Denmark, Sweden, & The Nordic Countries Are Not Socialist


Would you like to hear absolute, irrefutable proof of the overwhelming superiority of laissez faire?

Here it is:

Two-hundred years ago and since the dawn of humankind, the entire world was poor.

Now, less than ten percent of the world is poor.

Two-hundred years ago and since the dawn of humankind, the very wealthiest people in the world didn’t have access to the quality of food, drink, medicine, shelter, transportation, lumen hours, entertainment, and much more that the poorest people in the developed world now have access to.

That is the total testament to the absolute superiority and success of laissez-faire, which is a system of freedom protected by law.

Concerning collectivism, one of the most popular myths going today is that Nordic countries, like Denmark and Sweden, are shining examples of the success of Democratic Socialism.

This myth is used to bolster the hip-and-faddish quasi-coolness of what is in actuality an embarrassingly antiquated and shabby ideology — an ideology of catastrophic failure. When, therefore, Danish Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen told Harvard business students, in no uncertain terms, that Denmark is not a socialist country, no one in North America really believed him.

Why did they not believe him?

Because they didn’t want to believe him. 

Too much is at stake — entire world-views and lives constructed upon foundations of smoke-and-mirrors which when exposed will crumble into nothingness.

Still, the facts remain:

“I know that some people in the US associate the Nordic model with some sort of socialism,” Prime Minister Lars Løkke Rasmussen said. “Therefore I would like to make one thing clear: Denmark is far from a socialist planned economy. Denmark is a market economy.”

He’s absolutely right.

The people who praise the Nordic countries for being socialist are not coincidentally the same sorts who praised Venezuela’s dictatorial regime — until it collapsed, that is.

I mean, of course, Noam ChomskyBernie SandersJeremy CorbynAlexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and all the other usual suspects.

Here is what none of them know or wish to know:

The Nordic countries are in many ways the diametric opposite of socialist:

They are leaders in the economic freedom index and ease of doing business according to the World Bank.

In virtually all Nordic countries, private property — the crux of laissez-faire — is guaranteed by law, and the individual’s savings are fully private and free from government control.

Most Nordic countries, including Denmark and Sweden, have lower corporate tax-rates than the United States.

In Nordic countries, the government does not dictate or impose mandatory schooling but simply administers and promotes choice between private and state-run services.

The Nordic countries are leaders in private banking, which finances the vast majority of economic activity — which is to say, over eighty percent.

The Nordic countries have become leaders in attracting capital, guaranteeing legal security and private investment, and they are also leaders in the privatization of inefficient state-owned entities.

Quoting Norwegian economist Per Bylund:

While very little known, Sweden’s welfare state only “worked” through the early 1970s thanks to its deliberately preserving capitalist institutions and expanding its scope at a slower rate than the country’s overall economic growth.

This changed in the 1970s, which necessitated several devaluations of the currency in only a few years intended to “boost” exports, and then a somewhat lost decade in the 1980s.

The welfare state finally imploded under financial problems in what can best be categorized as an economic depression in the early 1990s. The social democratic government resigned, government lost control (to the extent it ever had any), and politicians from all parties got together to enforce strict budget discipline (no deficits) and consistently cut back on the state’s generous welfare benefits. At the same time, pseudo-market forces were reintroduced through Friedmanite voucher systems, private health care was no longer prohibited, and the national pharmacy monopoly was privatized.

Even Sweden’s railway traffic is now carried out largely by private companies.

Also, since 2006, Sweden has also seen relatively extensive tax cuts. Of course, these measures were necessitated by the great crisis in and around 1992 — the state does not limit its own power unless it absolutely has to.

(Link)

And quoting the equally excellent economist Daniel Lacalle:

[In the Nordic Countries,] the public sector does not dictate the growth pattern or the way in which the economy should be run: it is generated from the private sector, which finances more than 60 percent of research and development, and government applies private-sector best practices of efficiency and transparency in the management of public services. In addition, public officials do not have a life-long position.

Nordic countries have carried out successful privatizations of state sectors, from telecommunications to electricity generation and distribution. Even the postal service and many forests were privatized.

They have a labor market that is among the most flexible in the world.

In these countries, private education is encouraged through school vouchers, not forced state-run schools.

There is also the fact that it is virtually impossible to copy in the US a model used in countries with fewer inhabitants than New York, but the most important difference is that choice, freedom and private initiative are the cornerstone of Nordic nations, pillars of a society that none of the populists want to implement.

No, socialism is not the model of the Nordic countries. And the interventionists that use these countries as their “model” have a completely different system in mind: State control.

I recommend you read Scandinavian Unexceptionalism by Nima Sanandaji or “The Secret of their Success”in “The Economist.”

The success of the Nordic countries has been to take pro-market measures, privatize inefficient sectors and guarantee private property, wealth creation as well as legal and investment security.

There is nothing Socialist about the Nordic Nations…. Socialism is the political and economic theory which defends that the means of production, distribution, and financing should be owned or controlled by the state. Nordic countries are NOT socialist. They are capitalist societies with a welfare state, like most capitalist nations have, by the way. The US as well. And they are the first ones that understood what we all know: socialism never works.

(Link)

Learn this, Reader — learn it, understand it, and remember it — and you will know something that the rest of the world does not know.