Re: Green energy a massive disastrous failure in Europe and Australia; can't we learn from this?
posted at 7/19/2013 4:17 PM EDT
In response to ComingLiberalCrackup's comment:
Sweden, you say, airborne, hasnt had what you laughably call "austerity"?
You are full of it, pal.
"When Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt celebrated his 45th birthday, his finance minister gave him a framed graph showing the tax burden falling to 45 percent of GDP for the first time in decades. It still hangs in his office."
"The gift reflected the celebratory mood of a centre-right government boosting economic growth while reducing taxes and cutting unemployment and sickness benefits, shrinking a welfare state that is among the most generous in the world."
Heh, heh, heh... excellent editing comrade. I guess you just ran out of space for the follow-on part of the article.
"The gift reflected the celebratory mood of a centre-right government boosting economic growth while reducing taxes and cutting unemployment and sickness benefits, shrinking a welfare state that is among the most generous in the world"
Three years later, engulfed in the worst riots in decades, that optimism is questioned. The torching of cars and battles with masked youths from poor immigrant suburbs has exposed another side of Sweden's welfare reform....
The Nordics enjoy some of the world's most generous welfare. Sweden has subsidized, universal child care with up to 480 days of parental leave per child. It spends 12 percent of GDP on family, housing, sickness and labor market policies, compared with an OECD average of under 9 percent. Denmark is at 14 percent....
Reinfeldt's government has been forced by popular anger to close tax loopholes used by private equity companies, some of them active in running health services. Some centre-left opposition parties want to ban profits being made by companies in tax-payer funded sectors.
In immigrant suburbs where May's riots exploded, benefits cuts have come, but not jobs.
But while there have been efforts to rein in high sick leave levels, tax rates have remained elevated and the opposition Conservatives, likely to win September elections, see little impetus for major reforms.
"I don't think we'll make any major changes to our welfare benefits, such as sick leave, as long as the economy is faring well," said Conservative leader Erna Solberg.
That aspect of faring well is one which is key to future reforms in the Nordic countries.
While finances for now are better than elsewhere in Europe, long-term challenges remain to maintain traditions of a strong, protective state, said Stephanie Janet, head of the Denmark and Sweden desk at the OECD economics department.
"While they do not have the urgency of many European countries, reforms are something they need to do in order to ensure they can continue with their welfare model," she said.