[This is the addended transcript of my regular KVMR commentary broadcast on 31 August 2016.]
For quite some time now Americans have heard the siren song of Nordic socialism performed consistently by our country’s Left from which more and more are actually outing themselves as socialists. In this election season we have heard Senator Bernie Sanders promote the Nordic style welfare state with statements like, “I think we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway, and learn what they have accomplished for their working people.” And in order to scoop up Bernie’s base, Hillary Clinton has echoed those sentiments as part of her promise to continue the policies of Barack Obama.
Obama has also been quite open about his embrace of socialism, especially of the Nordic type as this year he declared, “In a world of growing economic disparities, Nordic countries have some of the least income inequality in the world . . . There have been times where I’ve said, why don’t we just put all these small countries in charge for a while? And they could clean things up.”
In these commentaries I have reviewed the current status of the Nordics, concentrating especially on the fiscal unsustainability of their welfare policies, and the realities of their economies to provide the growth they need. Recently the non-partisan Council on Foreign Relations has published an essay by Kurdish born Swedish scientist and author Nima Sanandaji who has studied and written extensively on Nordic polity and policies. His most recent book – Debunking Utopia: Exposing the Myth of Nordic Socialism – presents compelling arguments backed by reams of data that expose a more realistic picture of how the Nordics got to where they are, and how their current performance should be compared, especially by Americans, on an apples-to-apples basis.