Socialism Lesson for Kids: Definition, Explanation & Facts

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  • 0:04 A Perfect World
  • 1:06 Comparisons
  • 1:47 Problems With Socialism
  • 2:39 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Corrie Boone

Corrie holds master's in elementary education, taught elementary ESL in the public schools for 5 years, and recently was teaching EFL abroad.

Socialism is a system for running a government. In this lesson, you'll learn how socialism differs from the type of government found in the United States in terms of business, property, and taxes.

A Perfect World

Imagine living in a country where everyone was taken care of and there were no homeless people, no starving children, no extravagantly rich people or seriously poor people. This is the guiding idea behind socialism. Socialism assumes everyone is willing to share their resources and wealth with others. Everyone has what he/she needs and won't go without. Sounds perfect, right? Well, just as with any other societal model, socialism has it's pros and cons. Let's learn about them!

Socialism is a system based on cooperation where everyone works together to provide equally for everyone else. But, socialism differs according to the country. In one country, the people may own properties and resources collectively. The people also make all of the decisions, which are regulated by the government to ensure equality.

Another country may have a form of democratic socialism, in which private property and private businesses are allowed. Citizens are taxed at a very high rate and the money is used to provide services like healthcare, dental care, and education.


In America, we have a system called democratic capitalism, which is based on competition. Democratic means we get to vote for the leaders of our country; capitalism means that we get to own businesses and land, and there's no limit to how much money we can make.

However, not all countries are democratic or capitalistic. In some countries, the government tries to distribute money and resources equally. However, in countries based on communism, you're not allowed to own land, and the government controls and owns all of the businesses. Socialism falls somewhere between capitalism and communism and tries to include the best of both systems.

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