What is E. J. Dionne smoking???

In his homage to socialism yesterday, E. J. Dionne made the following observation:

And if we Americans are honest with ourselves, we'll acknowledge that we often ignore the ideological claptrap we mouth to the world. Yes, it's to our benefit that we are largely a free-market country. But two of our most popular and effective government programs are, for all practical purposes, socialist. Medicare socializes the health care costs that the elderly would otherwise face themselves. Taxpayers collectively pick up their tab, and it's the right thing to do. Similarly, Social Security, as its name implies, socializes part of the cost of financing pensions.

I concede the 'popular' description; public schooling has rendered critical thinking obselete, and today, these programs might well be popular, especially among people who have been paying into the system with promises that they will be 'taken care of' when the time comes.

But effective? Since when? I guess that pyramid schemes are now considered effective. Taking money by force from people to give back it to them after skimming of the top is now considered effective.

Good thing not everything is that effective.

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