The Scandinavian System
Bernie Sanders talks a lot about the Scandinavian political system. In a nutshell, it provides government sponsored cradle to grave care in return for really high taxes.
I spent three weeks there years ago and came away convinced that it works for them. Each country is small (Denmark has a population similar to Wisconsin). They are very homogenous ethnically, spiritually and economically. There are relatively few poor or rich. This is important since the people paying the taxes are the ones receiving the benefits. It’s like a group insurance plan in which the group is the entire country. The government encourages business since it knows that expanding the country’s wealth allows it to being able to afford the entitlements. I can’t speak for the system today but suspect it is heading for trouble. Scandinavia is seeing an increase in immigration. I suspect people might begin to rebel as they see taxes increase without an increase in benefits.
What Sanders is talking about is considerably different. We are much bigger and more diverse. Rather than proposing that people pay more to get more, he is saying that we can get something for nothing and a few wealthy people will pick up the tab. Margaret Thatcher once said “The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of rich people”. At the same time he wants to everything he can to hurt their ability to create wealth. He talks of jailing Wall Street executives and saddling businesses with more and more regulation. If his proposals were put into effect, rising expenditure and falling wealth would turn us into Greece.
This may make me sound like a right-winger. Never fear, I will be skewering them really soon.
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