The idea of lean Nordic government will come as a shock both to French leftists who dream of socialist Scandinavia and to American conservatives who fear that Barack Obama is bent on “Swedenisation”. They are out of date. In the 1970s and 1980s the Nordics were indeed tax-and-spend countries. Sweden’s public spending reached 67% of GDP in 1993. Astrid Lindgren, the inventor of Pippi Longstocking, was forced to pay more than 100% of her income in taxes. But tax-and-spend did not work: Sweden fell from being the fourth-richest country in the world in 1970 to the 14th in 1993.
Since then the Nordics have changed course—mainly to the right. Government’s share of GDP in Sweden, which has dropped by around 18 percentage points, is lower than France’s and could soon be lower than Britain’s. Taxes have been cut: the corporate rate is 22%, far lower than America’s.
Multiculturalism and immigration are still ruining Scandinavia. Their form of feminism is plain nuts. But at least financially they have stepped back from utter folly only to moderate folly. They still are on a demographic road to disaster. But at least they've let the private sector be big enough to produce some stuff.
|Share |||By Randall Parker at 2013 February 12 08:57 PM|