What’s wrong with adopting the Scandinavian model?


When Bernie Sanders appeared on ABC News yesterday, it became clear that the interviewer wanted to goad him into attacking Hillary Clinton directly and then get her to respond in kind because that will enable them to create the kind of narrative they are most familiar with, that of a mud-slinging race and the effect of those attacks on poll numbers. But Sanders is smart enough not to fall for that. Instead, by focusing his attacks on the billionaire class that dominates US politics, Clinton is affected only to the extent that she is part of that class. It will be interesting to see how she reacts.

The question by George Stephanopoulos that Sanders supporting the kinds of soft socialist policies that Scandinavian countries have adopted would open him up to attack ads by Republicans that he wanted the US to look like Scandinavia got the response it deserved, which was “So what?” The die-hard nativists might think that the US should not emulate any other country in anything but Sanders makes the point that for most people in the US, adopting the Scandinavian model would be a huge improvement over what they have here now.


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Comments

  1. Chiroptera says

    Funny thing, I just read an article this morning on the Guardian that the Swedes are concerned how the quality of their education has fallen…after allowing parents “choice” through a voucher-like program.

  2. says

    Denmark, Sweden, Iceland and Norway are consistently at the very top of lists evaluating happiness and quality of life. Only the Republicans would screech that we mustn’t head down that path.

  3. says

    And, it should be noted that Nordic way socialism is not the Marxism and Trotskyism that most people think of. Nordic socialism is based on the idea of a social contract, that society and the individual are allies rather than competitors. It is an idea we should embrace.

  4. AMartin says

    The Scandanavian model is appealing from the standpoint of an AngloSaxon. Finland often comes top in tables of quality of life etc. However, this article suggests that they are heading in the AngloSaxon direction: http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/apr/15/finland-boom-election-recession-oulu-miracle-timber-nokia

    ‘“We have to adapt the Nordic model to a more market model, like Sweden,” says Vartiainen [a former social democrat]’. ‘Stubb [the prime minister] has warned that Finland’s “golden era” is over, and that the country faces a lost decade unless it makes far-reaching changes.

    It seems that there will soon there will be no more social-demorcratic societies left…

  5. lorn says

    “Instead, by focusing his attacks on the billionaire class that dominates US politics, Clinton is affected only to the extent that she is part of that class.”

    The Clintons are not part of the billionaire class. Glen Beck is worth an estimated $80 million while they, together, have an estimated worth of around 55 million. They have a good number of contacts and some influence and control due to high office and being on the first-name basis with some within the billionaire class but they are still ‘little people’. They are still people who have to cater to billionaires to have any realistic chance of holding office, maintaining influence, and avoiding prosecution.

  6. Mano Singham says

    lorn,

    It becomes too tedious to talk about the “multimillionaire and billionaire class” and so I use the shorthand of billionaire class. Also, while technically the Clintons may not have a billion dollars, they are clearly multimillionaires and are people who move in circles heavily populated by billionaires. These are their friends and their social circle. So I feel quite comfortable referring to them as being members of the billionaire class.

  7. says

    The biggest problem with advocating a Scandinavian model is not “socialism”.

    The problem is the view of many Americans that the US has all the answers and only the US gets to tell others how to live. The US expects to be “the decider”, just like George Bushleague.

    That including some posters I’ve seen on FTB. Many would rather see the US implode than to follow another country, even if the other country had better ideas. It’s the same attitude you see in republicans – they would rather see the US collapse economically than let the democrats’ policies succeed.

  8. Pierce R. Butler says

    Oh, and about those … attack ads by Republicans that he wanted the US to look like Scandinavia …

    – go ahead, GOP, and discover the power of the “pining for the fjords” bloc!

  9. Pierce R. Butler says

    Mano Singham @ # 6: … I feel quite comfortable referring to them as being members of the billionaire class.

    Yabbut you are, probably, at least five orders of financial magnitude away from that class. I cannot imagine that the Koch Bros, Sheldon Adelson, and their ilk consider the Clintons, or even the Romneys, as people to take seriously from a monetary viewpoint.

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