Is Democratic Socialism Right For America?

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By: Kathryn Crigger

If you are up to date with current American politics, you know that the democratic candidate, Bernie Sanders, is a democratic socialist and has not been afraid to let America know it. However, do you know what democratic socialism actually is? Well, many may confuse it with communism, but the two schools of thought are not the same. The wikipedia.com says, “Democratic socialism is a political ideology advocating political democracy alongside social ownership of the means of production, with democratic management of enterprises within a socialist economic system” (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democratic_socialism). Now, the question is: Is democratic socialism right for America? Well, to find the answer, you could look at countries like Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. Although these countries give all of their people healthcare and free education through university (called college in America), this form of government is hardly long term.

“But the irony is, just as American politicians and economists are realizing that it might be worth taking a closer look at Denmark’s so-called “Bumble Bee” economy (it shouldn’t stay airborne but does), Scandinavian social democracy is disappearing. Sweden came closest to all-out socialism in the 1970s, but set about reducing the scale of its welfare state in the 1990s, and Denmark is following. The truth is, a public sector of this scale is not sustainable in the long term. Income tax rates of 60% are hard to justify when Denmark’s education system has languished in the middle ranks among international testing standards and health service hasn’t prevented the Danes’ life expectancy to be one of the lowest in Western Europe” (Michael Booth).

So with high taxes and a “bumble bee” economy, democratic socialism may not be what America is seeking, but do the pros outweigh the cons? Free health care and free (or affordable) college would sound like a luxury to someone living on minimum wage, but if you are over 18, the choice is yours. You can decide whether to vote democratic socialism or not in this Fall election.

 

Sources Referenced:

“Is democratic socialism the right path for America?” CNN Wire 28 Oct. 2015. Opposing Viewpoints in Context. Web. 14 Apr. 2016.

image credit: www.berniesandersvideo.com