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Monday, September 04, 2006



Why can't I read anything negative about Sweden without the names TIMBRO, Munkhammer or Norberg being in the mix? TIMBRO is a think-tank ideologically bent towards promoting a smaller welfare state in Sweden and Munkhammer and Norberg are its chief cheerleaders. They simply aren't credible as a not very close look at any TIMBRO report will show you.

Even supposing all the negative stuff is true, it doesn't signal anything about the other Nordic countries. Finland is doing just fine, with growth clipping along. Norway is always doing fine and Denmark is doing pretty well too. All these countries have some of the highest growth rates in Europe while offering generous benefits and running budget surpluses and only Finland has a problem with unemployment which is coming down all the time. (The debate about Sweden massaging it's figures is old and it's not exactly clear how they do it - do they simply lie when they say people are sick or do they tell the people to lie or what? In my book if you're sick or unable to work through disability, you are not unemployed.)


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