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Nordic Nations Show How Welfare and Redistribution Weaken the Human Spirit

Statists occasionally get very angry about some of my views. My support for “tax havens” periodically seems to touch a raw nerve, for instance, though I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised since some people are so crazy that they have even urged military action against these low-tax jurisdictions. I also get some angry responses […]

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Debunking Leftist Mythology on Sweden and Denmark

I’m still in China, as part of a week-long teaching assignment about markets, entrepreneurship, economics, and fiscal policy at Northeastern University in Shenyang. One point that I’ve tried to get across to the students is that China should not copy the United States. Or France, Japan, or Sweden. To be more specific, I warn them […]

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Sweden Isn’t a Good Role Model for Bernie Sanders

Senator Bernie Sanders wants to dramatically increase the burden of government and he claims that his policies won’t lead to economic misery because nations such as Sweden show that you can be a prosperous country with a big welfare state. Perhaps, but there are degrees of prosperity. And a large public sector imposes a non-trivial […]

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Statist Arguments Are Especially Weak When Using Apples-to-Apples Comparisons

While there are many things I admire about Scandinavian nations, I’ve never understood why leftists such as Bernie Sanders think they are great role models. Not only are income levels and living standards higher in the United States, but the data show that Americans of Swedish origin in America have much higher incomes than the […]

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Comparing the United States and Nordic Nations: Is American “Inequality” Bad if It Simply Means Some People Get Richer Faster than other People Get Richer?

I’ve already commented several times on the good and bad features of the Nordic Model, largely to correct the false narrative being advanced by Bernie Sanders (though I was writing on this issue well before the Vermont Senator decided to run for Chief Commissar President of the United States). In any event, Sanders is a […]

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A Nordic Nightmare for Bernie Sanders

Whenever there’s a discussion of the Nordic nations, I feel conflicted. I don’t like the punitively high tax rates and socially destructive levels of redistribution in nations such as Denmark, but I also admire the very laissez-faire policies those countries have when it comes to regulation, trade, and property rights. Indeed, on those latter issues, […]

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A Nordic Nightmare for Bernie Sanders

Whenever there’s a discussion of the Nordic nations, I feel conflicted. I don’t like the punitively high tax rates and socially destructive levels of redistribution in nations such as Denmark, but I also admire the very laissez-faire policies those countries have when it comes to regulation, trade, and property rights. Indeed, on those latter issues, […]

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Economic Lessons from the Nordic Countries

Folks on the left sometimes act as if the Nordic nations somehow prove that big government isn’t an impediment to prosperity. As I’ve pointed out before, they obviously don’t spend much time looking at the data. So let’s give them a reminder. Here are the rankings from Economic Freedom of the World. I’ve inserted red […]

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Economic Lessons from Scandinavia

In my younger years, I oftentimes would have arguments with statists who wanted me to believe that countries in Northern Europe like Sweden “proved” that generous welfare states were compatible with economic prosperity. That doesn’t happen as often today because the Nordic nations in recent decades have not enjoyed rapid growth. Moreover, some of the […]

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Linear Thinking and the Rahn Curve: Responding to a Critic

There’s an old saying that there’s no such thing as bad publicity. That may be true if you’re in Hollywood and visibility is a key to long-run earnings. But in the world of public policy, you don’t want to be a punching bag. And that describes my role in a book excerpt just published by […]

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Sweden, Spending Restraint, and the Benefits of Obeying Fiscal Policy’s Golden Rule

When I first started working on fiscal policy in the 1980s, I never thought I would consider Sweden any sort of role model. It was the quintessential cradle-to-grave welfare state, much loved on the left as an example for America to follow. But Sweden suffered a severe economic shock in the early 1990s and policy … … Continue reading

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Another Example of Editorial-Page Fiction at the New York Times

Are there any fact checkers at the New York Times? Since they’ve allowed some glaring mistakes by Paul Krugman (see here and here), I guess the answer is no. But some mistakes are worse than others. Consider a recent column by David Stuckler of Oxford and Sanjay Basu of Stanford. Entitled “How Austerity Kills,” it […] . . . → Read More: Another Example of Editorial-Page Fiction at the New York Times . . . → Read More: Another Example of Editorial-Page Fiction at the New York Times