Okay, as promised on another thread a few days ago...
For most of my working life to this point, I've worked directly for the owners of small businesses. One is a law firm and that has a different character than most businesses, so let me focus on the other one.
This business was started by two entrepreneurs, both of whom were successful in their careers before they started this business. One was more of an investor but the other, we'll call him Pete, was the engineer in the throttle.
Pete probably sunk close to a quarter of a million dollars in cash and incurred liabilities. Pete could have instead gotten a management job with a different company, but chose to create this business instead. I personally watched Pete over many years work his butt off to build this company. He worked long hours and weekends. He read everything he could about the industry and literally moved across the country for the sake of the business.
I worked for Pete almost since the begining of the business. I also worked hard, at a below market wage in exchange for promises of future rewards and because it was a job I loved doing. But, a key difference that never once escaped my attention was that whereas I risked almost nothing other than some time put in at below market wage, Pete would be ruined financially if the business failed. I watched him during downturns sink more and more time and money into the business, at times worrying that he was throwing good money after bad. I was never willing to take any financial risk myself (though I was offered).
Fortunately, the business has done fairly well. Not enough to make anyone rich, but enough to return Pete his investment and to be paying market rate salaries. Excess profits are still being re-invested in new technologies and services for the business. Other employees, other than the few originals of us, have worked at market rate salaries during their entire tenure. They have taken no risk on the company.
Now, assume that some government bureaucrat walks in and says "Well, let's divide this company's profits based on production. Everyone will get reasonable back salaries for the times they were unpaid or underpaid and henceforth, everyone gets what they product. Pete, sh76, you're producing roughly the same value for the company right now. So, we're nationalizing the company and you each get equal salaries from now on. Giving Pete a higher salary than sh76 is unfair because it allows Pete to profit on sh76's back."
In my view, this is not only stupid (because it discourages the Petes of the World from starting new businesses), but it is also immoral. Pete worked his heart out and was willing to take the risks to build the business. I wasn't. I deserve some credit for building the business, but not as much as Pete does. For Pete and I to be granted equal salaries because we produce the same amount would be disgusting. Without Pete, there would be no business and the US economy would lack a good producer, employer and service provider. Without me, Pete may have found a dozen other people who could have done what I did (though I'd like to think maybe not as well). Pete deserves to own the company, to be able to sell it to the highest bidder and to be able to realize the profits that the market gives him. I deserve my negotiated salary and those promised rewards. Our employees deserve the salaries that the market will bear for them. To say that they, who took no risk, deserve as much as does Pete, who took a tremendous risk, or even I, who took a moderate risk, is absurd.
If Pete makes a lot of money, should he pay the taxes necessary to fund necessary social programs? Sure. But should his profits be confiscated through taxation calculated to re-distribute wealth simply because a political philosophy has determined that he doesn't deserve profits any more than the workers? That thought sickens me.
Would I support any Socialist-like policies in certain fields like healthcare if they were necessary and efficient? Maybe. Depends on the industry and the program. Do I support taxation and some wealth re-distribution that is necessary to maintain reasonable standards of living for people? Again, if it's done reasonably, I'm fine with it.
But would I support socialism as a philosophy? Never in a million years. I abhor it.