Speed Reads

what's in a name

Bernie Sanders isn't really much of a socialist

There might be a problem with Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I-Vt.) claim that America is ready to elect a "democratic socialist": Not everyone agrees that he actually is one. In some experts' opinions, Sanders has mislabeled himself — and caused undue confusion because of it. The New York Times' Josh Barro writes:

After all, Mr. Sanders does not want to nationalize the steel mills or the auto companies or even the banks. Like Mrs. Clinton, he believes in a mixed economy, where capitalist institutions are mediated through taxes and regulation. He just wants more taxes and more regulation than Mrs. Clinton does. He certainly seems like a regular Democrat, only more so. [The New York Times]

If anything, Barro writes, the biggest distinction between Hillary Clinton and Sanders is in "degree" rather than "kind." "When you look at the policies, there's a way to see it as Bernie has cranked up Hillary's agenda to 11," economic policy expert Mike Konczal told The New York Times. He added: "It's not socialism, it's social democracy, which is a big difference."

The most accurate and least confusing term for Sanders' ideology, then, Barro writes, is simply "very liberal."

Read the full article at The New York Times.