If you want an America more like Sweden, you need more Swedes

When welfare state advocates have argued that Sweden and other Scandinavian countries have shown that welfare state policies can work and are consistent with high levels of economic production and growth, I have long had one reply: Those policies would work here too if America had 310 million Swedes.

Scandinavians have traditions of social cohesion and high levels of trust that go back well before their twentieth century welfare states, unlike many other nations and cultures that supplied immigrants to America. Evidence in support of this comes from Tino Sanandaji, a graduate student at the University of Chicago whose Super-Economy blog features “Kurdish-Swedish perspectives on the American economy.” Tino (as he refers to himself) chides scholars who compare America’s levels of social trust unfavorably with those of Sweden and other Scandinavian countries, and points out that Americans of Swedish and Scandinavian descent have even higher levels of trust than prevail in their home countries.

And for an Iranian-American Chicago-based perspective, check out Pejman Yousefzadeh’s new blog.

Beltway ConfidentialSwedenUSwelfare state

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

From left, California state Sen. Milton Marks, Sen. Nicholas Petris, Assemblyman John Knox and Save San Francisco Bay Association co-founders Esther Gulick, Sylvia McLaughlin and Kay Kerr watch Gov. Ronald Reagan sign the bill establishing the Bay Conservation and Development Commission as a permanent agency in 1969. (Courtesy Save The Bay)
Sixty years of Saving San Francisco Bay

Pioneering environmental group was started by three ladies on a mission

Temporary high-occupancy vehicle lanes will be added to sections of state Highway 1 and U.S. Highway 101, including Park Presidio Boulevard, to keep traffic flowing as The City reopens. <ins>(Ekevara Kitpowsong/Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Transit and high-occupancy vehicle lanes coming to some of The City’s busiest streets

Changes intended to improve transit reliability as traffic increases with reopening

Tents filled up a safe camping site in a former parking lot at 180 Jones St. in the Tenderloin in June 2020.<ins> (Kevin N. Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
Proposal for major expansion of safe sleeping sites gets cool reception in committee

Supervisor Mandelman calls for creation of more temporary shelter sites to get homeless off streets

A surplus of	mice on the Farallon Islands have caused banded burrowing owls to stay year round instead of migrating, longtime researchers say. <ins>(Courtesy Point Blue Conservation Science)</ins>
Farallon Islands researchers recommend eradicating mice

The Farallon Islands comprise three groups of small islands located nearly 30… Continue reading

Once we can come and go more freely, will people gather the way they did before COVID? <ins>(Jessica Christian/S.F. Examiner file photo)</ins>
What happens when the pandemic is over?

After experiencing initial excitement, I wonder just how much I’ll go out

Most Read