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Why do the happiest countries embrace socialism?

“If socialism is such nightmare then why do all the happiest countries in the world embrace it?”

On HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher’s controversial episode last March 29, the comedian asked this daring question in response to claims that “socialism is such a one-way ticket to becoming the nightmare of Venezuela.”

Maher referenced the United Nations’ latest annual World Happiness rankings and pointed out that the top countries “are all socialist-friendly places like Finland and Norway, Denmark, and Iceland, Switzerland, Sweden, the Netherlands and Canada.”

He adds:

“The right has a hard time understanding the concept that we don’t want ‘long lines for bread socialism.’ We want the ‘you don’t have to win the lotto to afford brain surgery socialism socialism.’”

Maher points out that not everyone in America lobbies for pure socialism. Instead, most people, whether they realize it or not, only want to supplement capitalism with some socialistic policies.

He describes the sentiment as:

“Socialism replacing capitalism is bad, but socialism as a supplement to capitalism is good. Kind of like how gin and tonic are terrible by themselves, but mixed together, delightful.”

Maher points out that what citizens really want is peace of mind, saying that:

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“Happiness isn’t only about what you have, it’s also what you don’t have to worry about. Turns out, freedom from the fear of ending up in a tent below the overpass is a really great freedom. It’s called peace of mind.”

So why isn’t America leaning towards socialistic ways, or at least some?

According to Maher, conservatives like to push the false notion that unrestricted capitalism makes you “more free.”

But to Maher, “actually it’s the right kind of socialism that makes you the freest.”

What do you think? Do you think socialism is bad to a country like America?

Or, if the world’s happiest countries embrace socialism, they might be doing something right?


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Written by Genefe Navilon

Genefe Navilon is a writer, poet, and blogger. She graduated with a degree in Mass Communications at the University of San Jose Recoletos. Her poetry blog, Letters To The Sea, currently has 18,000 followers. Her work has been published in different websites and poetry book anthologies. She divides her time between traveling, writing, and working on her debut poetry book.

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