Many snickered when I stated emphatically that it was versions of communism and socialism that was being taught in public schools. They really didn’t want to deal with that reality. Others snickered when I said that Democrats like Obama and Clinton were functional socialists—that their political ideology was driven by Karl Marx and that liberalism in general had the goal of socialism. Well, the times are what they are—drug abusers want legalized pot, the lazy want great pay for little work, and two decades of children have been raised on liberal causes like global warming, Keynesian economics, and philosophies of collectivism. And now they are ready for socialism in America—openly. That is why Bernie Sanders feels that he now has a platform for a presidential run. Old Democrats like George Stephanopulous are used to hiding their love of socialism behind cocktail parties and racist issues so to deflect attention away from their intentions. But Sanders is one of the only open socialists in the U.S. government. To his credit, at least he’s honest about his intentions. His open embrace of socialism made Stephanopulous cringe a bit in the following interview. While watching, remember I have been saying this kind of stuff for a long time—longer than Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh or any other modern pundit. What follows is a bit of an article from a millennial website obviously proud of Sanders. This is what we are up against. These are not the Democrats of the 1990s. These are no longer ashamed of their socialism. These Democrats are openly advocating it—and because the youth has already been trained in socialism from their public schools, they are likely to vote in favor of it.
After raising more in 24 hours than each of the declared GOP candidates individually, Vermont senator and self-described democratic socialist Bernie Sanders went on ABC’s This Week to let America—and the D.C. pundit class that has already written him off—know he’s a real player in 2016.
“For 30 years I’ve been standing up for workers of this country and I think I’m the only candidate who is prepared to take on the billionaire class which now controls our economy and increasingly controls the political life in this country. We need a political revolution in this country.”
After a bit of half-snark from Stephanopulous over his embrace of the “S” word, Sanders went on to defend democratic socialism and explain, in detail, why America should be trying to emulate Northern European countries rather than belittle them. The ABC host and former Bill Clinton advisor tried to pin the Vermont senator down, musing aloud, “I can hear the Republican attack ad now: [Sanders] wants America to look like Scandinavia,” to which Sanders deadpanned in response, “That’s right. And what’s wrong with that?”
The Nordic Model that Sanders likes so much is a joke; the GDP of those Nordic countries is like comparing a fly to an elephant. They may both be creatures of biological design, but that is the end of their similarities. The United States has a GDP of over $17 trillion per year, Sweden only has $570 billion, Denmark $340 billion, Finland $271 billion, and Norway $500,000. Most of that GDP is exports from companies Ikea, but other than that, there’s not much going on economically. Yet this is what socialists like Sanders are advocating for.
- An elaborate social safety net in addition to public services such as free education and universal healthcare.
- Strong property rights, contract enforcement, and overall ease of doing business.
- Public pension plans.
- Low barriers to free trade. This is combined with collective risk sharing (social programs, labour market institutions) which has provided a form of protection against the risks associated with economic openness.
- Little product market regulation. Nordic countries rank very high in product market freedom according to OECD rankings.
- Low levels of corruption. In Transparency International’s 2014 Corruption Perceptions Index all five Nordic countries were ranked among the 12 least corrupt of 176 evaluated countries, and Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Norway all ranked within top 5.
- High percentage of workers belonging to a labour union. In 2010, labour union density was 69.9% in Finland, 68.3% in Sweden, and 54.8% in Norway. In comparison, labour union density was 12.9% in Mexico and 11.3% in the United States. The lower union density in Norway is mainly explained by the absence of a Ghent system since 1938. In contrast, Denmark, Finland and Sweden all have union-run unemployment funds.
- A partnership between employers, trade unions and the government, whereby these social partners negotiate the terms to regulating the workplace among themselves, rather than the terms being imposed by law. Sweden has decentralised wage co-ordination, while Finland is ranked the least flexible. The changing economic conditions have given rise to fear among workers as well as resistance by trade unions in regards to reforms. At the same time, reforms and favorable economic development seem to have reduced unemployment, which has traditionally been higher. Denmark’s Social Democrats managed to push through reforms in 1994 and 1996 (see flexicurity).
- Sweden at 56.6% of GDP, Denmark at 51.7%, and Finland at 48.6% reflects very high public spending. One key reason for public spending is the large number of public employees. These employees work in various fields including education, healthcare, and for the government itself. They often have lifelong job security and make up around a third of the workforce (more than 38% in Denmark). Public spending in social transfers such as unemployment benefits and early-retirement programs is high. In 2001, the wage-based unemployment benefits were around 90% of wage in Denmark and 80% in Sweden, compared to 75% in the Netherlands and 60% in Germany. The unemployed were also able to receive benefits several years before reductions, compared to quick benefit reduction in other countries.
- Public expenditure for health and education is significantly higher in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway in comparison to the OECD average.
- Overall tax burdens (as a percentage of GDP) are among the world’s highest; Sweden (51.1%), Denmark (46% in 2011), and Finland (43.3%), compared to non-Nordic countries like Germany (34.7%), Canada (33.5%), and Ireland (30.5%).
- The United Nations World Happiness Report 2013 shows that the happiest nations are concentrated in Northern Europe, with Denmark topping the list. The Nordics ranked highest on the metrics of real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, generosity and freedom from corruption.
- The Nordic countries received the highest ranking for protecting workers rights on the International Trade Union Confederation’s 2014 Global Rights Index, with Denmark being the only nation to receive a perfect score.
Even though per capita income is high in these Nordic Model countries their average tax rates are hovering around 50%. So a $50,000 a year income is only $25,000 a year in useable income. Socialists like Sanders will tell supporters about the nice quiet life in Scandinavia, how happy people are, how long their vacations are—how all their educations were paid for—but what they don’t talk about is how they are not a people creating much of anything new, and that their economic power is largely dependent on their exports from markets that are rich because of capitalism. The Nordic Model is like socialism itself, a bunch of smoke and mirrors—and in the end all its really good for is some cheap meatballs at Ikea along with a table that breaks the first time a child falls into it.
Yet the point of this particular article isn’t to show what an embarrassment the Nordic Model is compared to the United States, or even a country of comparable landmass, such as Japan—it is to show that all along socialists were advocating these Democratic values intending always to advance socialism as a socially acceptable means of political and economic approach. Bernie Sanders in all his ignorance and naiveté is at war with billionaires because he assumes that they have an obligation to share their wealth—as if wealth is a finite resource that all people are born into. He does not know or understand that wealth is created, and that rich people make wealth because of the prospect of profit. When you take away the motivation to elevate oneself by giving them free education, free housing, long vacations and free health care, that you get a population of cattle that is happy to just graze in the field living off the efforts of others. Of course they’ll be happy to eat when someone puts food in their trough, and sleep in the provided shelter. But don’t ask them to invent anything new, or to advance the state of life in the world—because their minds are turned off—fat, dumb and happy. And that is what Democrats like Bernie Sanders always intended with their love of socialism.