Tuesday, September 17, 2002

Nathan Newman on Sweden.

I stayed out of this discussion, but was rather amused by it. I think Newman hits on a key point here:

So the key comparison number is really what a person can earn per hour in each country. And here's where you see a fun rightwing ideological trick. When discussing the horrors of the Swedish welfare state, conservatives will bemoan the poverty and low wages of the Swedes. But when discussing regulatory and employment policy, conservatives will argue that hourly compensation costs are destroying business competitiveness in places like Sweden. ie. their workers make too much money and benefits. Sort of odd that such a poor people make more per hour than US workers.

Most recent unemployment figures I could find were about the same as ours, so that isn't a consequence either.