The word means 'of the people', as in 'Social services' means, services for the people, 'social security' means security for the people.
Some necessary governmental controlled socialistic programs are Library's, Fire Stations, Health Departments, Police Stations, Military, Road's, Bridges, Damns, Railroads, and State Parks. (I probably have not listed them all!)
A Democratic Socialist, is one who realizes that both socialism and capitalism must exist together in a Democracy. Capitalist need to produce goods and make a profit, but so also do the people need to make a wage that not only will sustain them, but to have extra for the people to purchase the capitalists goods.
Runaway capitalism, leads to worst than slavery, I say worst, because slaves were fed, and sheltered, at least enough to keep them alive, but some Capitalists today, would pay a person $1.00 or less an hour, and that would not pay for food or shelter.
Runaway socialism also could lead to slavery, as it would directly impact our freedoms. If we had only one boss, the government, we could not decide to seek another job.
Some have referred to 'democratic socialism', as 'regulated capitalism', but capitalism in full control, does NOT want to be regulated.
In the last 30 or so years, our vast middle class, has all but disappeared, we, the 99% of Americans, have been betrayed by both of our two party system's. We are no longer "One Nation Under God," and have become "One Nation Under Greed!" Both party's talk about 'serving the middle class' producing jobs, but both parties serve only the lobbyists.
An Independent Senator from Vermont, a Democratic Socialist, is running for the Democratic nomination and the 2016 presidential election. I have two blogs linked on the side panel about him, Senator Bernie Sanders. I believe that he is our only hope!