As I said in the thread you're apparently referring to, I believe MLK, Jr's definition of "socialism" as the redistribution of wealth - not from the public to the police department via taxation, as one poster claimed, but from one class to another in a given society.
Originally Posted by Magic Poriferan
This is from the Wikipedia article on Socialist economics:
Nationalization of key industries, such as mining, oil, steel, energy and transportation. A common model is for a sector to be taken over by the state and then one or more publicly owned corporations set up for its day-to-day running. Advantages of nationalization include: the ability of the state to direct investment in key industries, the distribution of state profits from nationalized industries for the overall national good, the ability to direct producers to social rather than market goals, greater control of the industries by and for the workers, and the benefits and burdens of publicly funded research and development are extended to the wider populace.
Redistribution of wealth, through both tax and spending policies that aim to reduce economic inequalities. Social democracies typically employ various forms of progressive taxation regarding wage and business income, wealth, inheritance, capital gains and property. On the spending side, a set of social policies typically provides free access to public services such as education, health care and child care, while subsidized access to housing, food, pharmaceutical goods, water supply, waste management and electricity is also common.
Social security schemes where workers contribute to a mandatory public insurance program. The insurance typically include monetary provisions for retirement pensions and survivor benefits, permanent and temporary disabilities, unemployment and parental leave. Unlike private insurance, governmental schemes are based on public statutes and not contracts, so that contributions and benefits may change in time and are based on solidarity among participants. Its funding is done on an ongoing basis, without direct relationship with future liabilities.
Minimum wages, employment protection and trade union recognition rights for the benefit of workers. The objectives of these policies are to guarantee living wages and help produce full employment. There are a number of different models of trade union protection which evolved, but they all guarantee the right of workers to form unions, negotiate benefits and participate in strikes. Germany, for instance, appointed union representatives at high levels in all corporations and had much less industrial strife than the UK, whose laws encouraged strikes rather than negotiation.
National planning for industrial development.
Demand management in a Keynesian fashion to help ensure economic growth and employment.
Obamacare, as well as Romneycare in Massachusetts, attempt to provide for the reduction or elimination of social inequalities by making health care insurance available to all.