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TheStreet Open House

The 10 Most 'Socialist' States in America

Updated to include the 10 least socialist states in America.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Although ObamaCare is a controversial achievement by President Obama and the Democrats, Republican opposition has been repeating the same complaints: it's bad for the economy and bad for Americans, it's an unwelcome expansion of government, it's not working, and it's socialism.

Socialism at its core is a political term applied to an economic system in which individual property, like money, is held and used in common, within a state or a country as an attempt to equalize the standard of living for the average citizen.

In a completely socialist society, there would be no money. Basic needs such as food, shelter, education and healthcare would be available and provided to everyone, so division of classes based on wealth would not exist.

But if America is really turning into a more socialist country, then where can we see evidence of this happening? Are any states becoming socialist before our eyes? And if so, how do we define the most socialist state, you ask? 

In order to measure the degree to which different states reflect socialist principles, we determined state expenditures and state GDP as the best indicators because socialist states tax and spend a higher percentage of their GDP. We used data on the total state expenditures for fiscal year 2013 from the most recent National Association of State Budget Officers report and pulled 2013 gross domestic product by state data from the Bureau of Economic Analysis.

The math? Simple. The FY2013 state expenditure divided by the state's 2013 GDP. 

After all the number crunching, we have come up with the 10 least socialist states in America followed by the 10 most socialist... 



#10 Least Socialist State - Illinois

Total State Expenditures (FY 2013): $66.4 Billion

Gross Domestic Product (2013): $671.4 Billion

Expenditures as Proportion of GDP: 9.90%

The state of Illinois is the 10th least socialist state in America with an economy driven by agriculture and manufacturing.

Republicans prevail in both Chicago's suburban "collar counties" and the rural northern and central Illinois, as well as in southern Illinois. However, in recent elections, the Democratic Party has gained ground and it has come to be seen as a "blue state", currently led by Gov. Pat Quinn (D).

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