For this week’s installment of my pushback against the rising tide of Socialism in America, I would like to expose the popular myth that socialism works in Nordic countries. This is a favorite point made by Bernie Sanders, who allegedly wants to make us just a little more like Denmark or Sweden. Well, if that’s the case, it certainly won’t happen by following his Socialist agenda!
Here’s from an article titled, “Ten Facts You Need to Know about the Nordic Socialist Myth” by Donald Kendal (www.stoppingsocialism.com).
“When confronted with facts about the failed history of Socialism, advocates tend to fall back on a common refrain – “that wasn’t real socialism.” They will inevitably follow up by saying they support the “Nordic” model of socialism, sometimes called “Democratic Socialism.”
Bernie Sanders, for example, brings up Nordic countries frequently when defending socialism. “When I talk about democratic socialism, I’m not looking at Venezuela. I’m not looking at Cuba. I’m looking at countries like Denmark and Sweden,” he said.
Socialists and progressives alike paint Sweden and other Nordic countries as borderline utopias and proof that their reimagining of society works well.”*
But, as the article points out, not only are Sweden and Denmark not socialist countries, Denmark is actually economically more free than the United States!
“The Heritage Foundation produces an annual report titled the ‘Index of Economic Freedom.’ This report ranks countries based on several metrics, including “Business Freedom,” “Labor Freedom,” “Property Rights,” and “Trade Freedom.” In Heritage’s 2020 rankings, Denmark came in 8th place among all nations. Sweden came in 22nd. Norway came in a respectable 28th. All three of these countries ended up in the “Mostly Free” category. (For comparison, the United States ranked below Denmark, in 17th place.)”*
The inconvenient truth is that there’s almost no similarity between these country’s governments and Bernie Sander’s Marxist form of socialism. In fact, they’re moving further away from their former experimentations with this failed idealogy. Not to mention, none of these Nordic countries even have minimum wage laws!
Here’s a great supplemental video that’s quite eye-opening on how Sweden is NOT a socialist success. We could learn a lot from Sweden, but not as Bernie supposes. Quite the opposite!
Okay, so here’s the list of ten facts from the article that Bernie Sanders doesn’t want you to know about so-called “Nordic Socialism”:
- Denmark, Norway, and Sweden are not socialist nations (Sweden did try a form of socialism in the 1970’s-1980’s, but that was an abject failure.)
- Danes, Norwegians, and Swedes are not better off than most Americans.
- In Sweden, as well as in Denmark and Norway, ALL citizens pay high tax rates (that includes the poor!)
- ‘Nordic Socialist’ countries have low corporate tax rates.
- ‘Free college’ is not really that ‘free.’ (70% of Swedish students take out school loans).
- Nordic countries have similar college enrollment rates despite ‘free’ tuition.
- Nordic countries are moving away from their socialist past, not toward it.
- Sweden embraces school choice (which forces public schools to compete).
- Norway benefits (hugely) from fossil fuels. (I highly doubt they would embrace AOC’s Green New Deal that seeks to eliminate fossel fuels!)
- Some ‘Nordic Socialist’ countries are now moving toward privatizing parts of their health care systems.
You can read the article here (or watch video below) for the detailed explanations and data behind these ten facts. But, sorry, Bernie, when you and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez extol the virtues of socialism, you are talking about Venezuela, certainly not Sweden, Demark, or Norway!
The truth is, there really are no “Socialist” countries in Western Europe. The only difference is, they may offer more government benefits than the U.S. does. But it takes free-market capitalism and innovation to sustain their programs (at the cost of a very high tax rate paid by everyone, not just the wealthy).
As it’s been said, the greatest enemy of socialism is reality.
ADDENDUM VIDEO INTERVIEW: “Debunking The Many Myths of Sweden | Aron Flam & Henrik Jönsson | INTERNATIONAL | Rubin Report”