The words "socialist" and "socialism" are often used as insults by those on the political far Right, especially in the United States – often as a synonym for communism, which is incorrect ("socialism" is ownership by the people, whereas "communism" is ownership by the government plus single-party rule).
Socialism is actually a highly beneficial governance tool; countries with strong socialist policies tend to have a higher standard of living and economies that rebound more robustly after economic crises.
Antipathy towards socialism is generally driven by plutocrats who wish to maximize their profit margins to the detriment of society as a whole, and who consequently spend enormous amounts of money generating anti-socialist propaganda to convince the masses to support corporate predation.
2015 Index of Economic Freedom: Country Rankings - Even the Heritage Foundation agrees that socialist countries are among the more free countries in the world
- comments: "Hong Kong and Singapore are both socialist countries, using light taxes on very large companies to generate enough money to provide citizens with guaranteed housing, sprawling public services, and so on. [...] New Zealand, Australia, and Switzerland round out the top and all are immensely more socialist than is the US. [..] Further down, the US sits below Canada and Denmark, both states that Heritage regularly believes socialism has otherwise destroyed. Yet there they are, more free economically than the US."