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European Socialism? Why doesn't it work?

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BlackNumero posted on Sat, Dec 13 2008 12:53 PM

The title pretty much explains it all, I here everyone saying why socialism in america won't work, but I never hear why it doesn't work in countries in europe or possibly China or Japan? Is their some problem/statistic I don't here about? Or do they actually do alright in Europe (wouldn't that make socialism good then?)?

 

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Most of my family is from Poland. The universal health care there is horrible. Taxes are pretty high and regulations there are oppressive.

Some of my family resides in Germany. Unfortunately, my uncle (not blood related) is an alcoholic. He has no job and has had none for years now (coming close to a decade now). He lives comfortably on welfare. My aunt, who has realized the hoplessness of trying to get my uncle to be productive, has been trying to get a job as a pharmacist in Germany. She has all the proper qualifications. However, licensing costs and regulations in general are so bad that she has not been able to get a decent job in Germany.

Another uncle of mine, who lives in the UK could certainly attest to the horrible shambles known as the health care system over there.

But no, don't take my word.

The Sweden Myth (LvMI)

How the Welfare State Corrupted Sweden (LvMI)

Sweden: Poorer Than You Think (LvMI)

Sweden: From Capitalist Success to Welfare-State Sclerosis (Cato)

Should Scandinavia Be Our Model? Podcast (Cato)

Should the United States Be More Like Scandinavia? Policy Forum (Cato)

Johnny Munkhammar in Defense of Free Market Capitalism in Sweden Weeky Video (Cato)

Sweden Repeals Wealth Tax (Cato)

Sweden is a Tax Haven? (Cato)

The Welfare State Causes Sickness (Cato)

If the Swedish State is Socialist, What is Ours? (Cato)

New Challenge to the Nordic Welfare Model (Cato)

Introduction to Economics Review (Mackinac)

Free Enterprise in Action Review (Mackinac)

Institutions and Analysis (Mackinac)

Where Are the Omelettes? (Mackinac)

Scandinavian Irony (FEE)

Are High Taxes the Basis of Economic Growth? (FEE)

Sweden: Tightening the Screws (FEE)

You might also want to look at the Heritage Index of Economic Freedom:

Sweden's economy is 70.4 percent free, according to our 2008 assessment, which makes it the world's 27th freest economy. Its overall score is 1.4 percentage points higher than last year, reflecting improvements in trade freedom and financial freedom. Sweden is ranked 14th out of 41 countries in the European region, and its overall score is higher than the regional average.

Sweden enjoys exceptionally high levels of investment freedom, financial freedom, property rights, business freedom, and freedom from corruption. Virtually all commercial operations are simple and transparent. Foreign investment is permitted without government approval, though capital is subject to restrictions in some areas. The financial sector is highly developed, and the Stockholm stock market is open to foreign investment. The judiciary, independent of politics and free of corruption, has an exemplary ability to protect property rights.

In contrast, Sweden has some of the lowest scores worldwide in fiscal freedom and government size. The top income tax rate of 60 percent is one of the highest in the world, and total government spending equals more than half of GDP. The labor market was highly regulated, but reforms have led to a score equal to the world average in labor freedom.

 

Denmark is the 11th freest nation, in terms of its economy:

Denmark's economy is 79.2 percent free, according to our 2008 assessment, which makes it the world's 11th freest economy. Its overall score is 2.2 percentage points higher than last year, one of the largest increases in the world, reflecting improved scores in four freedoms. Denmark is now ranked 4th freest among the 41 countries in the European region, and its overall score is well above the regional average.

Denmark scores highly in eight of the 10 freedoms and is among the world's freest economies in six categories. Its perfect score in labor freedom is a 25-point increase from its 2007 score. Financial markets are transparent, highly developed, and open to foreign capital. As a modern Western democracy, Denmark has an efficient, independent judiciary that protects property rights effectively, and the level of corruption is extraordinarily low.

Denmark has two significant weaknesses that are typical of large European welfare states. The top personal income tax rate is very high, and tax revenue collected is correspondingly high. Although there are few state-owned industries, government spending equals over 50 percent of GDP. As a result, scores in these two freedoms are over 40 percentage points below average.

Norway is also relatively free:

Norway's economy is 69 percent free, according to our 2007 assessment, which makes it the world's 34th freest economy. Its overall score is 0.6 percentage point higher than last year, reflecting improvement in the investment climate and labor market flexibility. Norway is ranked 19th out of 41 countries in the European region, and its overall score is higher than the regional average.

Norway enjoys high levels of business freedom, trade freedom, property rights, and freedom from corruption. The average tariff rate is low, although some non-tariff barriers complicate trade. Starting a business takes only a few days, and the overall protection of business operations is high. Norway has an efficient, independent judiciary that protects property rights effectively, and corruption is negligible.

Norway has very low scores in terms of government size, fiscal freedom, and labor freedom. Government spending is high as a percentage of GDP. As in most other modern European welfare economies, the labor market is fairly rigid, but the government has been trying to introduce more flexibility into employment practices.

Finland also has some areas that are highly deregulated:

Finland's economy is 74.8 percent free, according to our 2008 assessment, which makes it the world's 16th freest economy. Its overall score is 0.6 percentage point higher than last year. Finland is ranked 9th out of 41 countries in the European region, and its overall score is well above the regional average.

Finland is a world leader in four of 10 economic freedoms: financial freedom, monetary freedom, freedom from corruption, and business freedom. A business-friendly environment with minimal regulation is enabling the rapid growth of private enterprise. Property is protected by a transparent rule of law, and foreign investors enjoy excellent market access. There is virtually no corruption, and business operations are not hampered by government bureaucracy. As a member of the euro zone, Finland has a standardized monetary policy that yields low inflation despite some government distortion in the agricultural sector.

Finland could improve its labor freedom and reduce its government size. As in many other European social democracies, high government spending supports an extensive welfare state: Government spending equals half of Finland's GDP. The labor market operates under fairly restrictive regulations, such as a limited number of working hours allowed per week and very high unemployment benefits.

 

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BlackNumero:

Or do they actually do alright in Europe (wouldn't that make socialism good then?)?

So the ends justifies the means?  Indifferent

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Where is socialism?

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The special and rhetorically useful thing about European countries is that they reside far away in Notamerica, and so the intellectuals can make appealing claims about them without getting too many corrective letters to the editor. Non-utopian socialism can be analyzed as a rats-nest of economic interventions upon the free market that would otherwise prevail -- to understand these c.f. Power and Market (the second half of Man, Economy, and State). A... I guess you could say 'less atomized' taxonomy of intervention, you can find in Hans Hoppe's A Theory of Socialism and Capitalism.

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Answered (Not Verified) nhaag replied on Sat, Dec 13 2008 1:29 PM
Suggested by nhaag

Well, the reason is that most posters are in the US.

Socialism doesn't work in any society whether in Europe, Asia or elsewhere. The reason is not that a specific population is more individualist than another -which might cater to the Americans but is false even in their case- but because noone can calculate the prices for capital goods in a planned economy (socialism).

Europe has no more socialism  than the US, only a partial different form of socialist planning in various areas. Both are mixed economies and both hamper the free markets, with the US currently eager to keep up with the European governments.

In the begining there was nothing, and it exploded.

Terry Pratchett (on the big bang theory)

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Anyone who doesn't think that the EU is a bureaucratic cluster fuck beyond all reckoning that is destroying money hasn't looked into it.

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nhaag replied on Sat, Dec 13 2008 1:42 PM

I agree, but is that any different from the US?

In the begining there was nothing, and it exploded.

Terry Pratchett (on the big bang theory)

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nhaag:

I agree, but is that any different from the US?


The rationalizations, the oligarchy(ies) struggling for power, the appearence of the methods of socialism, etc. (I suppose you could say the aesthetics of socialism) are different, but fundamentally, they're the same, methinks.

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Most of my family is from Poland. The universal health care there is horrible. Taxes are pretty high and regulations there are oppressive.

Some of my family resides in Germany. Unfortunately, my uncle (not blood related) is an alcoholic. He has no job and has had none for years now (coming close to a decade now). He lives comfortably on welfare. My aunt, who has realized the hoplessness of trying to get my uncle to be productive, has been trying to get a job as a pharmacist in Germany. She has all the proper qualifications. However, licensing costs and regulations in general are so bad that she has not been able to get a decent job in Germany.

Another uncle of mine, who lives in the UK could certainly attest to the horrible shambles known as the health care system over there.

But no, don't take my word.

The Sweden Myth (LvMI)

How the Welfare State Corrupted Sweden (LvMI)

Sweden: Poorer Than You Think (LvMI)

Sweden: From Capitalist Success to Welfare-State Sclerosis (Cato)

Should Scandinavia Be Our Model? Podcast (Cato)

Should the United States Be More Like Scandinavia? Policy Forum (Cato)

Johnny Munkhammar in Defense of Free Market Capitalism in Sweden Weeky Video (Cato)

Sweden Repeals Wealth Tax (Cato)

Sweden is a Tax Haven? (Cato)

The Welfare State Causes Sickness (Cato)

If the Swedish State is Socialist, What is Ours? (Cato)

New Challenge to the Nordic Welfare Model (Cato)

Introduction to Economics Review (Mackinac)

Free Enterprise in Action Review (Mackinac)

Institutions and Analysis (Mackinac)

Where Are the Omelettes? (Mackinac)

Scandinavian Irony (FEE)

Are High Taxes the Basis of Economic Growth? (FEE)

Sweden: Tightening the Screws (FEE)

You might also want to look at the Heritage Index of Economic Freedom:

Sweden's economy is 70.4 percent free, according to our 2008 assessment, which makes it the world's 27th freest economy. Its overall score is 1.4 percentage points higher than last year, reflecting improvements in trade freedom and financial freedom. Sweden is ranked 14th out of 41 countries in the European region, and its overall score is higher than the regional average.

Sweden enjoys exceptionally high levels of investment freedom, financial freedom, property rights, business freedom, and freedom from corruption. Virtually all commercial operations are simple and transparent. Foreign investment is permitted without government approval, though capital is subject to restrictions in some areas. The financial sector is highly developed, and the Stockholm stock market is open to foreign investment. The judiciary, independent of politics and free of corruption, has an exemplary ability to protect property rights.

In contrast, Sweden has some of the lowest scores worldwide in fiscal freedom and government size. The top income tax rate of 60 percent is one of the highest in the world, and total government spending equals more than half of GDP. The labor market was highly regulated, but reforms have led to a score equal to the world average in labor freedom.

 

Denmark is the 11th freest nation, in terms of its economy:

Denmark's economy is 79.2 percent free, according to our 2008 assessment, which makes it the world's 11th freest economy. Its overall score is 2.2 percentage points higher than last year, one of the largest increases in the world, reflecting improved scores in four freedoms. Denmark is now ranked 4th freest among the 41 countries in the European region, and its overall score is well above the regional average.

Denmark scores highly in eight of the 10 freedoms and is among the world's freest economies in six categories. Its perfect score in labor freedom is a 25-point increase from its 2007 score. Financial markets are transparent, highly developed, and open to foreign capital. As a modern Western democracy, Denmark has an efficient, independent judiciary that protects property rights effectively, and the level of corruption is extraordinarily low.

Denmark has two significant weaknesses that are typical of large European welfare states. The top personal income tax rate is very high, and tax revenue collected is correspondingly high. Although there are few state-owned industries, government spending equals over 50 percent of GDP. As a result, scores in these two freedoms are over 40 percentage points below average.

Norway is also relatively free:

Norway's economy is 69 percent free, according to our 2007 assessment, which makes it the world's 34th freest economy. Its overall score is 0.6 percentage point higher than last year, reflecting improvement in the investment climate and labor market flexibility. Norway is ranked 19th out of 41 countries in the European region, and its overall score is higher than the regional average.

Norway enjoys high levels of business freedom, trade freedom, property rights, and freedom from corruption. The average tariff rate is low, although some non-tariff barriers complicate trade. Starting a business takes only a few days, and the overall protection of business operations is high. Norway has an efficient, independent judiciary that protects property rights effectively, and corruption is negligible.

Norway has very low scores in terms of government size, fiscal freedom, and labor freedom. Government spending is high as a percentage of GDP. As in most other modern European welfare economies, the labor market is fairly rigid, but the government has been trying to introduce more flexibility into employment practices.

Finland also has some areas that are highly deregulated:

Finland's economy is 74.8 percent free, according to our 2008 assessment, which makes it the world's 16th freest economy. Its overall score is 0.6 percentage point higher than last year. Finland is ranked 9th out of 41 countries in the European region, and its overall score is well above the regional average.

Finland is a world leader in four of 10 economic freedoms: financial freedom, monetary freedom, freedom from corruption, and business freedom. A business-friendly environment with minimal regulation is enabling the rapid growth of private enterprise. Property is protected by a transparent rule of law, and foreign investors enjoy excellent market access. There is virtually no corruption, and business operations are not hampered by government bureaucracy. As a member of the euro zone, Finland has a standardized monetary policy that yields low inflation despite some government distortion in the agricultural sector.

Finland could improve its labor freedom and reduce its government size. As in many other European social democracies, high government spending supports an extensive welfare state: Government spending equals half of Finland's GDP. The labor market operates under fairly restrictive regulations, such as a limited number of working hours allowed per week and very high unemployment benefits.

 

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scineram:

Where is socialism?

There are only a few truly socialist countries left on Earth: Cuba and North Korea.

"I cannot prove, but am prepared to affirm, that if you take care of clarity in reasoning, most good causes will take care of themselves, while some bad ones are taken care of as a matter of course." -Anthony de Jasay

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