Sweden punches way above its weight in debates about economic policy. Leftists all over the world (most recently, Bernie Sanders) say the Nordic nation is an example that proves a big welfare state can exist in a rich nation. And since various data sources (such as the IMF’s huge database) show that Sweden is relatively prosperous and also that there’s an onerous fiscal burden of government, this argument is somewhat plausible.
A few folks on the left sometimes even imply that Sweden is a relatively prosperous nation because it has a large public sector. Though the people who make this assertion never bother to provide any data or evidence.
I have five responses when confronted with the why-can’t-we-be-more-like-Sweden argument.
- Sweden became rich when government was small. Indeed, until about 1960, the burden of the public sector in Sweden was smaller than it was in the United States. And…
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