by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
Whenever Bernie Sanders’s socialism comes up in the Democratic debates, he deflects criticism by saying he favors something along the lines of Denmark’s model. Sanders’s debate rivals almost invariably let this answer pass. (I think Pete Buttigieg tried to take it on in the last debate but couldn’t get the floor.)
In reality, the policies Sanders advocates bear little resemblance to those of Denmark and other Scandinavian countries today. They do resemble many of the policies these countries tried 50 years ago. However, these policies failed and were discarded.
The Vermont socialist is getting away with false advertising, including bait and switch.
But with Sanders now the clear frontrunner, and perhaps on the verge of nailing down the nomination, some liberals are starting to look behind Sanders’s Denmark dodge. …
… The Scandinavian economies were once more in line with Sanders’s socialist vision, but these policies were ruinous. Accordingly, they eventually were abandoned. …
… Sanders doesn’t want Denmark’s taxation policy. Nor does he advocate other key elements of the Danish model — flexible labor markets, light regulations, and a deep commitment to free trade.
Sanders favors policies much more along the lines of those that failed Scandinavia in the 1960s and 1970s. Or perhaps a mixture of those policies and the ones that are failing in Venezuela today.