Bernie Admires Sweden’s Socialism But They’re Not Socialist

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Bernie Sanders just won the Wyoming caucuses with 56% of the vote which continues his long winning streak. He needs to be taken seriously but his economic policies shouldn’t be – they’re frightening.

Johan Norberg, a senior fellow at the CATO Institute and a writer who focuses on globalization, entrepreneurship, and individual liberty, sent out a warning that is undoubtedly meant for Bernie Sanders and his followers. Bernie wants to mimic Swedish socialism, the socialism they’ve since abandoned and which almost brought them down.

Johan Norberg explains in a new YouTube video that at one time, Sweden, a small nation, had the fourth-largest economy in the world. That was in 1970. Twenty-five years later, the economy had tumbled to 14th and the private sector stopped creating jobs, according to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development data. This was caused by the very policies Bernie idolizes.

“Sweden got rich first with free trade and an open economy, before we had the big government,” Norberg says.

“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.” As we have noted before, Sweden has been repealing its welfare state post-crisis. 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.” Taxes have been cut, school vouchers allocated, and the pension system partially privatized as Sweden distances itself from its welfare-state past.

Sanders needs to be schooled by more economists but if he hasn’t learned by now, after decades of achieving nothing in the Senate, he will probably never learn.

Sweden is still too socialist but not as socialist as Bernie wants the US to be.

He’s on his way to the Vatican this week to talk about the “moral economy” which is a system that destroys jobs, steals money from the successful, and prevents people from improving their lot in life.

Bernie thinks Sweden is the socialist country he aspires to where the rich can’t get real rich but the poor can’t get real poor. Norberg wants him to cut it out because he’s talking about a Sweden that no longer exists, one that smartened up.

If The Vatican likes Bernie’s unrealistic ideas, perhaps they could keep him over there. We don’t need him back.

Sadly, in exit polls out of Wisconsin, 55% of Democrats said they think Bernie’s policies are realistic. We need to start teaching some basic economics-to the teachers for starters!

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  1. Interesting comment from youtube….

    Am I supposed to believe that you faltered to 14th because you offer health care and education to all your citizens via mostly taxes? Or is it because other countries improved and surpassed you regardless of those benefits to citizens? More likely due to exploiting natural resources, immigration policies allowing for more great ideas to be in the country, etc. As far as the corporate tax rate, you did go overboard on it at 60+%. Now it appears to be in the 20’s for you. Our effective corporate tax rate for many companies is still less than yours even after you re-adjusted. GE for example. Here is a quote from Bernie’s site: “In 2010, the effective tax rate of large, profitable corporations in the U.S. was only 12.6 percent, not the 35 percent nominal tax Republicans and corporate tax lobbyists complain about.” Does Bernie advocate taking over all businesses? Not that I have heard. Does a job have to be private in order for it to be good if the outcome of the service is the same and possibly the cost is too? Is your definition of “success” solely based on how much money a country rakes in even if the largest chunk goes to just a handful of people that turn around and often pay people barely a living wage to get by on? Looking at your GDP in 1970 vs now, it looks like it went up at about the same percentage rate as the US did during that same period. So I’m confused on how Sweden is so much worse off now compared to the US. The voucher system is still paid by the state in Norway. And health care still appears to be funded by taxes. So is education and healthcare really a cause of your downfall earlier? Or is it from going TOO far in the tax rate and TOO much protectionism in your own country? Like many things in life, too much of a good thing one way or another can be a bad thing.

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