With the Democratic Party in the U.S. and the Labour Party in the UK having gone over fully into advocacy for good old-fashioned Socialism (with a capital S), we could use a real-life example of a self-proclaimed Socialist country that can claim at least a semblance of success.
Bernie Sanders likes to say that he is advocating for Socialism on the Scandinavian model, but he keeps getting rebuked by actual Scandinavian leaders and economists who deny that their model is actually Socialist at all. For example, there was Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen, in a 2015 speech at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, “I know that some people in the U.S. associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism. Therefore I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy.”
Or there was Swedish economist Johan Norberg, quoted in IBD in 2016 as to that country:
"In the 1950s, Sweden was already one of the world's richest countries, and back then, taxes were lower in Sweden than in the United States." It was only after that, says Norberg, "did we start expanding the government dramatically. And do you know what happened then? We started losing," says Norberg. "It all ended in a terrible crisis." [But] Norberg says the country has become "successful again, but only after a new reform period, with more deregulation and free trade than in other countries."
So where is a good Socialist to turn? Clearly, at this point Venezuela is best ignored. (The WSJ has a big front-page story today on the struggles of a young couple trying to flee Venezuela, along with about a full tenth of the population so far.) But fear not. The Nation has the answer. Bolivia! . . .Read More