Answering the question “how is socialism better than my current beliefs (liberal)?” Liberals don’t like income inequality so this answer mostly tackles that issue. This is not a formal document so there are probably a lot of grammatical errors and such but I thought I should post this anyway.
Massive inequality is inherent of the capitalist system. Even the famous economist Adam Smith who wrote ‘wealth of nations’, a popular book in the defense of capitalism, admits this. One of his quotes, (Paraphrasing) goes something like “for every well off person, there must be 100 poor persons”
Over 90% (and almost 100%) of the wealthy elite today make their money from “hard work” or some other false claim. It’s simply all inherited at this point. For example, Donald trump and his small loan of a million dollars. And other fortunes are made only through manipulations of the market and financial enterprises like the stick market. That’s not hard work, that’s just money trickery.
While on the other hand a poor families children will probably stay poor throughout the generations. Lives in poor area = can’t attend a quality school = can’t get into a good college (usually from lack of funds from that person because college is expensive) = can’t find good job = has kids in poor area = repeat. There are some exceptions to this cycle of poverty but it’s very rare.
Even in the often cited Nordic countries, wealth inequality is still growing, adding taxes just slows it down. Eventually it’ll be a very unequal society like America but slowed down, merely putting it on a leash. And with wealth inequality comes increased crime, drug usage, mental health issues in citizens, impoverished, organized crime, and a lot of other bad things.
A liberal idea to fixing this would be raising the minimum wage but that does nothing but create more unemployment. Because labour is a commodity that business owners have to buy and the price of his commodity is being raised therefore less of this will be purchased. Simple supply and demand. If someone you’re buying suddenly doubles in its price you’ll buy less of it.
In the Nordic countries there is no federal minimum wage but the workers there are unionized and they collectively bargain wages with their employers (which wouldn’t work in America because most of the workers think unions are bad for some reason)
But you can’t fix capitalism within itself. There are inherent contradictions within the system that will collapse sooner or later. The biggest of these being being between the wage labourer and employer. The employer will always want to make the largest profit possible so therefore give the lowest wage possible. On the other hand the worker will want his wage as high as possible and like all contradictions in nature, this will eventually play out and collapse. Like two slightly off centered gears in a clock that constantly tick against each other and each tick they become more off center. Eventually they’ll collapse and break the clock. In places where this contradictions was very bad there have been socialist revolutions or attempted socialist revolutions. Pretty much every single country on earth has at least attempted socialist revolution.
There were perfect conditions for socialist revolution in America after the great depressions and tons of people were joining in with communist party demonstrations and protests, even riots. But FDR came along and gave the workers their short term demands. Why short term? Because they were only short term solutions and as we’re seeing again, these same problems are rising once more. You’re only slowing down natural process by applying social democratic reform. Because these problems are inherent in capitalism.
How the business owner makes money/profit is also inherently exploitative. Remember how I said the business owner will want to make the largest profits as possible? Well he does this through leeching off of the workers productivity and steals the value they produce. For example, if a factory owner owned a factory and had ten workers and the workers produced, say, 1000$ worth of stuff every hour than naturally the ten workers each make 100$ an hour (assuming they all did the same amount of work and put in the same amount of effort) but because the owner doesn’t work he has to leech off of this and steal as much as possible from this. Usually resorting to the lowest legal wage possible. In this case let’s say the minimum wage is 5$ an hour. The business owner makes 950$ an hour and his workers only make 5$ an hour.
If these workers were organized they will demand higher and higher wages until eventually the owner can’t survive from this and the system collapses.
Under socialism, when executed properly (like in the USSR up until 1953 and socialist Albania under hoxha and a few other former socialist countries) the workplace is very different and seeks to eliminate what causes these contradictions in capitalism to begin with, instead of the liberal solution to just slowing down the development of these contradictions. In socialism, the workers themselves own and operate their own business democratically as opposed to having a dictatorial boss commanding every worker against their will. The workers in socialism all democratically decide, who does what, who gets paid what, what is made, where it’s made, what is done with what is made and other things. In the late 30s in the USSR, Stalin collectivized agriculture and after the farms were running under this system, record harvests were produced.
It’s proven that when workers have more control and say over their production they’re more productive and secure (as well as getting paid for the full value of their labour). In capitalism only 14% of workers polled say they feel engaged in their work. And it’s proven that when one is bossed around and has no control over what they have to do they’re more nervous, less productive, more likely to have errors, etc. and only socialism can fix these problems. In socialist Albania 52% of the land belonged to the peasants and there were no taxes on the workers. Remember how I said wealth inequality causes a lot of problems? Well when these problems are addressed with changing the system to socialism, they’re virtually eliminated. Socialist Albania had pretty much made violent crime a thing of the past (as well as completely wiping out some diseases, like malaria for example, with the socially owned and operated medical industry)
Socialism is simply the cure so the vast majority of our problems today.