Observers of the American political scene watched closely as the front-runners in the Democratic presidential race, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, sparred each other in a debate last week which still has tongues wagging.
One reason for that is Sanders, who said during the debate that Americans should look to Nordic Europe for policy reform inspiration:
I think we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway, and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people.
There has long been a leftish affection within the Anglosphere for the high‑taxing, big‑spending government models offered up by the Nordic countries. But the notion that Americans, the British, or even Australians should simply replicate Danish, Norwegian or Swedish policies is not necessarily all that it is cracked up to be.
An article by science writer Ronald Bailey, which appears on Reason magazine’s blog Hit & Run, cautions against emulating northern Europe in America:
Basically, American liberals love Denmark because its government confiscates half of its citizens money and makes them pay high prices for energy. Strangely, advocating such policies out loud does not sound like a winning electoral strategy in 2016.