Different people mean different things when they use the
The same word describes a welfare state for some, and pure communism
Some of the more recognizable elements of modern socialism include management of health care procedures and prices, the bankrupt Social Security system, massive welfare for citizens, massive corporate welfare for patrons, wage and price controls, trade regulations, manipulation of currency through a central authority.
Today, while the US and Europe continue to embrace socialist policies and economics, former socialist economies - especially China - are experiencing unprecedented liberties and economic strengthening by allowing western free market conditions to flourish.
Free Markets and the West.
We also do not have "Free markets" but rather a plethora of regulations, entry barriers, licensing, oversight, officially sanctioned monopolies and outright control of financial and business matters.
The fundamental control of the US economy by the Federal Reserve, and the detrimental wealth-transfering effects of a deliberate policy of inflation and devaluation that benefit only a limited number of economic sectors, is yet another indication of the distance we have come from actual free market conditions.