Saturday, August 17, 2019

There's no socialism in the Nordic countries, no matter what the Left keeps repeating

What the Left Gets Wrong About Scandinavia

January 26, 2016
Sanandaji thinks that a much better explanation for the economic success of Scandinavia is culture. If you look at the years in which these countries built the wealth their citizens now enjoy, it was long before leftist ideas took hold. For instance, from 1870 through 1936, Sweden was the fastest growing economy in the world. But after 1975—when the Swedish state began to expand in earnest—Sweden’s economy noticeably slowed, falling from the 4th richest in the world to the 13th by the mid 1990s.

And Nordic voters are starting to take notice. Scandanavian governments have been paring down the size of their governments. Since the 1990s, the total taxation of the Swedish economy as a percentage of GDP has fallen more than 5%, while labor market reforms, such as Denmark’s cutting of unemployment benefits have helped Scandanavian economies rocket up measures of economic freedom. Don’t tell Bernie Sanders, but as Sanadaji puts it, Scandanavia is slowly “returning to its free market roots.” 

The Myth of Scandinavian Socialism

The Nordic model is far from socialist.

In response to Americans frequently referring to his country as socialist, the prime minister of Denmark recently remarked in a lecture at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government,

I know that some people in the US associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism. Therefore I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy.

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