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Thread: Democratic Socialism Supports Robust Capitalism

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    Senior Member catherine's Avatar
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    Democratic Socialism Supports Robust Capitalism

    Here's an interesting analysis of Scandinavian-style Democratic Socialism, and how, rather than undermining the free market economy, it actually supports and promotes growth. Personally, I'm not a huge fan of capitalism for the long run, but for people who look at Sanders-style socialism as a huge threat unseen since the Red Scares of the 50s, this could help explain how it would be a boon for personal freedom, rather than taking it away. The author argues that letting the government do the work of removing stressors, providing safety nets, and enabling people to be happy and healthy and well-educated, they go to work more productive and better able to perform at a high level, ultimately making the employers' lives better and the country's economic life more robust.

    Capitalism works better if employees get paid decent wages and are supported by high-quality, democratically accountable public services that enable everyone to live healthy, dignified lives and to enjoy real equality of opportunity for themselves and their children.


    It's a long article, but a really good one, written by an American who moved to Finland a year ago.
    https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/07/o...gtype=Homepage
    "Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it--every, every minute?" Emily Webb, Our Town
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    Hear! Hear!

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    The Nordic model (which term probably over generalizes a group of countries with different practices) can provide a valuable example. In many ways. They outrank the US in some measures of economic freedom. They have also demonstrated the political will to pare back unaffordable programs where needed.

    But the proposals being put forward by Sanders and some others often bear only a superficial resemblance to Nordic political economies. He minimizes or glosses over the new tax burden that would be borne by the general run of taxpayer, preferring instead to gloat over the new taxes imposed on billionaires. He, and to a greater degree Warren, also seeks to impose greater burdens of economic regulation than Scandinavian businesses must labor under.

    In many ways, the “democratic socialism” he is looking to impose looks more like the French or Italian models, a bit more dirigiste and uneven . It will be interesting to see how the voters in the general election will respond to the promise of socialism, Democratic or otherwise. How will they think of disposing of (I think largely fictional) “unfettered capitalism” with a new regime of unfettered government?

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    Simpleton Alan's Avatar
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    What he said!
    "Things should be made as simple as possible, but not one bit simpler." ~ Albert Einstein

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    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    I saw people interviewed in England and when they are told how our HC works they are shocked and the reactions are funny.

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    Senior Member JaneV2.0's Avatar
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    I agree with the venture capitalist friend: "Even a venture capitalist we knew in Silicon Valley who has three children sounded envious:'I’d move to Finland in a heartbeat.' "

    I've become increasingly disenchanted with this country and its rampant, naked, uncaring greed. I could have emigrated right after I retired, but inertia worked its magic, and I'm way too old now. Pity.

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    I started reading The Little Book of Lykke: Secrets of the World's Happiest People yesterday.

    Happiest country - Denmark
    #2 Switzerland
    #3 Norway

    Also high on the list are Iceland, Finland, Canada, the Netherlands, Sweden

    Higher than the US are Australia, New Zealand, Israel, Austria, Costa Rica

    Maybe instead of trying to be the strongest country militarily, or have the world's wealthiest economy, we should take advice from that opponent of a standing military, and advocate of yeomen rather than big corporations, Thomas Jefferson, and engage in the pursuit of happiness. Serving the interests of the corporatist military fossil fuel for profit health care industries has not served us well.

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    Senior Member Teacher Terry's Avatar
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    Some small towns in Italy are selling rundown houses for a buck trying to revitalize the towns. I love Europe but some countries won’t allow foreigners on their HC. Then you may have language barriers. In Poland in winter the days are short and gloomy with lots of bad air quality because they still burn coal. A friend of mine emigrated to Ireland but her dad was born there so she had dual citizenship.

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    Comparing Bernie Sanders campaign proposals to actual policy elsewhere is a category error to begin with. I don't say that as a knock on Sander's or anything, but comparing proposals to actual policy IS an unlike comparison.

    For instance the Social Democratic party in say Denmark did win most recently, HENCE an aside here, climate change can be their #1 priority as they have a functioning society (it can't be in a non-functioning society, I mean maybe it still should be of course, I understand that, but it's very difficult). But the Social Democratic party it's not the only political factor even in Denmark.
    If you want something to get done, ask a busy person. If you want them to have a nervous breakdown that is.

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    Senior Member iris lilies's Avatar
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    What an excellent thing that the Swedes worked assiduously on the suicide rate in their own country to dramatically improve it over these last decades, bringing it right to—a par with the united States.

    Happy, indeed.

    Dare I mention that the Mecca of Wonderful, Austria, is quite a bit higher in suicide rate?


    http://worldpopulationreview.com/cou...te-by-country/


    I will say that this chart is probably only somewhat believable. For instance, how would anyone get accurate statistics on suicide from North Korea? Yet North Korea is on the chart. That’s bs.

    Our happy and productive Swiss relatives bitch and moan about health care in Germany and how it is so much better. That green grass...
    Last edited by iris lilies; 12-8-19 at 11:13pm.

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