These countries are NOT America. They may have their own issues (and certainly do), however they are a very very different place.
Unfortunately they are being slowly infected by 'American Exceptionalism' and all the BS that seems to drag along with it, however they are less far along that diseased path.
You've got it backwards. The Scandinavian countries have been infected by "socialist exceptionalism" but may be throwing it off to return to Scandinavian exceptionalism.
Debunking the Myth of Socialist “Success” in Scandinavia
As Sanandaji explains clearly in his meticulously sourced book, though, what most Big Government advocates see as desirable outcomes in Scandinavia — relative prosperity, high levels of income equality, long lifespans, good health, low levels of poverty, and more — all predate the welfare state. On life expectancy, for example, four out of the top five OECD nations were in Scandinavia in 1960, with Norway at the very top. On income, meanwhile, most of the shift toward “equality” happened between 1870 and 1950 — long before the welfare state took over. Ironically, the emergence of Big Government even put some of that at risk, along with the long-established cultural norms such as the Protestant work ethic, honesty, social trust, entrepreneurship, innovation, and more that made those advances possible to begin with.
Indeed, before the emergence of welfare-state policies beginning in the 1960s and 1970s, Sweden was among the most prosperous and fast-growing economies on the planet. Between 1870 and 1936, when Sweden was characterized by relatively free markets, the nation enjoyed the highest rate of growth in the industrialized world. Innovation and entrepreneurship flourished, making Sweden one of the richest countries on Earth. Then came the radical Social Democratic period characterized by an ever-larger and more expensive government. Between 1975 and the mid-1990s — marked by the radical, if short-lived, experiment in “Third Way” socialism — Sweden dropped from being the fourth richest nation in the world down to the 13th richest.
Fortunately for Swedes, as the giant welfare state's harmful effects became increasingly obvious, the Swedish political class began to reverse course. From lowering taxes and government spending to deregulating and privatizing broad swaths of the economy, policymakers realized that the nation's continued success depended on freer markets — not total government. Still, the damage was severe. As Sanandaji explains, citing his earlier research on the subject, the rate of business formation during the “third-way era” was “dreadful.” In 2004, none of the 100 largest firms ranked by employment were founded within Sweden after 1970. “Furthermore, between 1950 and 2000, although the Swedish population grew from 7 million to almost 9 million, net job creation in the private sector was close to zero,” he observed.
Today, Denmark, despite higher taxes, has more economic freedom than the United States. Sweden and Finland are both catching up, too. And interestingly, despite Sanders' recent pronouncements on ABC News about Scandinavia having “more income and wealth equality,” Sweden still has a great deal more “wealth inequality” today than the United States, according to a study cited in the monograph.