You can count on Bernie Sanders to be consistent. He loves pointing to Sweden as the hallmark of Socialist success. But a recent compelling article in Reason magazine does an excellent job laying out the history of Sweden’s economic failures and successes, and shows how Sweden’s current approach to business and has rendered their economy more free and flourishing than the United States.
Some key points:
- Real wages in Sweden fell by around 5 percent between 1975 and 1995. Nominal wages increased, but runaway inflation devoured it.
- But in the early 1990s Sweden began to abandon its brief detour into Bernienomics. It deregulated, privatized, reduced taxes, and opened the public sector to private providers. The two decades that followed saw real wages increase by almost 70 percent.
- In the summary Fraser Institute rankings, Sweden and Denmark are more economically free than the United States when it comes to legal structure and property rights, sound money, free trade, business regulation, and credit market regulations. We don’t have the multitude of occupational licensing laws that block competition in the United States.
The article is worth reading in its entirety. If Bernie truly believes Sweden is a blueprint for success, he would do well to pay attention to the Sweden of today, and not the Sweden of 40-50 years ago, when he was coming-of-age in his Socialist beliefs. If Bernie wants America to be like Sweden — America would need a good dose of deregulation and lower taxes, exactly the opposite of what Bernie espouses for America! Perhaps then the American economy would finally begin to recover, because freer markets mean a freer economy and a freer people.