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Question for the West/Noth European Economic Models

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LandJ posted on Sun, Aug 19 2012 10:14 AM

Which of European countries are liberal economies? I watched a documentary about Scandinabean countries that applied liberal economic policies which boosted their economies. However, this countries have huge welfare state and high taxation rates. Sweden, Norway, UK etc (*). These are Socialist policies. 

How can be Liberal and Socialist economies at the same time, with successful results as their are prosperous societies?


(*) It is remarkable that those countries are among the most prosperous worldwide


 P.S. A friend told me that although they have strong welfare state and high prosperity, the rates of self ownership are extremely low (people do not own small businesses and work for companies, and prefer living in rent) because of the high taxation.



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Neodoxy replied on Sun, Aug 19 2012 10:35 AM
  1. It's practically impossible to compare "prosperities" as they exist.
  2. It is impossible to tell what a country which employs X policy would be like if it instead employed Y
  3. Norway has oil and Sweden is a lot less prosperous than it's made out to be exactly because so many people are taxed to high heaven. As far as I can tell the standard of living is indeed below that of the United States.
  4. These markets still fairly free markets, as far as direct regulation goes Sweden is about the same as the other "free market" countries
  5. With a much smaller minority population and high levels of education it's much easier to get everyone out of poverty and working productively
  6. These countries were much worse off when they were "more socialist" in the 70's. Liberalizing their markets was the best thing they ever

There is no real "liberal" country in the classical sense of the term left on this earth, the closest in almost every way is probably Hong Kong. The most liberal countries in Europe would probably be Liechtenstein, Germany and the Netherlands.

At last those coming came and they never looked back With blinding stars in their eyes but all they saw was black...
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They have lower corporate taxes and have been deregulating. Also, what was previously said, Norway is the second largest petroleum exporting nation in the world and 1/4 of their entire economy. They are able to use that money to fund the welfare state. Some of the growth that they are experiencing is from actually free market policies. Sweden, had in the 80's or 90's tax rates in the 80s and many more regulations on business. After Sweden lost its rank in having I believe 4th place in GDP per capita (these numbers or from the top of my head) to 13th, they made many reforms. Hence, they are experiencing economic growth from lower tax rates and less regulation. What was the documentary that you watched it sounds interesting?

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