The complete bashing of anything associated with socialist ideas doesn't seem entirely rational. Of course some sectors of the economy must be free, but there still must be regulation to some extent in some economic sectors. Planning, in many cases, by a central power doesn't always allocate resources the most efficiently, but this brings into mind how the health care system in the United States today is a disaster. Many people seem to be afraid of the government having more control of healthcare, and I believe it's because many people associate the government being in control of healthcare as socialism. If socialism is as ineffective as portrayed by the some, then why do we spend a much larger charge of our resources on healthcare when we have just about the lowest quality of healthcare compared to other developed nations? Does this mean private companies fail at providing quality healthcare at affordable prices?
If free markets should be better for people than socialism or any form of planned economies then it seems nonsensical that many people do not have access to quality healthcare, so maybe some sectors of the economy require planning while others don't. Also, if there were no socialistic ideas implemented in the United States then we wouldn't have food stamps, welfare, or any other aid helping the poor. We cannot stop caring about the poor, ill, or anyone who cannot provide for themselves, and if we were in their position we would have wanted the same care. This chapter showed how America and Britain had economic systems with both right and left wing policies implemented in the economy around the days of World War 2, so a mixed economy seems to have many pros over an economy with only right or left wing policies, but this is subject to much debate.
Also, the chapter did a great job addressing what socialism is and the definition of socialism is very important in distinguishing it from communism. Socialism and communism are related, but NOT synonyms by any means. Socialism is a theory advocating that the community must own or regulate the means of production, distribution, and exchange. On the other hand, communism advocates the idea that all property must be publicly owned and each person works and is paid according to their needs and abilities. I believe that communism is almost impossible to achieve or hasn't been achieved, for many reasons I do not wish to discuss here, while socialism may be more prevalent than we may realize. The chapter helped understand and see how today and in the past the government has made our economy fairly socialistic or planned, but this is not bad by any means it's just a fact of today's reality. Also, my last statement may be fiercely contested by some. Also, I may be wrong on many of my opinions and anybody should take into consideration that I am only a student and not an economist, so some of what I say may be inherently flawed. This is simply what my ideas were after reading the chapter and don't necessarily reflect my ideology in its entirety because there is much I have left to learn, but I try to remain balanced.