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Enhanced Thatcherism meets the progressive left: The Nordic Supermodel


Schomberg

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Good article in The Economist recently about the Nordic countries in the current crisis. A lot of the positives in it that they've managed to sustain or implent I think would be just too much for the short term Irish political classes and electorate. For instance, this bit would be problematic in Ireland

The Nordic countries: The next supermodel | The Economist

The state is popular not because it is big but because it works. A Swede pays tax more willingly than a Californian because he gets decent schools and free health care. The Nordics have pushed far-reaching reforms past unions and business lobbies. The proof is there. You can inject market mechanisms into the welfare state to sharpen its performance. You can put entitlement programmes on sound foundations to avoid beggaring future generations. But you need to be willing to root out corruption and vested interests.
 
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eoghanacht

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Good article in The Economist recently about the Nordic countries in the current crisis. A lot of the posties in it that they've managed to sustain or implent I think would be just too much for the short term Irish political classes and electorate. For instance, this bit would be problematic in Ireland

The Nordic countries: The next supermodel | The Economist

I want my local TD to look after his constituency and bring every advantage he can to our area.
This, he may do to the detriment of other constituencies and also to the detriment to the country if the good of our constituency are not in the national interest.
A quote from a thread earlier on, from a FF supporter but alas indicative of the short sighted me fein Irish electorate
 

Schomberg

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A quote from a thread earlier on, from a FF supporter but alas indicative of the short sighted me fein Irish electorate
sheesh...is it any wonder we're doomed? The frighting thing is, that's how these elected people think.
 

eoghanacht

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sheesh...is it any wonder we're doomed? The frighting thing is, that's how these elected people think.

Only because we keep electing them. They aren't held up to any standards as long as they throw their voters a bone every now and again their seats are guaranteed.

I remember a programme about JHR doing the rounds down in Kerry on the run up to an election and he was bragging that he kept an old ford cortina as he pointed out that he'd get more votes if he was seen canvassing in that than he would if he pulled up in the driveway of some small farmer with his shiny top of the range merc.


It was the skullduggery that offended me but the fact that he was right and that by and large electorates the world over are thick as pig sh!te.
 

Analyzer

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Good article in The Economist recently about the Nordic countries in the current crisis. A lot of the positives in it that they've managed to sustain or implent I think would be just too much for the short term Irish political classes and electorate. For instance, this bit would be problematic in Ireland

The Nordic countries: The next supermodel | The Economist
The state is popular not because it is big but because it works. A Swede pays tax more willingly than a Californian because he gets decent schools and free health care. The Nordics have pushed far-reaching reforms past unions and business lobbies. The proof is there. You can inject market mechanisms into the welfare state to sharpen its performance. You can put entitlement programmes on sound foundations to avoid beggaring future generations. But you need to be willing to root out corruption and vested interests.
Are you sure ?

With the Democrats controlling one State congressional wing for 40 years, and the other for 80% of 40 years ?

State budgets in California have been controlled by the Democrats for years.

California is an example in the US of high taxation relative to other states. Incidentally, almost one in three unemployed US citizens resides in California.
 

CarnivalOfAction

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Good article in The Economist recently about the Nordic countries in the current crisis. A lot of the positives in it that they've managed to sustain or implent I think would be just too much for the short term Irish political classes and electorate. For instance, this bit would be problematic in Ireland

The Nordic countries: The next supermodel | The Economist
So would this:

"Public spending as a proportion of GDP in these countries is still higher than this newspaper would like."
 

Frank Galton

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David Begg would occasionally raise the issue of the Nordic model but his definition seemed to involve him and Bertie "negotiating" how big everyone's pay increase would be.
 

stopdoingstuff

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I spent some time in Lund a few months back. It was quite an eye-opener. The local bus service was operated by the same crowd that does our Luas, the parents got cash to send their kids to local schools including a Catholic one, there were no vacant retail spaces, they had high-tech industries coming out of their a$$, teams of private doctors bid for the the provision of services at the local hospital, men on paternity leave were pushing prams around the place and no one thought of them as being losers, women appeared to hold many senior positions in the public and private sector, almost everyone spoke English, you could get a decent apartment for less than 140,000, and everything worked fine. I asked around about it and nobody wanted to go back to the socialist era.
 

james5001

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That's not called Thatcherism, that's called efficiency.
 

firefly123

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I spent some time in Lund a few months back. It was quite an eye-opener. The local bus service was operated by the same crowd that does our Luas, the parents got cash to send their kids to local schools including a Catholic one, there were no vacant retail spaces, they had high-tech industries coming out of their a$$, teams of private doctors bid for the the provision of services at the local hospital, men on paternity leave were pushing prams around the place and no one thought of them as being losers, women appeared to hold many senior positions in the public and private sector, almost everyone spoke English, you could get a decent apartment for less than 140,000, and everything worked fine. I asked around about it and nobody wanted to go back to the socialist era.
Eh? Who the hell thinks that here? Seriously? I walk my family around all the time as many other dads do! What a weird thing to say.
 

stopdoingstuff

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Note that there is no inheritance or capital acquisitions tax, no wealth tax, their capital gains tax is the same as ours, and their corporate tax rate is much lower than America. It seems that they see income and consumption as being more taxable than capital and enterprise.
 

CarnivalOfAction

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Note that there is no inheritance or capital acquisitions tax, no wealth tax, their capital gains tax is the same as ours, and their corporate tax rate is much lower than America. It seems that they see income and consumption as being more taxable than capital and enterprise.
But Norway has a 43.6% tax to GDP ratio, has a higher income tax of 48% and a Wealth Tax, yet they're not doing too bad.
 

stopdoingstuff

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Eh? Who the hell thinks that here? Seriously? I walk my family around all the time as many other dads do! What a weird thing to say.
Loser. I bet you read books and talk about how you feel about things. Only joking of course- the point I was making is that there seems to be a more open attitude to men taking a more active role in the caring side of things and fewer hang ups about how that might impact their careers. I still think we are less enlightened in that regard here. They also have very cheap child care there too for when people go back to work. If I was having kids, I think it would be easier in Sweden in many ways. It might almost compensate for the weather.
 

firefly123

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Loser. I bet you read books and talk about how you feel about things. Only joking of course- the point I was making is that there seems to be a more open attitude to men taking a more active role in the caring side of things and fewer hang ups about how that might impact their careers. I still think we are less enlightened in that regard here. They also have very cheap child care there too for when people go back to work. If I was having kids, I think it would be easier in Sweden in many ways. It might almost compensate for the weather.
Fair enough. I've always felt that instead of children's allowance there should be free child care available for all including medical.
 

stopdoingstuff

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But Norway has a 43.6% tax to GDP ratio, has a higher income tax of 48% and a Wealth Tax, yet they're not doing too bad.
Strange how it works out. Then again over 50% of their exports are petroleum related and their somewhat complex taxing arrangements allows for a lot of corporate and partnership income to be taxed at more sensible levels than the headline rate suggests. It is still a puzzler though. Nassim Taleb reckons that what matters more than the particular system is the size of the country- they are less complex and easier to manage, so they can tax a bit more but be more accurate and efficient at using those funds. Another thing the Norweigians have going for them is their aversion to debt and their love of saving- they save well above 30% of GDP, and that provides an awful lot of capital for investment and reinvestment, and as any good Austrian knows, savings and investment are the true bases of real growth.
 

CarnivalOfAction

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Strange how it works out. Then again over 50% of their exports are petroleum related and their somewhat complex taxing arrangements allows for a lot of corporate and partnership income to be taxed at more sensible levels than the headline rate suggests. It is still a puzzler though. Nassim Taleb reckons that what matters more than the particular system is the size of the country- they are less complex and easier to manage, so they can tax a bit more but be more accurate and efficient at using those funds. Another thing the Norweigians have going for them is their aversion to debt and their love of saving- they save well above 30% of GDP, and that provides an awful lot of capital for investment and reinvestment, and as any good Austrian knows, savings and investment are the true bases of real growth.
Fair comment.

Denmark has no oil but has a 49% tax to GDP ratio, yet they're not doing too bad either. As you say, it's how one uses it & the Nordics are very transparent and tough on corruption.
 

stopdoingstuff

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Fair comment.

Denmark has no oil but has a 49% tax to GDP ratio, yet they're not doing too bad either. As you say, it's how one uses it & the Nordics are very transparent and tough on corruption.
Then there is another factor- they are smart and open to the world.
 

Chi019

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Good article in The Economist recently about the Nordic countries in the current crisis. A lot of the positives in it that they've managed to sustain or implent I think would be just too much for the short term Irish political classes and electorate. For instance, this bit would be problematic in Ireland

The Nordic countries: The next supermodel | The Economist
One of their advantages is that they are relatively small and homogenous with high levels of trust. The signs so far suggest that their model will collapse as they change their demographics via immigration.

Only 5% of native Swedish children live in poverty. For immigrant children with both parents born outside of the Sweden, the child poverty rate is 39%, a miserable number which may shock and should dishearten liberal Americans. The Swedish model appeared to produce amazing results as long as the country was completely homogeneous and full of Swedes. But the much admired welfare state was unable to deal with even moderate levels of ethic diversity (still far below the levels of the United States) without a collapse in social outcomes.

Demographic change, not economic policy, is what is preventing child poverty from declining (if it were the fault of economic policy the child poverty rate of ordinary Swedes would not have declined so much).
Non-western immigrants in Sweden do not integrate well. Their employment rate is about 50%, compared to 80% for native Swedes. They are extremely over-represented in crime and other social problems.
Super-Economy: What the Swedish public really thinks about immigration

Super-Economy: The "Mystery" of Child Poverty in Sweden.
 

farnaby

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My better half is Finnish. It saddens me greatly that in this country we have spent centuries obsessing over being a true republic and yet have failed at all but the most superficial levels.

Whereas Finland has incorporated genuine republican values without much fuss at all - equal application of rule of law for all, strict adherence to the duties and responsibilities of a citizen, politicians who resign if even a hint of corruption has some truth - we have a state that picks and chooses its rules and a nation obsessed with the status conferred by profession and property.
 

farnaby

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One of their advantages is that they are relatively small and homogenous with high levels of trust. The signs so far suggest that their model will collapse as they change their demographics via immigration.
I am no anti-immigration obsessionist, but I believe this to be true. I am not saying that no model incorporating large scale immigration can work; but the high personal taxes and high welfare rates of the Nordic model are acceptable across society on the basis of homogeneity of both culture and class and will not survive rapid demographic change.
 
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