Bernie Sanders Is Wrong About Denmark. Tucker Carlson Is Wrong About Hungary.
Ideologues at both political extremes, like Sen. Bernie Sanders (I–Vt.) on the left and Fox News host Tucker Carlson on the right, have recently pointed to pet foreign countries as exemplars of what America should strive to be. Yet Sanders and Carlson are each misled by a superficial understanding of what these countries are really about.
As a proud, self-described socialist, Sanders thinks Denmark is a socialist paradise. But in reality, it’s far more free-market oriented than most people give it credit for. As a dyed-in-the-tweed conservative, Carlson has let his enchantment with Hungarian President Viktor Orban’s tough talk against “the libs” blind him to that “leader’s” cruel authoritarianism.
Let’s look more closely at Denmark: Yes, the country has some big government policies that Sanders would love to see implemented by Uncle Sam, like a decadent paid leave program along with other mandated family benefits. That said, not only is Denmark more economically free than it is socialist, but the country has also spent the last 30 years running away from the socialism that Sanders wants the United States to run toward.
After experiencing the utter economic disaster brought on by a Sanders-like model of democratic socialism in the 1970s, Denmark substantially reformed and shrank its welfare state, making it easier for employers to hire and fire workers. Its government also introduced some competition into its public schools, a move that labor-union devotee Sanders would never support. Moreov
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