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The next time you hear me attacked as a socialist — like tomorrow — remember this: I don’t believe government should take over the grocery store down the street, or own the means of production,” he said. “But I do believe that the middle class and the working families of this country who produce the wealth of this county deserve a decent standard of living, and that their incomes should go up, not down.
Social democracy is a political ideology that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a capitalist economy, and a policy regime involving welfare state provisions, collective bargaining arrangements, regulation of the economy in the general interest, measures for income redistribution, and a commitment to representative democracy. Social democracy thus aims to create the conditions for capitalism to lead to greater egalitarian, democratic and solidaristic outcomes; and is often associated with the set of socioeconomic policies that became prominent in Western and Northern Europe—particularly the Nordic model in the Nordic countries—during the latter half of the 20th century.
Social democracy originated as a political ideology that advocated a peaceful, evolutionary transition from capitalism to socialism using established political processes in contrast to the revolutionary approach to transition associated with orthodox Marxism. However, in the post-war era, contemporary social democracy separated from the socialist movement altogether and emerged as a distinct political identity that advocated reforming rather than replacing capitalism. In this period, social democrats embraced a mixed economy based on the predominance of private property, with only a minority of essential utilities and public services under public ownership. As a result, social democracy became associated with Keynesian economics, state interventionism, and the welfare state, while abandoning the prior goal of abolishing the capitalist system (private property, factor markets and wage labour) and substituting it for a qualitatively different socialist economic system.
It seems a lot of people are just hearing the "socialism" part of the phrase and immediately prepping their underground bunkers. So let's first break down what socialism is. First off, it's not communism, and this is what a lot of people equate it with. Communism is an extreme form of socialism, just like fascism and monarchism are extreme forms of conservatism. I know, lots of words, but the point is, there are extreme parts of any political party, and socialism does not automatically equal communism.
What it does equal is the idea that the people should run a country, and not big businesses, banks, and corporations. It also says that the society should be a place where all people work as equals in cooperation for the common good. More extreme versions of socialism advocate that free markets and money should not exist, that people should be working for the good of the men and women in their community.
Democratic socialism is socialism through the ballot box, that says changes in the government and society should be through fair elections. Democratic socialism also says that the basic foundations of a society should be provided for through the government, so that the people of that state can have a happy, healthy life.
It does not do away with free markets, private businesses, or your freedom. Unsurprisingly, it's already playing a huge part in our country. Some of the most obvious are things like medicare and social security, but people don't realize that the reason we have a military, national parks, prisons and the whole justice system, public transportation, disposal of your toilet waste, garbage collection, firefighters, police officers, and even the roads you drive on are because of democratic socialism.
Let's look at the flip side really quick. These programs do take money, and because the government would have to pay for them it would have to increase taxes in some way. In countries successfully implementing the programs Bernie Sanders is advocating for like universal health care and free public college tuition, taxes are higher especially on the upper class. But because of these taxes they don't have to pay for things like going to the hospital, getting an education, and they don't have premiums or student debt.
In the mid-19th century, around 70 percent of the Norwegian population lived in rural areas and most engaged in agriculture and fishing-related activities. Life was hard for many. As the population increased, there was not enough land or work for everyone. Changes were taking place in the cities at the same time. More and more factories were being built and many people moved from the countryside to the cities for work. Life in the city was difficult for many working-class families. Work days were long and living conditions poor. Families often had many children and it was not unusual for several families to live together in one small apartment. Many children also had to work at the factories in order for their family to survive. Many also tried their luck abroad and, between the years 1850 and 1920, more than 800,000 Norwegians emigrated to the United States.
Norge er i dag et moderne demokrati med høy velferd. De fleste i Norge har god økonomi, og befolkningen har et relativt høyt utdanningsnivå. Både menn og kvinner deltar i arbeidslivet. Samfunnet er styrt av en rekke lover og avtaler som sikrer innbyggerne utdanning, helsehjelp og økonomisk hjelp etter behov.
While speaking at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, the center-right Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said he was aware "that some people in the U.S. associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism."
"Therefore," he said, "I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy
The Scandinavians embrace a brand of free-market capitalism that exists in conjunction with a large welfare state, known as the “Nordic Model,” which includes many policies that democratic socialists would likely abhor.
For example, democratic socialists are generally opponents of global capitalism and free trade, but the Scandinavian countries have fully embraced these things. The Economist magazine describes the Scandinavian countries as “stout free-traders who resist the temptation to intervene even to protect iconic companies.” Perhaps this is why Denmark, Norway, and Sweden rank among the most globalized countries in the entire world. These countries all also rank in the top 10 easiest countries to do business in.
Overall, it is clear that the Scandinavian countries are not in fact archetypes of successful democratic socialism. Sanders has convinced a great deal of people that socialism is something it is not, and he has used the Scandinavian countries to prove its efficacy, while ignoring the many ways they deviate, sometimes dramatically, from what Sanders himself advocates.
A majority of the countries studied monitor national waiting times and have some type of national waiting time care guarantee. This implies that waiting time is an issue of concern. In a study from 2003 of waiting times in OECD countries, Siciliani and Hurst concluded that “waiting times” is a serious health policy issue in 12 of the countries included in that study (Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom).
Waiting times were not recorded administratively in a second group of countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Japan, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and the United States) but the authors wrote that they were anecdotally (informally) reported to be low . Our study shows that eight years later (2011), the same countries still record waiting times.
Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Finland spend some of the most money on education as a percentage of their gross domestic product, according to the World Bank. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development has said that levels of education funding do not necessarily affect academic performance, but these Scandinavian nations all ranked in the top third, generally outperforming Asian nations where students are pressured to perform well. No. 18 South Korea, where children attend school each day of the week, was the third Asian nation on the list, preceded by No. 8 Japan and No. 17 Singapore
But many, in both industry and politics, feel it's become a free lunch that's giving indigestion to Scandinavia's already weakest economy. Too many pursue "fulfilment" and too few the science and engineering degrees needed in well-paid growth sectors critical for the nation's future, they say. Typical is 23-year-old Ali Badreldin, who is enrolled at the Royal Danish Academy of Music to become a saxophone player. "Music was always part of my life growing up so it was a natural choice," he said. His courses are free and he gets a monthly stipend of 5,839 DKK (782 euros, $1,074) in a system where class sizes are rarely limited. The result has Denmark spending more proportionally on education than any other country in the OECD club of 34 advanced nations. Yet biotech firms like Novozymes say they cannot find enough engineers.