The 2016 Presidential Race has picked up aggressively as we speed towards election day. For those who identify themselves as liberal, it seems they have found their champion, their knight in shining armor, in the form of Bernie Sanders. The United States Senator from Vermont turned frontrunner for the Democratic Party has gained massive popularity among Millennials for his social democratic policies. Though Sanders himself has broken down how he will incorporate said policies, most people simply know them as tacking the term “free” to healthcare, college, and other social services.
It is also well-known that Bernie Sanders often cites the Nordic model of social democracy as the basis for his model too, specifically Denmark. However, reports show Sanders was “burned” by the very country he admires. Denmark’s Prime Minister said Sanders is lying to those who “Feel the Bern” about their economic model.
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For months now, Bernie Sanders has constantly said the United States needs to look to the socialist models used in countries like Denmark, Sweden, and Norway to learn what has been accomplished for working people. However, the prime minister of one of those countries, Lars Løkke Rasmussen of Denmark, had something different to say. According to Headline Politics, Rasmussen was speaking at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government when he brought up that the United States associates the Nordic model with socialism. To Rasmussen though, that is a lie.
“I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy.”
It is just now such news is gaining steam because Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen’s explanation of Denmark’s economy was originally made late last year, as reported by Investors. Not only that, Denmark apparently is rethinking its social welfare programs because many of their experts believe the country cannot long afford the current perks it gives its people, as reported by The New York Times. A lot of it can be associated to the “entitlement” state-of-mind, as in it is one’s “right” to have free this or free that. Karen Haekkerup, the minister of social affairs and integration at the time of the article, clarifies the situation.
“In the past, people never asked for help unless they needed it. My grandmother was offered a pension and she was offended. She did not need it. But now people do not have that mentality. They think of these benefits as their rights. The rights have just expanded and expanded. And it has brought us a good quality of life. But now we need to go back to the rights and the duties. We all have to contribute.”
Summarized, Karen Haekkerup says the number of people who are living off of social programs without any desire to find work has increased ever since said benefits were initiated. Not only that, many of those who live off of the social welfare provided by the government are doing far better than those who work for a living. They provided the example of one 36-year-old mother who has more money to spend than many of the country’s full-time workers at $2,7oo per month. She’s also been on social welfare since she was 16-years-old.
To be fair, Bernie Sander’s policies do sound great on paper. Free education, free healthcare, and everything else free under the sun is a dream come true for many who never had anything. However, accountability needs to be incorporated as well, which might be something Sanders does have in mind, but he hasn’t made it known thus far. Maybe its because presenting accountability might just be unfavorable to those who “Feel the Bern.”
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