Introducing The Next Generation Of Leaders And Thinkers

How Realistic Is Democratic Socialism For a Large Country Such as the United States?

Even though Bernie Sanders did not end up becoming the Democrat Party’s candidate, he sparked a lot of support to socialistic ideas and that still has carried over in this strange political climate. Is having a more communal based government style a better way to love than capitalistic? In a perfect world, yes, but realistically, humans can’t handle it on a big scale.

Denmark is technically called a Market Economy, which is their nominal title but because of high taxes and large welfare, they are often considered to practice Democratic Socialism just like other Scandinavian countries. According to the Huffington Post, Denmark’s execution of Democratic Socialism is not as successful as it has been romanticized to be, claiming that even though the aim of Denmark’s government is to be more communal in a sense, but there are many problems that come with that. The main point of focus is the free education and health care that comes from the heavy tax income, the part that many supporters of Sanders want to strive for in America’s government. The problem with this ideal is, as the Huffington Post claims,  “the quality of the free education and health care Danes receive is far from great. Their PISA educational rankings are just average, they have the lowest life expectancy in the EU aside from former communist countries, and the highest rates of death from cancer in the world.”  So, with its obvious, somewhat expected problems, Denmark’s Market Economy, leaning towards socialism, does not live up to the romanticized ideal many have projected.

On the other hand, the Daily Kos features an article from the perspective of Nancy Graham Holm who has been living in Denmark since 1991. She explains the beauty of a communal society where people see each other as more equal than and care less about comparisons than most capitalist societies. On the subject of work and workers, she claims, They seem to understand that nothing is produced or accomplished in society without labor and they honor rank and file workers just as much as managers”. Just this fact shows the cultural difference from America and its form of capitalism; here, workers aren’t valued as much unless they are towards the top and problems for those working at the bottom don’t get addressed until someone from the top cares enough to. In Denmark, it seems that they consider all workers to be equal in importance and understand that businesses don’t run properly without out all parts. Another fact that she points out as well is that “If you lose your job, unemployment insurance protects you, giving you enough…to live with dignity while you search for a new job.” This principle is not practice in the U.S. because we all know that if you lose your job, you probably won’t be able to live in your house anymore, have your car, comfortably buy food, and just be able to live while looking for a new job.

The article quickly glances over government paid health care and education, not going into detail about the quality, but, with all the details it did include, this journalist seems to be a die-hard lover of Denmark’s style of government. The journalist of the first article seems to be more skeptical and not fooled by the romanticization of Denmark’s government. These extreme views both show the opposite sides of the spectrum on how Denmark’s government can be viewed but the way I see it, this type of socialism is an ideal for big countries and more achievable for smaller countries but even still, the democratic socialism they are trying to achieve is not as simple as “a pooling of resources”. Even if there is good representation for the people, there are always some in government who are not looking for the good of the people but are greedy, everything Democratic Socialism is not. The problem is when a majority of things are provided by the government, it often has quality issues as the Huffington Post article states, but at the same time, it does alter cultural views of seeing people as more of equals.

Although Democratic Socialism is more romanticized than as realistic as Bernie Sanders had hoped for America, there are still ideals that Denmark’s government has practiced that we can try and learn from and implement in our capitalistic society.

Related Posts