Australia is, by current American terms, a socialist nation, although they in no way consider themselves socialist. The Republicans keep warning us that if we strengthen our social security net, we'll have exactly what Australia has: the dreaded socialist economy,
I can now tell you first-hand some of the effects of that wretched affliction. I took a niece and a nephew to the corner store for chocolate bars. Total bill, for 3 candy bars and one super-size candy bar: $16.95.
Then Sara and I took them to the movies. The tickets alone, for 2 adults and 2 children, were $61.00.
Yes, folks, everything costs twice as much here. I honestly haven't figured out how people survive on salaries that are basically the same as in the USA (except that the minimum wage here is $12 an hour). Yet everybody has plenty of stuff and they do plenty of things.
On the other hand, health care is not only subsidized, but cheaper. Even if you didn't apply to the government for reimbursement, you would still spend a lot less on health care here than in the USA. And the quality of care is about the same.
What that tells me is that Americans are getting really shafted by the health care industry - the same folks who raised insurance premiums %8 in a deflationary economy.