If there’s one thing I’ve never had someone disagree with me about politically, it’s that our economy is pretty much garbage. But why?

President Reagan introduced the idea of trickle-down economics, the economic theory that by allowing capitalism to run freely corporations will gain lots of money, their leaders will have lots of money, and they’ll spend lots of money, therefore putting back into the economy and making it prosper.

The issue, though, is that’s not what actually happens. In practice, when individuals gain large amounts of money, they begin to hoard that money. Sure they buy extravagant things we all dream of having, but most of their money is collected and held onto so it can accumulate.

The problem with this is that there’s only so much money in our country. We print more money all the time, but having more money doesn’t increase the wealth of our country and having more money for the same amount of wealth deteriorates the value of the USD. It’s why a burger used to cost your grandfather a nickel. That burger is still worth the same amount of money, but the USD value is so much lower now that it’s numerically more money while ultimately being the same price.

Having the majority of the money in our country held by the richest 20 percent means there isn’t enough money for the other 80 percent to buy what they need to buy, which means more money has to be printed, so the value of the dollar decreases and our economy continues to deteriorate.

So how do we fix that? Socialism. Yes, socialism: that dirty word your mother shrieks every time President Obama comes on the television.

What people are afraid of with socialism is that economically it involves a redistribution of wealth. And that is true, but in America the only redistribution would come from the top 20 percent who possess over 80 percent of all the money in America, those who have an amount of money inconceivable and ever increasing at the expense of the lower class.

But that’s not okay, right? We can’t just take money from people. They earned it.

Sure, they did earn it, and maybe it is unfair to take away some of the money they earned, but it’s more unfair that an estimated 45,000,000 Americans are below the poverty line and the reason they’re there is because of the hoarding of wealth by the top 20 percent. The system of trickle-down economics has been unchecked and allows the upper class to exploit those below them to continue to have financial gain at the expense of the middle and lower class. The money they keep accruing isn’t coming from nowhere, it’s coming from people who don’t have the money to spare in the first place.

The upper class takes advantage of the middle and lower classes because the system lets them. So the only solution is to change the system.

What happens if we institute socialism? Well, clearly Americans don’t want pure socialism. We still love the idea of the American dream and earning wealth beyond our wildest dreams or of one day winning the lottery and becoming obscenely rich. Still, that’s possible with socialism.

Socialism doesn’t necessarily mean that every 1 percent of the population has 1 percent of the wealth. It doesn’t mean every single person has the exact same amount of money and, whether you have an easy job or a hard job, you all make the same amount. It means that the rich are still rich, but the poor are no longer helpless.

Socialism isn’t about taking things away from some people and giving it to people who aren’t willing to work as hard, as some may think. Socialism is an idea greater than just an economical practice. It’s the idea that everyone can live a happy and fulfilled life and not live in fear of poverty, a real and present threat to most Americans.

Through a form of modified socialism that allows for a thriving, market-based economy, America can have a fair distribution of wealth that leaves an upper, middle, and lower class, but doesn’t leave anyone with so little money that they can’t pay their bills.