From PowerLineBlog: Our Europhile President and many Congressional Democrats aspire to make the United States more like Sweden. More like our outdated image of Sweden, anyway; the real Sweden is undergoing something of a free market renaissance. In this video from the Center For Freedom and Prosperity, a Swedish economics student–OK, some stereotypes are still valid–explains the lessons we can learn from that country’s economic history:
At the end of 2009, the official unemployment rate in Finland was 8.2%, so out of a population of 5.2 million, over 436,757 people were without a job. The lowest percentage for the Finnish unemployed during an almost two decade period, was 6.4%, or around 340,884 people.
By contrast in the US, in the same year the rate for unemployment was 8.9%, or in other words, 0.7% more than in Finland, but nonetheless still relatively close for a comparison. However, while the numbers for US unemployed at that level was considered (correctly) a major catastrophe, (since then the numbers have climbed up to 9.7% but holding), here in Finland it’s considered “normal”.
Yes there are calls for the job situation here to be addressed, but there isn’t the same outrage and demand for the tax level to be dramatically reduced from the average citizen. Hey, from a Finnish standpoint, compared to the double digit figures from 90’s era (1992-1999), where the highest level was a wopping 16.6%, or +800 000 people, the situation today seems like a walk in the park,….but of course it isn’t.
The point to all this being, if the present US administration is willing to embrace the same failed social and economic policies of both Sweden and Finland, (and indeed it does) it better prepare itself for the inevitable institutionalization of the permanently unemployed, which will number in the millions. It’s just a warning. KGS