In the Democratic debate, Bernie Sanders said that what he meant by Democratic Socialism is a system like Denmark’s. I had to laugh, having just come from Denmark and learning that the system over there is more complicated than either Bernie Sanders or I had realized.
Despite the stereotype of the melancholy Dane, Denmark has been ranked as the happiest nation on earth. Its income level, standard of living, and economic prosperity are among the best in the world.
It is true that Denmark has what could be described as a welfare state. Medical care and university education are free, and the generous safety net takes care of just about everybody. And yet, Denmark also ranks as one of the world’s freest market economies. I had assumed that the welfare state and pro-business free market capitalism are irreconcilable opposites. But the two work together in Denmark. [Read more…]