How to do that? First, learn from the Nordic countries. American progressives sometimes imagine that the Nordic countries are socialist wonderlands. They are not. The Nordic countries have strong social supports and also open free-market economies. In fact, they can afford to have strong welfare policies only because they have dynamic free-market economies.
No Nordic country has a minimum wage law. According to a JPMorgan Chase report, Nordic countries are more open to free trade than the U.S. They have fewer regulations on business creation, fewer licensing regulations.
As Charles Lane pointed out recently in The Washington Post, most Nordic countries have zero estate tax. Nordic health plans require patient co-payments and high deductibles, in stark contrast to Bernie Sanders’s plan. The Nordic countries tried wealth taxes of the sort Elizabeth Warren is proposing, and all except Norway abandoned them because they were unworkable.
The Nordic countries show that social solidarity and economic freedom are not opposite, but go hand in hand. That’s the general approach we want here.
Second, never coddle. Progressives are always trying to give away free stuff. They reduce citizens to children on Christmas morning. For example, Warren and Sanders want to make public college free. But as common sense and recent research tells us, when you give people something free, they value it less. They are more likely to drop out when times get hard.
“American liberals should be learning from the Nordic countries by [cherrypicks the handful of aspects of the systems that least offend American conservatives.] But instead they’re offering nutty communist crap like…the free college Nordic countries offer. Also, liberals are supposed to like France, why don’t they favor putting greater restrictions on second trimester abortions and free abortions in public clinics…whoops, scratch that second part!”
Anyway, it’s times like this that only the American Chopper meme will do: