s Alaskan policies. The results are interesting, to say the least.
UPDATE: As was correctly pointed out in the comments below, the graph of “Palin’s Alaska” ends before she even takes office. So that appears to be deliberately deceptive. I’ve also looked at the original graph I linked to, and it doesn’t include some of the recent acquisitions of the government. However, considering the current devalued state of the housing and automobile markets, it doesn’t change the picture much at all. But as a commenter on that site pointed out, it doesn’t take majority ownership of the market to control it. The main influence of the government lies through its control of Fannie May and Freddie Mac. But ultimately, the loans to control the housing market are from China, so our government doesn’t even completely control things anyway. If we were to regraph that data by global national influence, we would see China occupying most of the graph due to its sheer industrial output.
An interesting commenter on The Atlantic going by the name of “Nelson Alexander” has this say about the graphs:
This may be a useful corrective to the silly ravings of the right, but in reality it only confirms our greater national delusions concerning the public/private or government/market dichotomies.
By many conventional estimates the “government” accounts for over 40 percent of the “economy,” but it is hardly clear what this means. Economies do not stop at national borders and governments maintain all fiat currencies and property laws through which “economies” operate, to point out only the obvious. In our recent troubles, the legal status of the Federal Reserve as a private institution and the revolving door between government jobs and, say, Goldman Sachs have made these specious distinctions even more absurd.
I have never yet heard anyone who touts the superior efficiency of “free markets” provide an example of this metaphysical entity that is not supported, stabilized, institutionalized, defined, and operated through a complex system of supposedly “inefficient” government structures. The only thing approaching an international market system, as far as I know, is the illegal drug trade. The unmentionable dichotomy between an investor class and those who rely on wages is far more realistic than the government/market paradigm used to fog the issues.