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Hillary Clinton and the Scandinavian-American Dream

Hillary Clinton dismissed Nordic welfare economies in a Democratic primary debate last fall, underscoring one of her biggest differences with Bernie Sanders. But these economies have been successful in guarding against precisely the kind of populist anger that Clinton will face in November.

COPENHAGEN – This week, Hillary Clinton will address the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia to accept her party’s presidential nomination and present its platform. When she does, she will define her vision of, among other things, the social contract in America.

It will be a crucial moment. The relationship between Americans and their government is a burning issue today, and two of Clinton’s fellow candidates – Donald Trump, the Republican nominee, and Bernie Sanders – have, each in his own way, challenged her on it.

When Sanders defended Denmark’s social-welfare state during a Democratic primary debate in October 2015, Clinton scoffed, “We are not Denmark.” True, the United States is not Denmark. But it is not wrong to ask what makes Scandinavian welfare economies so successful, and what Americans can learn from them.

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