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Old democrats never die, but we can only hope they fade away

Democratic Socialism No Valhalla


By —— Bio and Archives--February 26, 2016

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Since democratic candidates Bernie Sanders and, to a lesser degree, Hillary Clinton, point to Sweden, Denmark and Norway as models of democratic socialism, let’s examine where they are today.  The American press has not commented much on democratic socialism mainly because, in recent years, it has gone out of favor in many European countries.

Denmark

Denmark has the highest level of private debt in the world.  More than half of Danes use the black market to obtain goods and services.  The number of people below the poverty line has doubled in the past 10 years.

Denmark’s schools, according to the OECD (Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development) lag behind even the UK’s.

If you need emergency medical service, you need to make an appointment.  Cancer rates are among the highest in the world and their use of anti-depressants is the 2nd highest on the planet.

Denmark has become a quasi police state.  Police are not required to display their ID numbers or give you their names.  Denmark has plenty of racists, pedophiles, crooks, drug addicts, you name it…and, the trains don’t run on time.

Denmark, as of late, has tilted to the right.  With welfare abuse, an eroding work ethic and social order, something had to be done.

Sweden

Sweden had been poor for much of the 19th century until they turned to free-market capitalism around 1870.  They became rich, and, in fact, between 1870 and 1936, they had the highest growth rate in the industrialized world.  By the 1960s, Sweden made a hard left turn, raising taxes, welfare payments and discouraging entrepreneurship.

In 1975, Sweden was the 4th wealthiest nation on earth; by 1993, it had dropped to 14th.

In Sweden, the effective tax rate, in some circumstances, had reached 100%.  IKEA founder, Ingvar Kamprad, fled Sweden in 1973.  Sweden came up with a scheme to confiscate corporate profits and give them to labor unions.  The idea was to have a market economy without entrepreneurs and capitalists.  Of course, job creation, wages and opportunity plummeted.

Norway

Until recently, Norway has resisted change to a market economy.  In 1999, the former social democrat Minister of Business, Bjorn Rosengren, called Norway, “the last Soviet state.”  But, Norway now is gradually shifting from a full-boat welfare state to a system that rewards work and investment.

What Bernie Sanders has failed to mention, in his sales effort for democratic socialism, is that almost all European nations, including Scandinavia have seen a dramatic fall of support for socialism and now have adopted policies of free-market capitalism and individual responsibility.

Sanders’ and Clinton’s idea of democratic socialism and its illusion of prosperity peaked about twenty years ago.  The affluence, high levels of income equality, long life and good health, all pre-date the welfare state.  Much of what Scandinavia had enjoyed is now at risk due to the welfare state, not because of it.  Generous welfare programs can stifle the work ethic, honesty, innovation and entrepreneurship of even the most ambitious among us.  The Democratic Socialists, in essence, have run out of other people’s money and ideas.

While many former socialist parties are abandoning the socialist state, several European countries have seen their communist parties pick up the Democratic Socialist mantle and run with it.

It seems the best the DNC can come up with is a former Secretary of State with few core values except appropriating power and a senator from Vermont who is nothing less than a full-fledged, brain-dead, honeymoon in the USSR, atheist and communist. 

Old democrats never die, but we can only hope they fade away.


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Ray DiLorenzo -- Bio and Archives | Comments

Ray DiLorenzo is a career pilot having retired after 22 years as a contract fire pilot with the California Department of Forestry (Cal-Fire).  He is presently affiliated with Stand Up America founded by Maj. Gen. Paul E. Vallely (Ret).


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