Does Socialism Work in Scandinavia?

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It is often said that the Scandinavian model is an example of how socialism works in first-world countries. No doubt the Scandinavian countries are successful in many ways, but are they socialist? The answer is a resounding no. In the words of the prime minister of Denmark, “I would like to make one thing clear. Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy… the Nordic model is a successful market economy with as much freedom to pursue your dreams and live your life as you wish.” The Nordic countries are less socialist than the United States in many ways. You want to make us more like the Scandinavian countries? Fine, then slash corporate income tax to a fraction of ours. Repeal the minimum wage. Start removing government regulations on business. In other words, if you want to be like them, then start leaving the socialist model and adopt the policies that actually brought what success they do have. The only reason members of the general population consider those countries to be socialist, is because they have a massive welfare state, single-payer healthcare, and high taxes to support said socialist policies. Taxes took a significant increase in Scandinavia 50-60 years ago (source). Before then, they had some of the most capitalist societies on earth, and built a mountain of wealth. They were quickly catching up to the United States. But then they started introducing high taxes, and their GDP growth rate died and the economy leveled off. Their welfare state continued to survive on the back of their capitalistic economy, but it was creating too much drag, so they started lowering taxes and cutting back on their socialist policies. After Fredrik Reinfeldt took office in Sweden in 2006, he started slashing taxes within three months of being in office (source). What did you see when he did that? Massive economic improvement. After the financial crisis struck in 2008 & 2009, Sweden was the who pulled out ahead in the Nordic countries with GDP gains as high as 6.1% already in 2010 (Norway at 0.5% and Denmark at 1.5%) (source). Their unemployment fell after the tax cuts (source), and they are seeing the same affects you ALWAYS see when socialist policies are removed; an improved economy. The Scandinavian countries are far from socialist, and their socialist policies have measurably hurt their economy.

Author: Ryan Scarbel

Ryan Scarbel is the founder and Executive Director of Free the Campus, Inc. Ryan is a student at University of North Carolina at Greensboro, who's passion is to promote free speech and challenge all ideas in search of truth.

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