Notes on a Butter Republic

for decades the right has tried to shout down any attempt to sand down some of the rough edges of capitalism, whether through health guarantees, income supports, or anything else, by yelling “socialism.” Sooner or later people were bound to say that if any attempt to make our system less harsh is socialism, well, they’re socialists.

.. The truth is that there are hardly any people in the U.S. who want the government to seize the means of production, or even the economy’s commanding heights. What they want is social democracy – the kinds of basic guarantees of health care, protection against poverty, etc., that almost every other advanced country provides.

.. Denmark, where tax receipts are 46 percent of GDP compared with 26 percent in the U.S., is arguably the most social-democratic country in the world.

.. According to conservative doctrine, the combination of high taxes and aid to “takers” must really destroy incentives both to create jobs and to take them in any case. So Denmark must suffer from mass unemployment, right?