Literally, Americans are searching for the meaning of socialism. In a year marked by the beginning of the economic crisis in the US, the online edition of the Merrian-Webster dictionary announced that the Word of the Year 2008 was ... bailout. Many of the other words in the list of the ten with the "the highest intensity of lookups on Merriam-Webster Online over the shortest period of time" were related either to the economic crisis and the uncertainty this generates (turmoil, precipice, rogue) and the US presidential election (maverick, bipartisan).
But number three in the list came the word socialism. Merrian-Webster Online claims traffic to their site "now exceeds 125 million individual page views per month", so that means many millions of US citizens are searching for the meaning of socialism. Surely a sign of the times!
On July 20th, 2009, the Business Roundtable put forward its ideas about social security.
Their programme was radical to say the least. In a nutshell, their proposal is to delegate the provision of welfare to organisations such as churches, iwi and other non-government organisations.
Proposed Referendum Wording
"Should the minimum wage be raised to $25 a hour and then in steps over the next three years until it reaches two-thirds of the average ordinary time hourly rate as recommended by the 1973 Royal Commission into Social Security"?