”The Sweden Myth”

Medan Per-Olof Samuelsson översätter Ayn Rand till svenska läsare, förmedlar Stefan Karlsson sanningen om den svenska blandekonomin till engelska läsare i sin senaste artikel, ”The Sweden Myth”:

Recently, the so-called Swedish model — that is, the Swedish economic system with high taxes and a big welfare state — has been celebrated again in the press.

The alleged recent success of the Swedish economy has allowed welfare statists both inside and outside of Sweden to argue that high taxes and an extensive welfare state are good for the economy. To fully understand this fallacy, we should review Sweden’s economic history.

Until the second half of the 19th century, Sweden was fairly poor. But far-reaching free market reforms in the 1860s allowed Sweden to benefit from the spreading Industrial Revolution.

And so, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Sweden saw its economy rapidly industrializing, driven by the many Swedish inventors and entrepreneurs.

During that time, Sweden produced extraordinarily many inventions, given its small population, including: dynamite, invented by Alfred Nobel (who established the Nobel Prize); the self-aligning ball bearing, invented by Sven Wingquist (who used this to create the SKF company); the sun-valve, invented by Gustav Dahlén (who used it to found industrial gas company AGA); the gas absorption refrigerator, invented by Baltzar von Platen (which was later used by Electrolux).

In addition, there were countless non-inventing entrepreneurs during that period: car manufacturers Volvo and Saab, and telecommunications company Ericsson. Indeed, with just a few exceptions, nearly all large Swedish companies were started during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, which was not only a period of strong growth, but also the time when the foundation for later economic growth was laid…

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