The Nordic countries have fared better than other parts of
Is there anything left of the generous welfare state?
The perception that people abroad have of
When we try that in
You cannot copy other countries' reforms.
This has more to do with the background over many years than what is happening today. We have a budget rule: it must be balanced over the economic cycle. We have consensus-based and economically robust pension reform providing for a flexible pension age. This has all been done by both centre-right and social democratic governments. And the
We got ours from
Name a market-oriented reform.
We have a well-functioning system of free schools.
Why does anyone go to the state schools?
You put the question in an interesting way. In
Free marketeers cite
The same medicine does not work for all patients. The experience of
America has found growth with a stimulus package. Why can't
Keynes said, 'in the long run, we are all dead'. He was wrong. We tend to live on. In the long run, the money will run out. There is indeed a case to be made for economic stimulus: if you do everything exactly right, and you get the timing exactly right, you can avert a crisis. But it's very hard to do that. And after the crisis, when politicians say, 'well now it's time to do the hard things', there's no longer any incentive to do it.
From a Swedish perspective, it's hard to make the case that you will have the benefit of the common market without any of the problems you get when you join the club. If you tag along as an outsider, a big country like
What is the Nordic model's future?
Some features of the Swedish model are still intact. But if you take a closer look, you can see that high taxes and a generous welfare state are diversions from what is really going on. They are a leftover from the past. Thanks to a non-corrupt bureaucracy, high levels of trust, an otherwise very open and globalised economy,
Håkan Tribell is Director of ideas and programme development at Timbro, Swedish free-market think-tank
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