“Socialism has been wonderful for the countries of Scandinavia, and America should emulate their example.” Bernie Sanders, U. S. Senator
“The real key to Scandinavia’s unique success isn’t socialism, its culture.” Jeff Jacoby
WHEN BERNIE SANDERS was asked during CNN’s Democratic presidential debate how a self-proclaimed socialist could hope to be elected to the White House, he gave the answer he usually gives: Socialism has been wonderful for the countries of Scandinavia, and America should emulate their example.
“We should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway, and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people,” Sanders said. When the moderator turned to Hillary Clinton, she agreed that America has to “save capitalism from itself” and that, yes, Scandinavia is great. “I love Denmark,” declared Clinton. It was the only time in the debate a candidate uttered the verb “love.”
Liberals have had a crush on Scandinavia for decades. “It is a country whose very name has become a synonym for a materialist paradise,” observed Time magazinein a 1976 story on Sweden. “Its citizens enjoy one of the world’s highest living standards. . . . Neither ill-health, unemployment nor old age pose the terror of financial hardship. [Sweden’s] cradle-to-grave benefits are unmatched in any other free society outside Scandinavia.” In 2010, a National Public Radio story marveled at the way “Denmark Thrives Despite High Taxes.” The small Nordic nation, said NPR, “seems to violate the laws of the economic universe,” improbably balancing low poverty and unemployment rates with stratospheric taxes that were among the world’s highest. Continue reading