Essay Standards Living

That path was contested — by socialist-inspired workers on the one hand and capitalist owners and their elite cronies on the other — but it led in the end to a mixed economy.Thanks largely to the solidarity and savvy of organized labor and the political parties it backed, the long struggle produced a system that makes capitalism more or less cooperative, and then redistributes equitably the wealth it helps to produce.

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She praised capitalism and “all the small businesses that were started because we have the opportunity and the freedom in our country for people to do that and to make a good living for themselves and their families.” She didn’t seem to know that Danes, Swedes and Norwegians do that, too, and with much higher rates of success.The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s annual report on international well-being, for example, measures 11 factors, ranging from material conditions like affordable housing and employment to quality of life matters like education, health, life expectancy, voter participation and overall citizen satisfaction.Year after year, all the Nordic countries cluster at the top, while the United States lags far behind.Sanders said that he was all for small business, too, but that meant nothing “if all of the new income and wealth is going to the top 1 percent.” (As George Carlin said, “The reason they call it the American Dream is because you have to be asleep to believe it.”) In that debate, no more was heard of Denmark, Sweden or Norway. Later, in a speech at Georgetown University, Sanders tried to clarify his identity as a Democratic socialist.He said he’s not the kind of Socialist (with a capital S) who favors state ownership of anything like the means of production.Bernie Sanders was denouncing America’s crooked version of “casino capitalism” that floats the already rich ever higher and flushes the working class.He said that we ought to “look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway, and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people.” He believes, he added, in “a society where all people do well.It felt quite a lot like stepping back into that other violent, impoverished world, where anxiety runs high and people are quarrelsome.I had, in fact, come back to the flip side of Afghanistan and Iraq: to what America’s wars have done to America.Where I live now, in the Homeland, there are not enough shelters for the homeless.Most people are either overworked or hurting for jobs; housing is overpriced; hospitals, crowded and understaffed; schools, largely segregated and not so good.

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