Rutger Bregman, a Dutch historian who caught the world's attention after criticizing the super-rich at the Davos summit earlier this year, told CNBC Tuesday that higher tax rates in the U.S. are "necessary to tame this beast we call capitalism."
His comments come at time when President Donald Trump and his Republican allies have repeatedly warned of the dire consequences for the world's largest economy if Democrats with left-leaning ideologies get their way in next year's presidential election.
Proposals embraced by many Democrats hopeful about their chances of success in 2020 include the Green New Deal (an ambitious plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions), Medicare for all and debt-free college education.
Opinion polls show that voters are generally in favor of these liberal social programs.
"To be honest, I think that this whole debate that you have — especially in America — about capitalism versus socialism, I think it is rather ridiculous," Bregman told CNBC's "Squawk Box Europe" on Tuesday.
"We are talking about policies that the vast majority of the population actually favors, you know, higher taxes on the wealthy, most people are really in favor of that."
"So, as I always like to say, it is not communism it is just common sense. It is about taming this beast that we call capitalism," Bregman said.