Posted by: Tony Shannon | February 28, 2013

Northern Lights – from the Economist.com

Amidst yet a turbulent month in European economics – with the downgrading of the British economy from its valued AAA status and elections in Italy throwing the Eurozone back into angst and concern – came a very helpful special report from the Economist on the Nordic Countries.

Though small in number and population, 4 Northern European countries Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland have been quietly building very successful economies (and by many measures successful societies) over the last decades.

Having suffered a financial crisis within (back in Sweden in the 1990s) they have explored a middle way between capitalism and socialism that seems to be very clearly delivering results.

Those include high rankings of the Nordic Countries ;

  • Global competitiveness
  • Human Development
  • Ease of Doing Business
  • Global Innovation (think Skype & Spotify)
  • Prosperity

Most manage to provide for the good of society (e.g. free healthcare and education) while embracing market economics (e.g. school vouchers offer parents access to a choice of private schools)

While the report admits there remains too much bloat within the Nordic systems (i.e. welfare states that cant be afforded indefinitely) it does confirm that these countries seem to balance a pro-business agenda with improving equality within.

There is much of interest within the report. As it says “The world will be studying the Nordic model for years to come”.

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