A socialist country is a sovereign state in which everyone in society equally owns the factors of production. The peoples' ownership comes through a democratically elected government, through a cooperative, or through a public corporation in which every member of society owns shares.
The four factors of production are labor, capital goods, natural resources and entrepreneurship.
In a socialist country, people account for individual needs and social needs. The resources of the country go to both types of needs. Social needs include things like education, healthcare, defense, transportation and the preservation of natural resources, as well as caring for people who can't contribute to production (such as children, the elderly and the disabled).
Everyone in a socialist society receives a share of the production based on his or her contribution (except in the cases of people who cannot contribute, such as children, the elderly and the disabled). If a person wishes to earn more money in a socialist society, he or she can work more hours or change jobs.
Contrary to popular belief in some circles, Nazis were not socialists and under Adolf Hitler, Germany was not a socialist country.
While no country has implemented 100 percent socialism, the most socialist countries in the world include:
- The Netherlands
- New Zealand
- North Korea