The Swedish education market is one of the freest of the world. As such, it is one of the most interesting to study. Authored by Jacob Arfwedson, the IREF report “Vouchers and Free Schools: the Swedish Experience” provides striking insights into the dynamics of a budding free market in schooling.
Commentators often tend to link immigration to social problems and high unemployment. But as shown by the Swedish Reform Institute in a comprehensive study published in January 2013, this is not the case, on the contrary.
By Jacob Arfwedson
For global capitalism to reach optimal eclosion, there are several basic conditions:
– free trade: companies are allowed to sell wherever they sense a profitable opportunity;
– the tech revolution: production may take place anywhere, whereas selling may be done thousands of miles from the point of production;
– open communications: without a reasonably modern infrastructure – including telecoms, ports, airports etc – the network effects known as globalisation will not pay off;
– protection of intellectual property rights: platform companies like IKEA, Wal-Mart or Dell would be worthless without this provision;
– the right to be wrong, i.e. the right to fail which is inherent in and necessary to any entrepreneurial activity.
Between 3 and 5 per cent of the members of Parliament, and 6 per cent of the senators: the parliamentarians with a background in business represent a tiny minority. An IREF study shows the contrast with four other countries where economic legislation is handled by people who know what it means. In France, the elected representatives are chiefly interested in tax money.
Celebrating that the end of the world has been temporarily postponed (presumably due to government planning) the IREF Paris team wishes you Happy Holidays.
In lieu of Season’s Greetings, our Swedish and German colleagues have devised Calendars, revealing both government waste and clever advice on taxes. These may be viewed online at Skattebetalarna and Steuerzahler.
An old American joke has it that hell is where the Swedes are in charge of entertainment. But the last laugh in fiscal policy matters in Europe will probably go to Swedish legislators as they vote for implementing a reduction of corporate income taxes (CIT).
An excellent report published by the Finnish think-tank Libera Foundation offers a novel historical perspective on the development of the Swedish economy.Contrary to the commonly- held view, this report is explaining the success of the Swedish model is not due to the Welfare State. Rather, it is a Johny-come-lately: expansion of public welfare started only around 1970. By 1985, taxes exceeded 50% of GDP and by the mid 1990’s Sweden had dropped from one of the top positions to a mid-level rank in terms of wealth and economic growth.