The Corner

Something’s Awesome in the State of Denmark

Bernie Sanders’s Denmark love is another reminder that our Democratic friends, who imagine themselves to be worldly cosmopolitans more at ease with sophisticated European ways, don’t actually know a damned thing about what’s going on overseas.

For those of you who are keeping score, the Heritage Foundation, which literally keeps score, rates Denmark’s economy as slightly more free – slightly more capitalistic — than that of the United States. Denmark is in a rough spot just lately, but it has been undergoing a series of deep and intelligent reforms to its welfare state (as have many of the other Northern European countries) to counteract the ill effects of earlier excesses.

Its corporate-income tax is much lower than that of the United States. Its regulatory environment is in many ways more free. It is very free-trade oriented. 

What Denmark does have — what all the Nordic countries have — is relatively high taxes on the middle class, which gets double-whammied with income taxes and a value-added tax. Is that what Sanders et al. are proposing for the United States, to make it more Danish? A big, heavy tax increase on the middle class? Maybe it should be — the Danes have a big welfare state and they pay for it – but no Democrat walking this Earth has the intellectual honesty to say as much. 

Strong property rights, low corruption, openness to trade and investment, low public debt: Bring it on. 

Sanders seems to think that nothing has changed in Denmark or Sweden since 1975. Denmark today has one of the world’s most free economies, up there with Canada, Switzerland, and Australia. That isn’t socialism, kiddies. 

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