The Scandinavian model of government has been increasing discussed in recent weeks, largely because Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is an open supporter of bringing similar policies to America. The Scandinavian model, also known as democratic socialism, is defined a democratic political system alongside a socialist economic system, involving social ownership of the means of production.
The Scandinavian countries have been successful pairing high levels of government spending with a decent growth rate. However, many experts maintain this positive statistic is misleading. While countries like Sweden and Norway have income tax rates well over 50 percent, many are unsure about the other ways these large governments maintain.
As of January 2015, the North Sea is the world’s most active offshore drilling region with 173 active rigs drilling. The technological advances to locate and retrieve oil from these fields have unlocked fortunes for the countries who own a share of the North Sea Territory – regardless of which countries had a role in producing the necessary technological innovations. None of the Oil technology was created in Socialist Scandinavia.
Daniel W. Drezner, an American professor of international politics at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, believes technological innovation only reaches its fullest potential in a capitalist country. “It (tech advances) disproportionately comes from economies where incentives for workers and entrepreneurs results in greater inequality and greater poverty . . . i.e., the United States. Those innovations, however, don’t make just us more productive; they filter out to the rest of the world,” said the internationally known scholar.
Although many Democratic candidates have pointed to these Scandinavian countries as examples of Socialist successes, a valid evaluation cannot be done while the countries ride on the technological coat-tails of capitalist countries.