If Scandinavian Nations Are Socialist, so Is the United States

If Scandinavian Nations Are Socialist, so Is the United States, by Dan Mitchell.

In global ranking of economic liberty, Nordic nations score relatively high, with Denmark and Finland in the top 20. Scandinavian nations have large welfare states, but otherwise have very laissez-faire economic policies. Nordic nations got rich when government was small, but growth has slowed since welfare states were imposed. …

Maybe this chart from Economic Freedom of the World will help. It shows, based on the five major categories of economic liberty, that the once-significant gap between the United States and Scandinavia has almost completely disappeared.

Economic Freedom: The gap between the US and Scandinavia, moderate in 1980, has all but disappeared.

The bottom line is that both the United States and Scandinavian nations are market-oriented, but also saddled with plenty of bad government policies. If that makes us socialist, then what’s the right term for nations where government has a much bigger footprint, such as France, Italy, or Greece?

How about Venezuela and Zimbabwe?

Or North Korea and Cuba?

What I’m saying is that there’s a spectrum and we should be cognizant that there are different degrees of statism. And nations closer to one end are much different from countries closer to the other end.

hat-tip Matthew