Saturday, December 14, 2013

Government of the Year: Nordic Social Democracy

Ironically, capitalism works best when accompanied by a little socialism.

The Nordic Model (developed by Finland, Norway, Sweden, Iceland & Denmark) consists of  "a universalist welfare state which is aimed specifically at enhancing individual autonomy, promoting social mobility and ensuring the universal provision of basic human rights, as well as for stabilizing the economy." And for some reason, when you give people all that freedom and safety, they are able to be reliable, informed consumers, and keep your market strong.

It really works. This year, The Economist declared that the Nordic countries are probably the best-governed in the world. Their report shows that the happiest nations of the world are concentrated in Northern Europe, with Denmark topping the list. Nordics beat out other countries on real GDP per capita, healthy life expectancy, having someone to count on, perceived freedom to make life choices, freedom from corruption, and generosity.

And when less than 91% of the population isn't happy with their economic climate, they consider it news:

(Unlike America, where we think only 1% is happy with our economy.  And Congress has an approval rating of only 11% .)

Nordic democracies lift up their poor, redistribute a lot of money through taxes, and therefore everyone gets a living wage no matter what their employer pays them.  If you live in the country, you help support everyone in the country.

Meanwhile, Americans hate their poor so much, that we want to make it illegal to even FEED homeless people in public. Across 50 different cities!

But we're still the land of opportunity, right?

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