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Robin Smith / Jul. 2, 2019

About That Socialism in the Nordic Countries…

Democrats wrongly point to these nations as examples of what they mean for socialism.

Americans may have decided last week to watch two nights of back-to-back debates featuring the lineup of candidates pursuing the Democrat presidential nomination. In the pageant to see who could lunge furthest to the hard Left, a term was used, as was an idea of a fantasy of conjured-up economic model that would provide free education, free health care (including for untold numbers of illegal aliens), a universal wage, and the elimination of school debt — all by increasing taxes on the rich. The term used to describe this nonexistent utopia was “democratic socialism.”

Said contrivance is believed to have existed at one time in the Nordic nations of Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Iceland, and Finland. The fad these days among Democrats is to appeal to voters through the enticements of “free” everything that are paid for by other people’s money. The theory is that those who have obtained wealth have done so through corruption, greed, crime, and hate by oppressing those who self-identify as being treated unfairly and inequitably. Hence, redistribution is certainly in order, not as a safety net, but as a means to achieve “social justice.” It’s actually a government-controlled economy that taxes the makers excessively to give to the takers.

But while pointing to these nations, Democrats have taken information, rearranged it to fit their narrative, and are now misrepresenting it.

Exactly what type of governance has been present in these northern European nations? The prime minister of Denmark, Lars Lokke Rasmussen, declared in 2015, “Some in the US associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism. Therefore, I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy.”

There was a time following great economic success in the early 1970s that this region and specifically the Swedes doubled their government spending and began heavily regulating labor markets, but that spurred an explosion of debt in the 1980s that then led to crisis in the 1990s. Sweden’s Central Bank imposed 500% interest to protect the nation’s currency as its new welfare state brought the nation to the brink of ruin.

In The Federalist, Swedish economist and Cato Institute fellow Johan Norberg was cited: “Free markets and small government made Sweden rich. The experiment with socialism crashed us.” Sweden fell from the fourth wealthiest nation to the 14th as it swept aside extremely low taxes and public spending just barely above 10% of GDP to taxes currently at 27% of GDP. Those taxes rely heavily on consumption, payroll, and social security taxes, all of which hit the middle class even more severely than the dastardly rich.

In other words, socialism failed in these nations. They now have excessive taxation on income plus a value-added tax (think sales tax that is applied to any transaction throughout the supply line) to pay for the “free” health care. Just wait for the copays and deductibles that are never mentioned as part of the Medicare-for-All plans of Bernie Sanders and all the other Democrats who pledge to put everyone, including illegal immigrants, on taxpayer-funded health insurance.

Put simply, Democrats are twisting the facts and peddling fantasy to win votes through pandering because everything else they’ve tried has failed. Democrats are promoting a perversion of fact.

Once upon a time, there really was a fourth-century Christian saint known for miracles and secret gift-giving — Saint Nicholas of Myra, a Greek maritime city. The same Nordic region of the Democrats’ mythical success of socialism honors Sinterklaas, the snow-white-bearded patron saint of children who rides a white horse wearing a long red cape that serves as the primary source of America’s Santa Claus. As we know, Santa Claus has turned into anything but a miracle worker tied to the Christian faith and is now the icon associated with a Holy Day turned retail orgy. Democrats wish to play Santa Claus, handing out gifts to all the awaiting “children” of America.

Just like democratic socialism, the promises of “free” leave others paying the bills for temporary satisfaction based on myth. Those who believe in the myth of democratic socialism are seeing their failed experiment play out in California, which is already beginning to look more like Venezuela or another Third World banana republic.

Kids believe in Santa Claus. Democrats believe in successful socialism. At least kids grow out of it.

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