In Would Democratic Socialism Be Better?, Lane Kenworthy examines how capitalist economies have performed on 15 outcomes that contemporary democratic socialists say we should care about: an end to poverty in rich countries, an end to poverty everywhere, more jobs, decent jobs, faster economic growth, inclusive growth, more public goods and services, affordable healthcare for all, helpful finance, truly democratic politics, economic democracy, less economic inequality, gender and racial equality, more community, and a livable planet.
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Interest in democratic socialism is on the rise, but this wide-ranging comparison of two systems shows that the Nordic model of capitalism achieves virtually everything that contemporary democratic socialists say we should want.
Socialism is back in the conversation, and recent polls suggest the share of young Americans who have a favorable impression of socialism is about the same as the share that have a favorable view of capitalism. The case for a modern democratic socialism is that capitalism is bad, or at least not very good, and that socialism would be an improvement. To fully and fairly assess democratic socialism's desirability, Lane Kenworthy argues in Would Democratic Socialism Be Better?, we need to
compare it to the best version of capitalism that humans have devised: social democratic capitalism. Kenworthy offers a close look at the evidence about how capitalist economies have performed on an array of outcomes. He finds that social democratic capitalism achieves virtually everything that contemporary
democratic socialists say we should want.