Do Socialist economic policies make society fairer?

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Redistributive mechanisms, typical of socialist societies, cause inequalities in housing.

In 1968 socialist Hungary, approximately 58% of professionals lived in rented State houses, versus the 8.4% of agricultural laborers and 35.9% of unskilled workers.

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Redistributive mechanisms cause inequalities in allowances.

According to an investigation conducted by the Central Statistical Office in Hungary in 1967, after redistribution, per capita allowances in white collar families were about 20% higher than in families of industrial workers.

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The passage from a socialist economy to a more neoliberal one can increase inequalities.

In 1976, China’s national Gini coefficient of income distribution (where 0=total equality and 1=total inequality) was below .30; today, it is estimated at close to .50, among the highest in the world (though still below the levels of nations like South Africa and Brazil).

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Nationalization leads to economic decline.

After Castro took over in 1959, he nationalized 70% of farmland. The CEA researchers noted that in the following period (1963-64) all production fell by a double digit percentage. Output of their biggest crop, sugar, fell by 35%.

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In some countries, income inequality between the rich and the poor has been growing since the end of the Socialist era.

In the United States, the share of the nation’s total income held by the richest - 10% of the population - changed from 40%–45% in the 1920s and 1930s, to 30%–35% from the 1940s to the 1970s, then increased from the early 1980s, reaching 45% in 2005.

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The Nordic socialist model created a good business climate.

The Danish economy is ranked by the World Bank as number 5 in the world with respect to the ease of doing business, with Finland and Sweden coming in at numbers 13 and 14, respectively, out of a total of 173 countries.

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In Sweden, socialist policies led to a major dependency on the public sector, thus damaging the economy.

In 1960, there were 38 “tax-financed” Swedes (i.e. dependent on the public sector) for every 100 “market-financed” (i.e. depending on private enterprise). Thirty years later, that ratio rose to 151:100, with more people depending on the public sector than financing it.

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The Nordic model is nowadays a myth.

According to the Heritage Foundation’s index of economic freedom, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Iceland, and Denmark – socialist strongholds in the 1970s – today rank among the 30 most capitalist countries in the world, with an index score of between 70% and 79.9%.

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Taxation in Nordic socialist countries affects the middle class, thus extending the base rather than putting more taxes on the rich.

In Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden) top tax applies to income that is only 1.5 times the average wage; on the other hand, the top US federal income tax is applied to income that is 8 times the average wage.

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