Quote Originally Posted by dahoeb
Just to pursue this interesting discussion:

I think the reason most people simply refer to the redistribution of wealth or any other "nanny state welfare program (ex. universal healthcare) as "socialist" is simply because they (and I, for that matter) lack a more easy way to describe what that type of system is without writing a Master's Thesis on political science.

Even when one asks Google, "What is socialism?" it will tell you, "A political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole". It may not be precise to what our good friend Marx advocated or it might be missing the key detail you describe ("you must put into the system to take out") but I think the meaning and definition has simply been morphed by society or evolved to suit the times.
But ownership of the means of production, distribution, and exchange does not address the social welfare portion of it. I think people mistake social welfare programs as automatically being socialist in nature. They are not because these programs do not address the means of production.

Theoretically socialism should operate very similarly to capitalism but with the community as a whole benefitting from any profits from the means of production. The fault lies that, without extrinsic motivation to create something of value (ie profit), advancement is slowed.