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Monday, November 28, 2005

The Myth of the Scandinavian Model

The Brussels Journal has an article on the economic climate in Europe with special attention given to the Scandinavian countries and Ireland:

In 1970, Sweden’s level of prosperity was one quarter above Belgium’s. By 2003 Sweden had fallen to 14th place from 5th in the prosperity index, two places behind Belgium. According to OECD figures, Denmark was the 3rd most prosperous economy in the world in 1970, immediately behind Switzerland and the United States. In 2003, Denmark was 7th. Finland did badly as well. From 1989 to 2003, while Ireland rose from 21st to 4th place, Finland fell from 9th to 15th place. Together with Italy, these three Scandinavian countries are the worst performing economies in the entire European Union. Rather than taking them as an example, Europe’s politicians should shun the Scandinavian recipes.
The Scandinavian nations have presented a problem for people like me who advocate low tax burdens for economic growth as these nations always seem to be highly regarded in best place to do business lists and other similar ratings. This article, assuming it is accurate, which it seems to be, refutes that myth very strongly. Very interesting stuff. I hope a few European leaders (and American politicians) see this and understand it. (via Instapundit)


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