Progressives in America are often keen on promoting the European welfare state as an argument for big government, not least in the healthcare debate. They point to European countries, often the social-democratic Nordic countries, as role models, with their universal healthcare, public school system, generous social-safety net, and all the happy people who live there.
This line of argument got a significant boost when Newsweek proclaimed that Finland was the best country in the world to live in, closely followed by Sweden and Switzerland. And of course they are happy. After all, there is no poverty in these great countries, the populace is educated, and people generally don't have a care in the world, because the benevolent government is always there to solve every problem.
Many people have tried to dispel this myth, but it still persists. I don't presume to be able to put this issue to rest, but there are some things that should be known about this mythical utopia, the "best country in the world" — Finland.
Friday, September 24, 2010
The Hell-fare of the Welfare State
Posted by Nick
Is Finland, recently voted the best country in the world, a social democratic paradise? An interview with Kaj Grussner
The Bankrupt Finnish Welfare State