As the race for the democratic nomination progresses, candidates former Vice President Joe Biden (D) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vermont) continue to go head-to-head to make a lasting impression on the American public.
As of the last democratic primary on March 17, Sanders, a self-proclaimed socialist, had a total of 914 delegates compared to Biden’s 1,217. Biden has had a recent resurgence of popularity and with the mathematical data considered, a win appears inevitable because he has secured more than half the delegates needed for the nomination.
Although this reality leaves Sanders in the dust scrambling for any remaining delegates, it begs the question of how socialism would function if it was implemented in the United States.
Americans have become increasingly divided on the idea of socialism and whether or not it would be a beneficial system to implement in the country.
As of last year, according to Gallup, a striking 43% of U.S. adults support socialism, a statistic that has drastically risen from a 1942 Roper/Fortune survey which showed only 25% siding with socialistic views at the time.
Although these numbers have spiked upward, Americans have failed to realize the true implications that a country based on a socialist system brings.
Sanders has voiced overwhelming support of the “Nordic Model,” a system that uses both social welfare and economic methods and is employed by Scandinavian countries. The Nordic Model still interworks some aspects of capitalism, but it's true economic efficiency is called into question when examined closer.
Sweden, for example, achieved peak economic success when the country was boosted by a capitalist economy and was one of the richest countries in the world between 1870 and 1950 as a result.
These numbers have now plummeted since the 1960s, when Sweden began to redistribute wealth through major taxation. In Sweden, the income tax rate is an astounding 57.2%, while the United States sits at an income tax rate of a mere 37%, according to tradingecomonics.com. And it is not just the infamous “1%” that have to pay these taxes in the Nordic countries.
In the wise words of Margret Thatcher, former British prime minister, “The trouble with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people's money.”
Transforming the economy in the U.S. would be no simple task not just economically, but also culturally.
American culture is characterized by the freedom of choice and individualism; however, the very nature of socialism is based on conformity and common cause.
As Americans, we pride ourselves on personal achievement. If the government were to step in and guarantee consistent support, the incentive to be diligent would be eradicated. A modern example of socialism at its worst is found in Venezuela, where the inflation rate was 19,906 % in 2019. Medicine and water are scarce, and hunger and crime are rampant.
So, the rallying cry of millennials who impatiently chant “feel the Bern” should have to wait a little longer for housing for all, Medicare for all and college for all in the U.S.