Ok, this is why it is so difficult to debate capitalism vs. socialism... neither can be disproven. Of course we can cherry pick examples and fill the next few pages in this thread. I still contend that the economies that experienced the most success did so when they liberalized and became raw free markets with little government intervention. These would later (if you view government as an organism seems natural that it intends to grow) shift towards socialist policies, and at this point, at the cost of economic growth.
Anyway, to approach it from a different angle, we just can't afford socialism. I've argued that socialist policies retards the growth of economies. Secondly, socialism is just too expensive and burdensome for the state. Someone has to pay for the social nets for societies losers. Should governments go into debt to pay for these benefits for its citizens? Is going increasingly into debt a viable long-term solution? Here's the world by current account balances... red means the country is indebted and green means it has a surplus:
The only non-Asian and a select few European ones surplus countries are essentially oil nations. Is the world going to continue to subsidize the laggards? If countries such as Norway or Venezuela weren't so fortunate to have large oil reserves do you think they would be able to pursue socialist policies?
In theory socialist policies sound all nice and ethical but we just cannot afford them. If the state taxes 40% of my income it also gives me less incentive to contribute to the economy. Benzo mentioned how he may be equally well off if he received less income. How's that good for the state? Not to sound too blunt but I'm going to guess that a handful of you that support socialist policies and redistribution of wealth probably do so because you're young and have a low income or just do not operate your own businesses. When I was in college I also had the "save the world" mentality but the real world is not so simple.
You can't just print money to pay for social programs without experiencing inflation and destruction of real wealth. If the US had a current accounts surplus then fine, support social programs as long as we maintain a surplus. If the vast majority of countries that are introducing socialist policies are heavily indebted then obviously it's not a viable long-term solution. There are only a finite supply of resources and governments are behaving like binge drinkers.