The Next Supermodel?

The Economist has a new report out on the Nordic countries naming them the model for how other nations can return their economies to prosperity. As socialism failed in Sweden in the early 1990s the government and to a lessor extent the neighboring countries of Denmark, Finland, and Norway began to reform economic policy. Taxes and budget deficits were cut. The relative size of the national debt was reduced. Labor markets, regulation, and education have experienced liberal reforms. The result has been a return to prosperity. Not a bad model.


  1. They are wrong, that Sweden has experienced liberal reforms is false. We have debunked the following two myths many times:
    1. Sweden is a socialist paradise where Socialism works.
    2. Sweden is deregulating and we should follow Sweden as an example.
    For more information watch and read this:

    We can’t let Socialism get a safe-haven not even in Sweden and certainly not under a new disguise were it is called liberalization. Oppression is oppression and Socialism is Socialism so let us start by calling things for what they really are. The new “right-wing” government is as socialist to the core as the old, ”left-wing”, one.

    The total tax burden has decreased by 3% from 48.9% 2005 to 45.9% 2010. To call this liberalization is a slap in the face of the people who are slaves under a socialistic regime. To watch them brag about how they reformed Sweden is a mockery of true freedom. We don’t want their candy, we want real freedom.

    From my point of view you can take everything I own, I won’t like it but I will survive. But what is even worse is when you further restrict my freedom, tighten the grip of our children’s mind with socialism and state education and invade my personal integrity even more.

    If you care about freedom, please stop spreading these lies and misconceptions. In Sweden we still have the same old enemy and that is Socialism.

  2. In reality Sweden is not doing so great either.

    Reducing the deficit is easy when you have the world’s second highest tax rate, calculated by one of the major banks to be 70 percent, all inclusive. Tax on gas is approx 85 percent, making gas prices four times the price in the US. This is not working so well in the longer term.

    For example 25 percent youth unemployment, and jobs are disappearing by the tens of thousands every year (population 9 million) due to taxes and regulation, almost 100k expected to go in 2013.

    An enormous housing bubble is now bursting, a bubble of course created by rapidly growing bank credit, more than doubled over the past ten years.

    After decades of “Swedencare” ( the quality of health care is fast declining, and becoming ever more scarce, creating a necessity for rationing.

    The performance of schools is falling fast in the international PISA studies. The voucher school system has created wealthy political “entrepreneurs”, providing a quality of service about on par with the public schools.

    All of the other public-private partnerships created in the “liberalized” but still government regulated industries, e.g. pharmacies, healthcare, hospitals, care of the elderly, the immigration industry, are also creating a lot of wealthy “entrepreneurs” while the quality of service remains unimpressive. This of course makes people blame capitalism and demand more socialism.

    The fabric of society is disintegrating after a century of welfarism, creating ever more tax consumers and fewer producers. Violence, rape and murder rates are growing every year. Welfare immigration is out of control. The sentiment among the population is one of radically increasing polarization over the issue of immigration. It is hard to maintain a civilized discussion, they all tend to end in accusations of “hate”.

    Of course there are a few positives, where there has actually been true liberalizations. We now have more than the two state-run tv stations, we can buy telephones on the market instead of from the FTC, and we have no more taxi lines.

  3. Scandinavia is nowhere near been a new good model for economies. In particular not my home country, Norway. It is littered with socialistic policies in all or most areas of society, and is kept up by the oil flowing from the North Sea.

    Mr. Thornton, your name has actually been quoted in mainstream Norwegian financial newspapers lately. That is nice to see.

    I’ve mentioned some of your previous work in my most recent blogpost on the growing Norwegian housing bubble as well, where we have our very own “Freddie Mac/Fannie Mae” (google translate required):

    Keep up your good work Sir.

    With regards,
    “Boom Bust”

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