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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Sweden Does Not Look Good On Paper Anymore

In Sweden, the chicks are hot but the economy is not.

Economist Johnny Munkhammar discusses in TCS how Sweden's Big State economics has led to its slide from high growth in the early 1990's to serious economic regression. He provides many statistics and concludes:

If Sweden were a state in the US, it would be the fifth poorest. During the past 15 years, average annual growth has been 1.4 percent -- lower than the average for the US, the OECD and the EU...The unofficial total unemployment is some 20 percent. In the EU-15 between 1995 and 2003, employment grew more in 11 EU countries than in Sweden. In 2004, according to UNCTAD, only 12 countries out of 183 in the survey had a net outflow of investments -- the basis for any job creation -- and one of them was Sweden...During the last year, according to the Index of Economic Freedom by the Heritage Foundation and Wall Street Journal, 18 EU countries increased their economic freedom, but Sweden had the lowest score in five years.

Note: The outflow of investments harmed growth and employment. The US with its feared trade deficit has a great inflow of investments from its trade partners. So mush for that dire statistic.

Sweden has a combination of free market programs with statist policies. Unfortunately, the past decade saw an ascendance of the Social Democrats who have avoided free market solutions for the sake of "security". Thus, their "public health-care system is coming apart at the seams". Typical of socialist medicine, there are massive waits for medical services. Per Munkhammar, similar deterioration is seen in public education and elderly care.

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