The Danes aren’t too happy about Bernie Sanders praising their country as an example of a socialist success story.
As reported by Investors Business Daily:
The Danes apparently have grown weary of Sen. Bernie Sanders insulting their country. Denmark is not a socialist nation, says its prime minister. It has a “market economy.”
Sanders, the Democratic presidential candidate who calls himself a socialist, has used Denmark as the example of the socialist utopia he wants to create in America. During the Democrats’ first debate last month, he said “we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway, and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people.”
While speaking at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, the center-right Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said he was aware “that some people in the U.S. associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism.”
“Therefore,” he said, “I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy.”
Rasmussen acknowledged that “the Nordic model is an expanded welfare state which provides a high level of security to its citizens,” but he also noted that it is “a successful market economy with much freedom to pursue your dreams and live your life as you wish.”
To that we’ll add that Sweden, another of Sanders’ inspirations, has for decades quietly moved away from its cradle-to-grave form of government welfare. And the Swedes are better off for having done so, just as the Danes will continue to be better off as their government overhauls its welfare state.
Indeed, the socialist presidential candidate apparently doesn’t know what socialism is – government control of land, labor, and capital. The Nordic countries that Sanders cited do indeed have large welfare states and are wealthy countries, but they became wealthy before these quasi-socialist policies went into effect – and have largely stagnated since. As the article mentioned, this is why Sweden is slowly transitioning away from these sorts of policies.
Sanders wants us to learn from countries like Sweden and Denmark – and that means learning from their failures and reducing the role of government in our lives.
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