September 14, 2018


Why Democrats Love Democratic Socialism (SAMUEL HAMMOND, September 13, 2018, National Review)

Whether politicians such as Nixon, AOC, or Salazar understand the first thing about the fellows they've chosen to travel with or are just trying to be au courant is not immediately clear. To hear Sanders talk, socialism apparently means becoming more like Denmark -- an embarrassing conflation of "democratic socialism" with "social democracy," presumably thanks to the large number of letters they have in common. It's a distinction with a difference. While democratic socialists seek to abolish capitalism through worker control of the economy, social democracies are countries that supplement capitalism with redistribution and the public provision of certain goods or services -- such as health insurance -- that markets often fail to provide effectively.

Denmark's prime minister made this point directly on a visit several years ago, not-so-subtly chiding Sanders in the process. "I know that some people in the U.S. associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism," he told his audience at the Harvard Kennedy School. "Therefore, I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy."

And not just any market economy. Nordic social democracies routinely rank at the top of indexes designed to measure economic freedom, making them some of the freest markets in the world. Without the productive powers of unfettered capitalism, it's hard to imagine them affording their generous welfare states in the first place.

First Way means for Second Way ends.

Posted by at September 14, 2018 4:22 AM


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