Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Let's move to Sweden

Much current economic wisdom has it that the high taxing, high public spending, highly redistributive, bank-and-finance-regulating countries will be those that suffer most in the current economic crisis. They need to get lean and mean and cut, cut, cut, and free-up their financial sectors to remain economically competitive and healthy. Their economies need "rebalancing". State-heavy, socialist Sweden must surely be having a particularly terrible time, for example.

STOCKHOLM (MarketWatch) — Residents of this capital radiate a sense of well-being and it’s not only because they live in a beautiful city built on 14 islands that draws comparisons to Venice. It’s also because they call home one of Europe’s fastest growing economies.

The success of this export-oriented Nordic nation is noteworthy, because it’s in stark contrast to the debt woes plaguing Greece, Portugal and other southern euro-zone countries. Sweden is a member of the European Union, but it has chosen to keep its own currency. Public debt levels are relatively low and the government expects a budget surplus this year.

Er, so it seems high taxing, high public spending, highly redistributive countries can be pretty economically stable and healthy? I'm confused. At some point I need to spend some time learning economic theory (much of which currently looks like voodoo science to me)...

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