Bernie Sanders is wrong on democratic socialism in Sweden, and everywhere else

  
Via:  freewill  •  one week ago  •  43 comments

By:   Daniel Schatz, visiting scholar at New York University’s Center for European and Mediterranean Studies

Bernie Sanders is wrong on democratic socialism in Sweden, and everywhere else
Sanders’ argument takes as its starting point the perception that the Scandinavian “third-way” economic model of democratic socialism — combining the wealth creation of capitalism with the safety net of socialism — works well, and that the U.S. could reach the same socioeconomic outcomes and prosperity by expanding the role of government. But as a Scandinavian political scientist who has studied Nordic politics, economy and history in depth, I do not feel the Bern.
"The Vermont senator has embraced an urban legend; his love affair with Scandinavian socialism gets it all wrong".

Interesting historical perspective on Bernie Sander's appeal for a society modeled after Scandinavian "democratic socialism". Scandinavian historical and economic researchers feel that Mr. Sanders needs to crack a few books and understand history before assuming that the policies he is championing were successful or even helpful in the Nordic Countries. 

In fact, when we examine Nordic politics, economy and history as exemplified by Sweden, we find that the Northern European success story was not achieved thanks to a welfare model funded by high taxes, but perhaps despite it. It is high time Sanders stops misleading his followers on this score.

Rather than persistently suggesting that the American Dream can be realized by expanding government or raising taxes, it is time for Sanders and his comrades to go back to school and study history. The true lesson to be learned from the Scandinavian experience is that the Nordic-style welfare-state models haven’t worked nearly as well as American democratic socialists like to pretend.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T



Research has suggested that the Northern European success story has its roots in cultural rather than economic factors. The  Scandinavian countries of Sweden, Norway and Denmark , which have a combined population roughly comparable to the greater New York City area, historically developed remarkably high levels of social trust, a robust work ethic and considerable social cohesion, according to economic  experts and scholars such as  Assar Lindbeck and  Nima Sanandaji .

These societal qualities predate — and are independent from — the formation of the modern welfare state. Indeed, on that foundation, a prosperous economy was built before the welfare states we know today were established.

Eleven years before Adam Smith published his classic book “The Wealth of Nations” in 1776, regarded as the foundation of contemporary economic thought, a   Swedish parliamentarian had already published   his own work advocating for the necessity of free markets in fostering economic prosperity.


Tags

jrDiscussion - desc
smarty_function_ntUser_is_admin: user_id parameter required
[]
 
Freewill
1  seeder  Freewill    one week ago

I thought this might be an interesting follow-up to TiG's article "Is Bernie Sanders a Communist?"  Much discussion centered around the fact that Bernie describes himself as a "Democratic Socialist" and models many of his policies around those of the Nordic or Scandinavian countries.  But in reviewing the history, are such policies really what made those societies successful post WW2, or are they something that came later after the economic success and are now more likely responsible for the issues those societies face today?

Interesting follow-up read HERE .

 
 
 
TᵢG
1.1  TᵢG  replied to  Freewill @1    one week ago

I agree, a very relevant follow-up.

 
 
 
Krishna
2  Krishna    one week ago

Normally Bernie;s views wouldn't really be an important issue. But since Bernie has won the Democratic nomination, there's a good chance he will become the next President-- and plunge the country into Socialism!

So...thanks for bringing this up at this important time in our history!

 
 
 
Freewill
2.1  seeder  Freewill  replied to  Krishna @2    one week ago
and plunge the country into Socialism

Nah.... Just plunge us into a lesson that was already learned by the Nordic countries in the 1990's, but is currently ignored by (or worse yet unbeknownst to) self-proclaimed "Socialists" or "Democratic Socialists" running for office in this country.  It is a matter of not understanding history and eventually dooming us by repeating it.

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.1.1  TᵢG  replied to  Freewill @2.1    one week ago

I would argue that it is flat out impossible for the USA to plunge into socialism (an economic system wherein the productive resources of the economy are democratically controlled by the people in contrast to control by a minority: government officials, aristocracy, capitalists or a combination).

 
 
 
Freewill
2.1.2  seeder  Freewill  replied to  TᵢG @2.1.1    one week ago
I would argue that it is flat out impossible for the USA to plunge into socialism

Even after the worst Mad Max scenario imaginable.  That is what makes me wonder if true "democratic or libertarian socialism" will ever be anything more than just an interesting theory, totally unsuitable for the human species.

 
 
 
TᵢG
2.1.3  TᵢG  replied to  Freewill @2.1.2    one week ago

Might be.   My position is that society must evolve considerably before socialism would emerge.   If it is not an emergent property of society (a natural evolution based on what the people want and coupled with their level of interest, ambition, etc.) then it makes no sense.   That is why the notion that 'socialism' = 'force by the state' is so ridiculous.   How on Earth could an authoritarian state force the people to cooperate in democratic control over the resources of the economy?   ( It is a contradiction. )   Force and voluntary cooperation are opposites.

 
 
 
TᵢG
3  TᵢG    one week ago
Sanders’ argument takes as its starting point the perception that the Scandinavian “third-way” economic model of democratic socialism — combining the wealth creation of capitalism with the safety net of socialism — works well, and that the U.S. could reach the same socioeconomic outcomes and prosperity by expanding the role of government.

This is social democracy , not Democratic Socialism .    Sanders has conflated these two for years.    The ' safety net' is a result of statism; not socialism.   Every major nation has a safety net of some kind, and they are operating on capitalist, not socialist economies.

A prosperous economy was built before the welfare states we know today were established.

Necessarily , I might add.

In fact, when we examine Nordic politics, economy and history as exemplified by Sweden, we find that the Northern European success story was not achieved thanks to a welfare model funded by high taxes, but perhaps despite it. It is high time Sanders stops misleading his followers on this score.

Social democracy is a drain model; it leverages a successful capitalist engine.   This can only go on for so long.

Since then, Sanders and his supporters should be aware, Sweden actually worked to revise its economic model based on lessons drawn from its recession. State-owned companies were sold and financial markets were deregulated; public monopolies were replaced with competition.

State owned companies is state capitalism.   Hindering market based competition is a loser.

Rather than persistently suggesting that the American Dream can be realized by expanding government or raising taxes, it is time for Sanders and his comrades to go back to school and study history.

True

 
 
 
Freewill
3.1  seeder  Freewill  replied to  TᵢG @3    one week ago
Social democracy is a drain model; it leverages a successful capitalist engine.   This can only go on for so long.

Indeed.  I had not heard this term "third-way social democracy" until reading this article and the document at the second link I provided in my comment above.  In that document they don't really define it other than to describe it as the period from 1970 to 1990 when the "welfare state" began to take hold in Sweden mostly, but also throughout Scandinavia, and then the lessons they learned from it during the 90's as they realized they needed to dial it back and focus again on what made them a successful society to begin with. 

The third-way radical social democratic era in Scandinavia, much admired by the left, only lasted from the early 1970s to the early 1990s. The rate of business formation during the third-way era was dreadful. In 2004, 38 of the 100 businesses with the highest revenues in Sweden had started as privately owned businesses within the country. Of these firms, just two had been formed after 1970. None of the 100 largest firms ranked by employment were founded within Sweden after 1970. Furthermore, between 1950 and 2000, although the Swedish population grew from 7 million to almost 9 million, net job creation in the private sector was close to zero.

This book also goes into detail about the history, culture and economy of the Nordic countries after the introduction:

If one disregards the importance of thinking carefully about causality, the argument for adopting a Scandinavian-style economic policy in other nations seems obvious. The Nordic nations – in particular Sweden, which is most often used as an international role model – have large welfare states and are successful. This is often seen as proof that a third-way policy between socialism and capitalism works well, and that other societies can reach the same favourable social outcomes simply by expanding the size of government. If one studies Nordic history and society in depth, however, it quickly becomes evident that the simplistic analysis is flawed.

I am regularly amazed at the persistence of several tenacious fallacies regarding the Nordic countries. In this tightly argued monograph Nima Sanandaji has performed a service by addressing them one by one and marshalling evidence and logic to explain the history of Nordic economic success and the genesis, impact and reform of their welfare states. No one who reads this work will be able to repeat, at least not without a bad conscience, the familiar slogans about Nordic socialism, third-way policies or how high taxes and state-guaranteed incomes beget economic growth and engender and nurture moral responsibility and community spirit.

The lag between perception and reality is especially glaring in the case of the Swedish model. Outside Sweden the serious reforms initiated in the 1990s seem not to have been noticed and ‘third wayers’ continue to act as if Sweden had not liberalised the economy, introduced competition in the production of government-funded services, lowered tax rates and reformed state benefit systems. To most of the ‘Swedish model’ boosters, it is still 1975.

It is an easily overlooked truism that a re-distributive system presupposes something to redistribute. The Nordic countries enjoyed robustly productive economic systems before the welfare states we know today were established.

Indeed prosperity in these countries occurred well before the welfare state came into vogue, and after 20 years of experience trying to cope with the beast that was born by the "third-wayers" those systems were dismantled or redesigned, taxes were lowered and pro-business policies based on market competition and capitalism were re-introduced in the early 90's.  All of course overlooked by those holding up the Swedish example of 1970-1990 as one we should emulate, when in fact the opposite lesson is what they should have been learned.

 
 
 
Freewill
3.1.1  seeder  Freewill  replied to  Freewill @3.1    one week ago
is what they should have been learned

Try that again

is what they should have learned.  

Anyway we can expand the time period to correct brain farts in our posts TiG?

 
 
 
TᵢG
3.1.2  TᵢG  replied to  Freewill @3.1    one week ago
The Nordic nations – in particular Sweden, which is most often used as an international role model – have large welfare states and are successful. This is often seen as proof that a third-way policy between socialism and capitalism works well, and that other societies can reach the same favourable social outcomes simply by expanding the size of government.

I wish authors would stop perpetuating the confused notion that socialism = statist social programs (aka welfare states).    Social democracies are a blend of statist policies of a 'benevolent' state based on a capitalist economy.   Socialism is not social programs (aka welfare states), it is an economic system that is arguably the polar opposite of capitalism.

... slogans about Nordic socialism ...

No such thing.   The Nordic nations are capitalist, not socialist.

Indeed prosperity in these countries occurred well before the welfare state came into vogue ...

Quite true.   A nation does not become prosperous by redistributing wealth and taxing the shit out of businesses and people.  

 
 
 
TᵢG
3.1.3  TᵢG  replied to  Freewill @3.1.1    one week ago
Anyway we can expand the time period to correct brain farts in our posts TiG?

I do not make policy.     jrSmiley_100_smiley_image.jpg  

 
 
 
Freewill
3.1.4  seeder  Freewill  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.3    one week ago
I do not make policy. 

Above your pay grade?  jrSmiley_82_smiley_image.gif    

Would that be a question for Perrie?

 
 
 
TᵢG
3.1.5  TᵢG  replied to  Freewill @3.1.4    one week ago

Yes and yes.

 
 
 
Freewill
3.1.6  seeder  Freewill  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.2    one week ago
I wish authors would stop perpetuating the confused notion that socialism = statist social programs (aka welfare states).    Social democracies are a blend of statist policies of a 'benevolent' state based on a capitalist economy.  Socialism is not social programs (aka welfare states), it is an economic system that is arguably the polar opposite of capitalism

Yep I understand.  I figured you would point that out and I agree.  But regardless of what Bernie or this author tends to call it, the point is that the policies of the Scandinavian "third-wayers" circa 1970-1990 are very similar to what Bernie proposes.  Having established that, it is instructive to point out that those policies were not what created the prosperity in Scandinavia, and in fact very nearly killed it.   In the 90's many such policies were subsequently removed or reversed (ushering in a period of deregulation, lower taxes, privatization of industry, and market based capitalism) in an effort to bring back the prosperity and the culture that made it possible in the first place.  

Having said that, I agree it would have been nice if rather than using Bernie's terms, or the terms of others who support the policies he admires, that this author would have also used the correct terms or at least pointed out the incorrect use of the terms by others.  I tend to think that those who oppose Bernie would prefer that he keep using the incorrect terms, and that others do too, given the negative connotations associated with the term "socialism" in the minds of those who perhaps don't understand the true definitions.  That is certainly not my aim here, I simply wish to look at the policies Bernie purports to admire and to determine if indeed they are worthy of admiration, or perhaps more likely something we should avoid given the true history of the Nordic "example".

 
 
 
TᵢG
3.1.7  TᵢG  replied to  Freewill @3.1.6    one week ago
But regardless of what Bernie or this author tends to call it, the point is that the policies of the Scandinavian "third-wayers" circa 1970-1990 are very similar to what Bernie proposes.

Absolutely.   Sanders' proposals are, generally speaking, impractical;  arguably irresponsible.

 
 
 
dennis smith
3.1.8  dennis smith  replied to  TᵢG @3.1.7    one week ago

Sanders cannot even figure out that he will not be the Dem nominee. He has been soundly defeated by Hillary and Biden. 

Hopefully he will run again in 2024 and keep the Dem supporters spending their money to support him in another losing effort. 

 
 
 
TᵢG
3.1.9  TᵢG  replied to  dennis smith @3.1.8    6 days ago

I am confident that Sanders is doing this only because it gives him an excellent chance to promote his agenda.    No doubt he wants to be PotUS, but I suspect he realized that his chances were very, very slim.

 
 
 
jungkonservativ111
4  jungkonservativ111    one week ago

It's foolish to think that policies that work in a mostly homogeneous society will work in the US. The areas of Sweden hit hardest by mass migration are struggling and many have been turned into no go zones as an example of how out on control they are. Socialism works great when there is social cohesion. It's all well and good to contribute to a society you support or relate with, but when you know you are supporting cultures and societies that are not compatible with a way of life you see as being successful, its a much harder pill to swallow. Socialism only works when you want to support those who have it tough because you think they need a hand up. Not because they are destroying their own communities and expect you to finance it.

 
 
 
Split Personality
4.1  Split Personality  replied to  jungkonservativ111 @4    one week ago
The areas of Sweden hit hardest by mass migration are struggling and many have been turned into no go zones as an example of how out on control they are.

This biased anti immigration nonsense has been debunked over and over by Sweden and France and their respective national, state and local police forces. 

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/sweden-crime-no-go-zone-police/

And really young man, should any Americans be criticizing foreign countries they haven't visited when there is enough death and destruction in the US on a daily basis that has nothing to do with immigration?

 
 
 
jungkonservativ111
4.1.1  jungkonservativ111  replied to  Split Personality @4.1    one week ago

Nothing to do with immigration? Are you kidding me? Do you know why Chicago is one of the most dangerous cities in the US? Because drug cartels have so many connections there they can traffic their product through there at the cost of massive amounts of crime and gang activity.

 
 
 
Split Personality
4.1.2  Split Personality  replied to  jungkonservativ111 @4.1.1    one week ago

Chicago is 50% white, 30% black, 7% Asian and 12% other.

So which group of immigrants are you blaming? The ones who came to Plymouth Rock?

The ones imported for slavery?

Or is this another Hispanic thing?

 
 
 
jungkonservativ111
4.1.3  jungkonservativ111  replied to  Split Personality @4.1.2    one week ago

Hispanics. Look it up. Where do you think the drug cartels come from? And BTW, most cities that reach the critical mass point of less than 50% white, typically descend into chaos.

 
 
 
jungkonservativ111
4.1.4  jungkonservativ111  replied to  Split Personality @4.1.2    one week ago

Jesus had to go to bing to get this search result. Google is becoming worthless

https://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2015/09/24/study-finds-students-underperform-in-schools-with-large-black-populations

Achievement was lower for both black and white students in schools where black students accounted for more than 40 percent of the student body, compared to schools where black students accounted for less than 20 percent of the student body.

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
4.1.5  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  jungkonservativ111 @4.1.3    one week ago

Statistics on that, please. 

And by the way, in the past, poverty is usually what drives communities into chaos, not the color of one's skin. 

Highlights:

  • For the period 2008-12-
  • Persons in poor households at or below the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) (39.8 per 1,000) had more than double the rate of violent victimization as persons in high-income households (16.9 per 1,000).
  • Persons in poor households had a higher rate of violence involving a firearm (3.5 per 1,000) compared to persons above the FPL (0.8-2.5 per 1,000).
  • The overall pattern of poor persons having the highest rates of violent victimization was consistent for both whites and blacks. However, the rate of violent victimization for Hispanics did not vary across poverty levels.
  • Poor Hispanics (25.3 per 1,000) had lower rates of violence compared to poor whites (46.4 per 1,000) and poor blacks (43.4 per 1,000).
  • Poor persons living in urban areas (43.9 per 1,000) had violent victimization rates similar to poor persons living in rural areas (38.8 per 1,000).
  • Poor urban blacks (51.3 per 1,000) had rates of violence similar to poor urban whites (56.4 per 1,000).

https://www.bjs.gov/index.cfm?ty=pbdetail&iid=5137

 
 
 
jungkonservativ111
4.1.6  jungkonservativ111  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4.1.5    one week ago

It;s not simply the color of ones skins. It's the baggage of the culture you bring with you.

https://www.businessinsider.com/what-are-mexican-cartels-doing-in-the-us-2017-4

But since Trump took office, his and Session's focus seems to be less on transnational criminal groups like Mexican drug cartels and more on criminal groups active in the US — specifically MS-13 , formed in the US in the 1980s by Central American immigrants who were deported to their home countries in the 1990s, where the gang expanded rapidly.

https://www.dea.gov/documents/2017/06/01/cartels-and-gangs-chicago

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
4.1.7  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  jungkonservativ111 @4.1.4    one week ago

Yes, and the issue is that they are all poor. 

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
4.1.8  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  jungkonservativ111 @4.1.6    one week ago

So let me get this straight, the US gov has this wrong?

Catels are a criminal organization, not an ethnicity. Whether you call them the Mafia, the Rossiyskaya Mafiya or Cartels, they are criminals and the people who usually suffer the most under these criminal organizations are usually their own.

 
 
 
Tacos!
4.1.9  Tacos!  replied to  jungkonservativ111 @4.1.3    one week ago
Hispanics. Look it up. Where do you think the drug cartels come from?

I'm pretty sure white people in their own white cultures have been smugglers, pirates, and other varieties of organized criminals.

 
 
 
jungkonservativ111
4.1.10  jungkonservativ111  replied to  Tacos! @4.1.9    one week ago

Im not letting white people off the hook. Who do you think the consumers are? But it wouldn't be available the way it is without Mexican drug cartels and mexican immigrants into the US

 
 
 
Freewill
4.1.11  seeder  Freewill  replied to  Split Personality @4.1.2    one week ago
So which group of immigrants are you blaming?

In the early/mid-20th century Chicago?... I gotta go with the Italians Perrie.  (-:

 
 
 
Split Personality
4.1.12  Split Personality  replied to  jungkonservativ111 @4.1.3    one week ago
Hispanics. Look it up. Where do you think the drug cartels come from?

Columbia, Russia, Afghanistan, China & Mexico.

And BTW, most cities that reach the critical mass point of less than 50% white, typically descend into chaos.

Well, there's a telling opinion...

 
 
 
Split Personality
4.1.13  Split Personality  replied to  Tacos! @4.1.9    one week ago

Specifically the Irish, Italians and Russians.

 
 
 
Split Personality
4.1.14  Split Personality  replied to  jungkonservativ111 @4.1.10    one week ago

It is an unending cycle that has everything to do with poverty and nothing to do with "race".

 
 
 
Split Personality
4.1.15  Split Personality  replied to  jungkonservativ111 @4.1.4    one week ago

Jesus?

Gee, had to back to 2015 to find something that supported your opinions?

 
 
 
Split Personality
4.1.16  Split Personality  replied to  Freewill @4.1.11    one week ago

Hey, stop calling me Perrie :>))

 
 
 
JohnRussell
4.1.17  JohnRussell  replied to  jungkonservativ111 @4.1.6    one week ago
It;s not simply the color of ones skins. It's the baggage of the culture you bring with you.

If I remember correctly, you DO believe that the "color" of skin matters. You posted something promoting the idea of IQ disparities between blacks and other "racial" groups. Such discussion of disparities is racist. 

Now you talk about "culture".   There may be a "culture" in poverty stricken areas that promotes crime and other social dysfunction, but other than the superficial differences in language and clothing and music and "style", it is the same dysfunction associated with poverty that has existed ever since free societies began. Guess what, they had crime, and ignorance, and social dysfunction in ancient Rome. A lot of it.  They had it in Dickens' era England. They have had it in Russia and many other places.  It has nothing to do with race. 

Poverty creates crime. This has been known forever. 

 
 
 
r.t..b...
4.1.18  r.t..b...  replied to  jungkonservativ111 @4.1.6    one week ago
It's the baggage of the culture you bring with you.

So this entire continent was fucked as soon as a foreign culture stepped foot on this soil. I'm not Native American, but can certainly understand the sentiment. 

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
4.1.19  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  r.t..b... @4.1.18    one week ago

I am Indian. Read the book 1491. Talk about what an invading hoard can do. 

Or look at what the Vikings did to England.

 
 
 
r.t..b...
4.1.20  r.t..b...  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A. @4.1.19    one week ago
Read the book 1491.

Now on my reading list. Plenty of time for that ahead, a positive in all the negativity...thanks for the recommendation.

I have a son hunkered down in Brooklyn and know what you folks are going through. He is fine as of our visit this morning and I hope the same can be said to you and yours. 

 
 
 
Perrie Halpern R.A.
4.1.21  Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  jungkonservativ111 @4.1.10    one week ago
Im not letting white people off the hook. Who do you think the consumers are? But it wouldn't be available the way it is without Mexican drug cartels and mexican immigrants into the US

Demand drives the market place and not the other way around. The demand didn't come from the cartels but from docs who overprescribed narcotics. And it the criminal cartels that need to be cracked down on. Blaming this on Mexicans as a group is totally unfair. There are now generations of Mexicans who are here and have become American success stories, as many other immigrant groups.

 
 
 
Freewill
4.1.22  seeder  Freewill  replied to  Split Personality @4.1.16    one week ago
Hey, stop calling me Perrie :>))

Oh my bad SP!  Must have been half asleep when I responded to that.  My apologies to both of you!

 
 
 
Freewill
4.1.23  seeder  Freewill  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.17    one week ago
Poverty creates crime. This has been known forever.

Well, to be honest crime creates poverty as well.  The difference is that the powerful can commit the crimes that create poverty for others and get away with it.  This has been known forever too.

Anyway we are getting a bit off topic with this string, can we bring it back around to the topic?

 
 
Loading...
Loading...

Who is online


Donald J. Trump Fan #1


46 visitors