Is loony old Bernie Sanders a Democratic Socialist, or just a plain old Marxist? (Note: The fact that I have repeatedly referred to the Bern as “that nutty old Bolshevik” might yield a hint as to what I think on the issue.) John C. Goodman has weighed in. Excerpt:
When is the last time you were in Denmark? Or Norway? Or Sweden?
If you have had the pleasure of visiting these lovely places you may have noticed something really odd. Nobody there talks the way Bernie Sanders talks.
Sanders frequently points to northern European countries, especially Denmark, as examples of how he would like to remake the United States economy — by which he mainly means higher taxes and more social services. But the main difference between the tax systems of the US and Denmark is not high taxes on the rich. It’s higher taxes on the middle class. (See my previous post on this.)
By and large, people in Denmark do not demonize the rich. They don’t think that successful people are the reason why average incomes aren’t higher. Nor are they clamoring to confiscate the wealth of those at the top of the income ladder.
Take inheritance taxes. The U.S. has higher estate taxes than virtually any country in Europe. According to the Tax Foundation, our top estate tax rate is 40%. In the Netherlands it’s 20%. In Denmark it’s 15%. In Norway and Sweden, there is no estate tax!
Mind you, Bernie Sanders has not even a nodding acquaintance with economic realities. And here is the real money quote of the article here:
Bill Gates is estimated to be the world’s richest man. J. K. Rowling is estimated to be the world’s richest woman. Did either of these two ever take money out of your pockets?
Gates got rich by providing the software that I am using at this very moment as I create this editorial. It’s well worth what I had to pay for it. Rowling got rich because people all over the world like to read Harry Potter novels and enjoy watching Harry Potter movies. How could anyone object to that?
Well, nutty old Bolshevik Bernie objects to that because inequality, or something.
Sanders whines about “income equality,” and in his abject economic ignorance he advocates not for equality of opportunity – a facet of one of the United States’ founding principles, equal protection under the law – but for equality of outcomes, which is not compatible with liberty.
You can have liberty or you can have equality. You can’t have both, and in socialist countries, the inequality is even greater than in free-market societies, because of the absolute power of the thugs in charge. See the Soviet Union, Cuba, Venezuela, Zimbabwe, or North Korea for illustration.