Power, Authority, and Exchange – ISS 225
immigrant workers, such as low pay, long hours, dangerous working conditions, and
child labor. Furthermore, there was little governmental involvement in economy, such as
regulation of industry, worker protections, or unions.
When the Great Depression came, the poor became even poorer. Socialism offered a
Government could solve these problems through regulation, involvement, and
ownership. I n1920 the Socialist Party candidate, Eugene Debs, managed to get 3.5% of
the vote for president while in prison. Milwaukee had socialist mayor in 1920's.
Socialism’s base of support was the urban workers.
By the 1930s government responded with the New Deal programs, which represented
steps to socialism.
Many socialists believed that they didn't go far enough. They wanted
universal healthcare and guaranteed minimum income. FDR was basically co-opting
socialist issue positions. He was using government as buffer against the excesses of
The minor socialist trend in the United States stopped with WWII as the economy took
off, the former working class had upward mobility, unions developed, and the GI Bill
made college accessible. Furthermore, the Cold War made any ideas about socialism very
D. Modern Socialism emphasizes three things
A positive view of government functions.
Government has a legitimate role in any area of life, but especially focused on economic
conditions. Government should become involved in things like healthcare, transportation,
education, culture, welfare benefits. Most countries’ governments give more generous
social benefits than the United States. See for example
comparison of medical leave policies. Government should ensure "equality of life
chances" for all citizens. This includes a government commitment to provide whatever is
necessary to help that person become participating member of society with the
knowledge that some will require more than others.
Government should be involved in the distribution of goods based upon human
Inequalities are unjust. Those with the most should give the most, those who need the