Face it, Nordic Countries are Not Socialist

Daniel Lacalle – September 19, 2018

One of the most common fallacies of the new populists is to say that their model is the “Nordic” one and that those countries are successful examples of how “socialism works”. When I mentioned it to the Finnish Finance Minister Petteri Orpo at a recent ECR dinner, he could not believe it.

Expropriations, massive tax increases, appropriation of savings and subordinating the growth model to political control is what populists defend. The same as Venezuela, which all of them praised – from Bernie Sanders to Owen Jones or Corbyn and Chomsky – until it collapsed. Then they moved on to the fallacy of “the Nordic model”.

Do you know what interventionists forget about the Nordic nations?

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

Private property is guaranteed by law and citizens’ savings are fully private and free of government control. All Nordic countries have been lowering the tax wedge and – until the recent tax cuts – had lower corporate tax rates than the US.

The state does not dictate or impose schooling and healthcare (most have co-payment schemes). It simply administers and promotes choice between private and state-run services.

They are leaders in private banking, which finances the vast majority of economic activity (80%).

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