Democracy is a form of government in which all citizens take part. It is government of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Socialism is where we all put our resources together and work for the common good of us all and not just for our own benefit. In this sense, we are sharing the wealth within society.
Democratic Socialism consists of a democratic form of government with a mix of socialism and capitalism. To a Democratic Socialist, sharing the wealth means pooling tax money together to design social programs that benefit ALL citizens of that country, city, state, etc. The fire and police departments are both excellent examples of Democratic Socialism in America. Rather than leaving each individual responsible for protecting their own home from fire, everyone pools their money together, through taxes, to maintain a fire and police department. It’s operated under a non-profit status, and yes, your tax dollars pay for putting out other people’s fires.
Next time you hear republicans use the word “socialism” and “spreading the wealth” in the same breath, understand that this is a serious misconception, or maybe just another republican fear tactic. Democratic Socialism does NOT mean taking from the rich and giving to the poor. It works to benefit everyone so the rich can no longer take advantage of the poor and middle class.