There was something that Bill Maher said that made sense to me -
It makes sense. Look at unbridled capitalism such as in the 1890's-1910's, the "Gilded age" I think it is sometimes referred to as. The wealthy had wealth beyond belief - but for the common man it was terrible.Maher then argued “so what’s happening is, the Democrats are proposing to nibble around the edges of our middle-class problem, and the Republicans are pretending to care while they go back to servicing eight rich d*ckheads who own coal mines, and no one is telling the truth, which is that the large, thriving middle class that America used to have didn’t just appear out of the blue. It was created, using an economic tool called Socialism. I know, we never use that term here in buzzword nation, but that is exactly what our government did after World War II, it taxed the rich up to 90%, and massively redistributed that money through the GI Bill so that more than half the population benefited from free college, free job training, cheap mortgages, and much, much more. Yes, for a brief, shining moment, we were Finland. Now, we can debate whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing to go back to, but what is beyond debate is that that is what happened, the 50’s and 60’s are the era of Socialism in America.”
He continued “a middle class is actually not the normal byproduct of capitalism. Ask any historian, a middle class is actually a fluke in history, like in the 14th century, a middle class was created in Europe when, during the Black Plague, a third of the population died.”
I don't think you can argue that these are not socialistic programs - things like worker's compensation, overtime compensation and other labor laws, the GI Bill, Unions and other factors led to a great strengthening of America's middle class. That middle class is again dying out in America, or at least rapidly decreasing.
Of course, it cut into the profits of the Barons of the Gilded age, as they could not run labor under their virtual slave labor methods, but it was better for the common man.
A "strong" America - what does that mean? That our wealthy are the wealthiest in the world, or that our general population is wealthy? We are the first, not the second.