Thomas Sowell is always a great read. I’m currently working my way through is book, "Intellectuals and Society". In the preface Sowell states, "Intellectuals and Society, seeks instead to explain ideological differences by differing underlying assumptions about the facts of life, the nature of human beings, and the nature and distribution of knowledge". So far it’s been quite useful.
Below is a small excerpt form Dr. Sowell’s June 11th 2012, Washington Examiner opinion article.
It bothers me a little when conservatives call Barack Obama a "socialist." He certainly is an enemy of the free market, and wants politicians and bureaucrats to make the fundamental decisions about the economy. But that does not mean that he wants government ownership of the means of production, which has long been a standard definition of socialism.
What President Obama has been pushing for, and moving toward, is more insidious: government control of the economy, while leaving ownership in private hands. That way, politicians get to call the shots but, when their bright ideas lead to disaster, they can always blame those who own businesses in the private sector.
I recommend reading the entire article.
I also recommend Thomas Sowell’s very large but easy to read “Basic Economics”.