You might want to consult this report from the latest issue of Fortune magazine.

During a time of rising income inequality, the American left is increasingly invoking Scandinavian countries as models for how to maintain the economic growth that capitalist competition allows, while achieving more security and stability for the middle and lower classes.

Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders has been at the forefront of this new Nordophilia. He has repeatedly name checked countries like Denmark and Sweden in interviews and debates, arguing that we should copy policies like mandatory paid leave for new parents and free healthcare and college education to improve the economic lives of ordinary Americans. …

… If you look at the years in which these countries built the wealth their citizens now enjoy, it was long before leftist ideas took hold. For instance, from 1870 through 1936, Sweden was the fastest growing economy in the world. But after 1975—when the Swedish state began to expand in earnest—Sweden’s economy noticeably slowed, falling from the 4th richest in the world to the 13th by the mid 1990s.

And Nordic voters are starting to take notice. Scandanavian governments have been paring down the size of their governments. Since the 1990s, the total taxation of the Swedish economy as a percentage of GDP has fallen more than 5%, while labor market reforms, such as Denmark’s cutting of unemployment benefits have helped Scandanavian economies rocket up measures of economic freedom. Don’t tell Bernie Sanders, but as Sanadaji puts it, Scandanavia is slowly “returning to its free market roots.”

Maybe it is time for the United States to emulate Europe — not Sanders’ outdated notions of Europe, but the facts on the ground.