Sanandaji’s key insight is the primacy of the prevailing values. Honesty, frugality, and thrift were part of Swedish culture even before the Reformation, which institutionalized basic virtues. This moral capital, arduously built up over centuries, has sustained Sweden (and the other Nordic countries) through many vicissitudes and supported entrepreneurship, inventiveness, and economic growth. It also brought Swedish emigrants in the United States well above average financial benefits.
The welfare state depends on high taxation, which is made possible by the presence of moral capital. Yet the bureaucratic welfare structure is inexorably eroding the very moral resources which make it feasible. In due course, economic decline is inevitable. This has become apparent in Sweden, and contributed to a political swing after decades of social democratic rule. The new right-of-center administration has already made an appreciable difference.
domingo, outubro 23, 2011
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The Swedish Model Reassessed - Affluence Despite the Welfare State (PDF):