By Daniel J. Mitchell
In my travels…..I often wind up debating whether policy is better in the United States or Europe. I generally try to explain that this is the wrong comparison, both because Europe is not a monolithic bloc and also because most individual nations have both good policies and bad policies. But sometimes you have to use blunt comparisons, which is why this data on living standards is powerful evidence that Europe is paying a high price for excessive government. When I cite such data, proponents of statism often respond by arguing that I’m being unfair by lumping together more efficient welfare states in Northern Europe with poorly run welfare states in Southern Europe. That’s a very good point, and I’ve acknowledged that nations such as Sweden and Denmark are examples of how to do the wrong thing in the best possible fashion. They have large welfare states, but they compensate with very pro-market policies in other areas.
Sweden is a good example of a nation that has implemented some good reforms in recent years, such as school choice and partial Social Security privatization……A study from the London-based Institute for Economic Affairs has found that Swedes in America earn significantly more money than Swedes in Sweden…..Like many other people, I’ve argued that the success of the overseas Chinese community (compared to their counterparts stuck in Communist China) is a damning indictment of statism……(To Read More)