Debate Magazine

Conservative Myths About Socialism, the Latest UN Report on Happiness, and the 2016 Election Cycle

Posted on the 17 March 2016 by Doggone
Conservative Myths about Socialism, the latest UN report on happiness, and the 2016 election cycleIn my experience, the right fears socialism without properly knowing what it is, and without correctly identifying who or where socialism works well. That would include nations like Denmark, which is a hybrid capitalist/socialist state.
I attended the Republican caucuses held March 1st; the leadership warned about the DIRE possibility of  BECOMING DENMARK.  No one would elaborate on what part of resembling Denmark was so fearful, it was an accepted wisdom without any reference to reality.
What reality? THIS reality. 
The report found that inequality was strongly associated with unhappiness — a stark finding for rich countries like the United States, where rising disparities in income, wealth, health and well-being have fueled political discontent.
Denmark is a very successful nation, a very small nation relative to the United States - surely no one is concerned about national shrinkage? 
Our differences with Denmark underline the political issues and pressures driving the 2016 election cycle.
It is also a nation that is widely regarded, including by its own citizens as less corrupt, as being economically more successful as measured by GDP - it is strongly business friendly.  It is more successful in terms of educational outcome, of health care outcomes (including cost management), in terms of life expectancy, but also in terms of pro-family policies and infrastructure safety, and energy policy.  The average citizen is far more affluent and has far more economic and social mobility than the citizens of the US.
Corruption drives wealth and income inequality, and perpetuates it.
Critics can hardly call the Danes godless heathens; the state religion is evangelical Lutheranism.  Rather I would prefer to see the US retain the freedom of religion guaranteed by no state religion being established.  But the nation has remarkable religious tolerance, arguably more than that shown by the conservative evangelicals who are Islamophobic.

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