Bernie Sanders gives a lesson in socialism during Democratic debate
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The first debate of Democratic presidential candidates brought intense focus on the differences between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, who describes himself as a "democratic socialist."
Socialism is defined as "a way of organizing a society in which major industries are owned and controlled by the government rather than by individual people and companies," and democratic socialism is a form of government in which state regulation (without state ownership) would ensure economic growth and a fair distribution of income.
Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the VA are all programs currently in place that resemble socialist policy, but socialism has been a hot-button word in American politics since the 1930s, when it was often conflated with communism.