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Jakarta Post

Social democracy beats democratic socialism

  • Daron Acemoglu


Cambridge   /   Wed, February 19, 2020   /  03:25 pm
Social democracy beats democratic socialism Democratic presidential candidate Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders speaks to supporters as they wait for results to come in at his caucus night watch party on February 3, 2020 in Des Moines, Iowa. (AFP/Kerem Yucel)

It used to be an unwritten rule of United States’ politics that a socialist could never qualify for high national office. But now a self-proclaimed “democratic socialist”, US Senator Bernie Sanders, is the leading candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination. Should America embrace the change? Democrats have made the primaries about much more than US President Donald Trump. Sanders’ momentum reflects a yearning for radical solutions to serious structural economic problems. Decades after World War II, the US economy became steadily more productive and wages for all workers grew by over 2 percent per year, on average. But that is no longer the case today. Over the last four decades, productivity growth has been lackluster, economic growth has slowed, and an increasing share of the gains have gone to capital owners and the highly educated. Meanwhile,...

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not reflect the official stance of The Jakarta Post.