Sweden's 'dramatic' free-market reforms
Bloomberg said that many Americans still think of Sweden as a tightly regulated social-welfare state, but in the last two decades the country has been reformed. Public spending has fallen by no less than one-fifth of gross domestic product, taxes have dropped and markets have opened up.
And the turnabout has been dramatic.
Anders Åslund, a senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics and a professor at the Stockholm School of Economics from 1989 until 1994, has written a report on the current Swedish situation in a historic perspective.
"Sweden’s traditional scourge is taxes, which used to be the highest in the world. The current [center-right] government has cut them every year and abolished wealth taxes. Inheritance and gift taxes are also gone.
"The Social Democrats haven’t only joined the free-market consensus, but seem to attack the current government from the right, pushing for a better business environment. Gone are demands for the restoration of social benefits.
"Sweden is still offering good social welfare, but more efficiently and sensibly and increasingly through the private sector.
Last Updated (Friday, 08 June 2012 03:41)