DENMARK KICKS AMERICAN BUTT?
If you happen to be a Democratic voter, then you likely think that Bernie Sanders won last night’s first Democratic primary debate handily. If you happen to be a pundit or other member of the mainstream media, then you think Hillary won – largely because she avoided looking either like Nixon or an automaton. Either way, though, we think the American people lost. This is not, in short, your father’s Democratic Party. Heck, it’s not even Algore’s Democratic Party. With the exception of Jim Webb, who may be more conservative than the last four or five Republican presidential nominees, that is one serious and unremorseful left-wing party.
From our perspective, perhaps the most striking moment in last night’s debate was Bernie Sanders’ insistence that the United States would be a much better place if it were less like the United States and more like, well, Denmark. “We should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway,” Sanders moaned, “and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people.”
We should be so lucky!
You see, as it turns out, the Denmark of Sanders’ vision isn’t exactly the Denmark of reality. As is usually the case with the socialists who point to Scandinavia as their utopia, Sanders really doesn’t have any idea what he’s talking about. As countless others have pointed out since last night’s debate, and as you can plainly see from the picture below (credit to Forbes) or from the actual scorecard found in the Heritage Foundation’s 2015 Index of Economic Freedom, the United States does indeed have some work to do if it wants to be Denmark. Unfortunately, it’s not the kind of work that Sanders thinks should be done.
More to the point, we suppose, as Kevin Williamson points out over at National Review Online, even the Danes don’t much believe in Danish Socialism any more:
Denmark, like Sweden before it, has been engaged in a long campaign of reforming its famously generous welfare state. The country’s current prime minister is the leader of a center-right party, which, strangely enough, goes by the name “Left,” Venstre. (You might even call it libertarian; its former longtime leader wrote a book bearing the positively Nozickian title “From Social State to Minimal State.”) Denmark has been marching in the direction exactly opposite socialism for some time.
Who didn’t know?
Bernie Sanders, apparently