Thursday, February 7, 2013

A report from the Economist

This week's Economist has a number of articles on the Nordic countries worth a read.

The first talks about how Sweden, Denmark, and Norway seem to have found a new model, "avoiding both southern Europe’s economic sclerosis and America’s extreme inequality." It also counters many of the myths of Scandinavia being a socialist tax-and-spend paradise; for example, Sweden's budget deficit is 0.3% of GDP; America’s is 7%.

The second article talks a bit more about how it's being done. Simply put, "rather than extending the state into the market, the Nordics are extending the market into the state."And it seems to be working right now: "the Nordics dominate indices of competitiveness as well as of well-being."

Scandinavian countries still have a number of advantages over other countries in the EU. Their economies are small and relatively homogeneous. They have good infrastructure and high education levels. But still, it's hard to govern at all, let alone well. For the time being at least, Sweden, Norway, and Denmark are doing it well, indeed.

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