Sunday, October 03, 2010

Sweden Moving Away From Socialism?


America, even with Republicans in the House and possibly Senate, runs the risk of becoming the model sclerotic empire, wasting away while other states move toward more freedom. Canada and Sweden, nations we conservatives and libertarians used to scoff at as silly, are starting to beat the US on measures of freedom and competitiveness.
Sweden is one country to watch. First, it does socialism about as well as any state could. (of course, this is easier when your nation is small, homogeneous, and free of the burdens of world leadership). Next, unlike the US, Sweden is moving in the right direction, toward that conservative (in the true meaning of the word) ideal of a 3rd way, where the welfare state, to the extent it exists, is individualized.

The article then quotes National Review Online:

In fact, contemporary Sweden is much less socialist than many Americans realize. Since the early 1990s, when it suffered a painful financial crisis, the Scandinavian country has deregulated key industries (such as airlines, telecommunications, and electricity), lowered its overall tax burden, established universal school vouchers, partially privatized its pension system, abolished certain government monopolies, sold a number of state-owned enterprises (including the parent company of Absolut vodka), and trimmed public spending. Several years ago, it eliminated gift and inheritance taxes. The World Economic Forum now ranks Sweden as the second-most competitive economy on earth, behind only Switzerland. According to the 2010 Index of Economic Freedom (compiled by the Wall Street Journal and the Heritage Foundation), Sweden offers greater business freedom, trade freedom, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, freedom from corruption, and property-rights protection than does the United States.

Is this hyperbole? How do their tax rates compare to those in the US? I find this difficult to believe; perhaps I'm stuck in an "old paradigm" regarding Sweden. Or perhaps it's just less socialist than it used to be....


ConservaLassie said...

This is happening in the UK and Canada, too. The old socialist dream goes down the toilet! :-)

allen (in Michigan) said...

The Germans got into quite a little tussle with the French a couple of years ago due to Germany's tax reductions. The French didn't want Germany to gain a competitive advantage by reducing taxation.

Talk about missing the forest for the trees.

Anonymous said...

You can find out about the tax burden here:

Forbes 2009 Tax Misery Index