Zach Blake

Zach Blake

Demystifying Democratic Socialism

What is Democratic Socialism?          If you’ve ever heard Bernie Sanders speak, you’ve likely also heard “The top one-tenth of 1 percent now owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent.” This statistic, produced by the National Bureau of Economic Research, is true (aside from the glaring fact that it doesn’t account for social security received by the bottom 90%). Regardless, Bernie sees America’s economic landscape as ridden with disparities and unfairness. In order to right our fiscal path, Bernie, and many others, offer democratic socialism as a solution.

cilostazol price augment          Democratic socialism has been portrayed as fair, democratic, and superior to capitalism. This conjecture is acceptable (although most likely wrong), but a deeper issue lurks within the definition and conception of system. It seems, painting in broad strokes, that Democratic Socialists are in favor of a democratic government and highly socialized economy. Bernie Sanders’ website states, “So let me define for you, simply and straightforwardly, what democratic socialism means to me. It builds on what Franklin Delano Roosevelt said when he fought for guaranteed economic rights for all Americans. And it builds on what Martin Luther King, Jr. said in 1968 when he stated that; “This country has socialism for the rich, and rugged individualism for the poor.”1 Despite Mr. Sanders prefacing his comment with “simply and straightforwardly,” the definition lacks any such clarity or simplicity. Studying other quotes from Democratic Socialists reveal a stubborn refusal to plainly define economic policy, replaced instead by trite admonishments of unfair wealth distributions. Some specifics laid out by Democratic Socialists include universal health care, subsidized higher education, inordinate tax rates on the wealthy, and a multi-trillion-dollar spending plan to cover these goals. The proponents of similar objectives are almost certainly good-spirited and want the best for their fellow Americans, especially when it is “unfair” for a small concentration of people to hold a majority of wealth. But these same advocates, growing in numbers each day, have not been able to separate themselves sufficiently from traditional socialism, an extremely dangerous and repeatedly failed system.

1 %
Of Democrats
1 %
Of Republicans

connect buy zithromax online          To put it simply, Democratic Socialists aim to rely on consensus in order to take what others have earned (excluding trust fund babies and people of that nature). If, within a neighborhood of 10 people, 7 individuals decide they like the homes of 3 better, and democratically vote to take their homes,  that is still theft…even with a majority opinion.  Obviously, we must have some taxation and social programs to produce a functioning society (i.e. roads, military, police force), but redistributing a majority of someone’s earnings goes beyond necessity, all while mitigating incentive. A common appeal made by Democratic Socialists involves citing the success of Nordic countries that have implemented comparable policies. However, the Nordic countries, by their own admission and economic freedom indices, are free market economies with large social safety nets. Even Denmark’s Prime Minister responded to Mr. Sanders with, “I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy.3” Even so, Denmark’s extreme tax rates and social programs have led to a 5.5% decline in GDP since 2007. 4Additionally, in Norway, the top 10% of households own over 50% of the wealth5 (which is not “equal” by any means). To make things less comparable, the population of the Nordic countries is less than that of Texas and is extremely homogenous in culture due to its small size.6 Keeping in mind that their examples are misconstrued, and that no evident distinction can be made, it seems to me that Democratic Socialism is traditional socialism draped in attractive language, or at least a less extreme variant.

cheapest place to buy zoloft         If you find yourself questioning whether socialism and its children are truly bad, we can look at a current example (ignoring the tragedy of the USSR). Moving to Venezuela in 1998, a socialist president named Hugo Chavez was elected. Over the next decade, his socialist regime nationalized industries, and private land ownership faced serious suppression.7 Skipping a few steps, to date, over 2.3 million Venezuelans have fled the country, and inflation reached 833,997% by the beginning of November 20188,9. The country is facing unprecedented economic and social disasters thanks to a socialized economy. From most perspectives, the socialist experiment in Venezuela failed miserably, just as it has in all other nations that attempt it. However, if you are an advocate of equal outcomes (basically socialism and communism), then Venezuela has been a massive success…because everyone is equally impoverished and suffering. The same equity could be seen in the USSR and modern-day North Korea but is not desirable in any rational sense.

        The issue is certainly more complex than a few pages make it out to be, but socialism and democratic socialism are rarely studied in necessary depth. To claim that a democratic government with a socialized economy can function is America is not patently false, although it runs in the face of available evidence.
       Those preaching for its implementation are pursuing hypothetical fairness. Fairness, however, translates to equality of outcome for Democratic Socialists and is not only far from desirable, but contradictory to American values embedded in our success.

The works cited for this post can be found at the bottom of this webpage.

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Works cited

1 “Senator Bernie Sanders on Democratic Socialism in the United States” Bernie Sanders, 20 Nov. 2015,

2 Cummings, William. “Democrats Have a More Positive View of Socialism than Capitalism, Poll Finds.” USA Today, Gannett Satellite Information Network, 15 Aug. 2018,

3 “Danish PM in US: Denmark Is Not Socialist.” The Local, The Local, 1 Nov. 2015,

4 “Denmark Personal Income Tax Rate.” Kenya Government Debt to GDP , TRADING , ECONOMICS,

5 Epland, Jon, et al. “Income and Wealth Statistics for Households, 2014 .”,, 16 Dec. 2015,

6 Tamkin, Emily. “Will Everyone Shut Up Already About How the Nordic Countries Top Every Global Ranking?” Slate Magazine, Slate, 29 Aug. 2014,

7 Iacob, Ivona. “Venezuela’s Failed Socialist Experiment.” Forbes, Forbes Magazine, 24 July 2016,

8 Associated Press. “UN: Estimated 2.3M People Have Fled Venezuela.” VOA, VOA, 14 Aug. 2018,

9 Brennan, David. “Venezuela Inflation Rate Hits 833,997%, Remains on Course for 1 Million by 2019.” Newsweek, 8 Nov. 2018,

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