Negotiation – Cameron’s Swede Dream
At present, Sweden is the most talked about European economic model. Not affected by the world financial crisis, the country grew at almost 4 per cent last year, nearly six times faster than Britain. Nicknamed the Nordic tiger, Sweden continues to invest in welfare while other countries can no longer afford it. Even normally conflicting parties are attracted to this model: the Left because of high taxes and government spending, the Right due to profitable market reforms and the citizens who benefit from a high standard welfare state. Although it looks idyllic, the system has some advantages and disadvantages.
Welfare State: A love triangle
Sweden is synonymous of welfare. The system incorporates you from the moment you are born. You are adopted by it. It provides high quality education, a great job and, once you begin to pay taxes, everything comes easy until your death. As in a love triangle, everyone has a role to play. The citizen is the base of this pyramid. They work to create work. The Swedish work and pay high taxes, 45% of GDP compared to 35% in Britain and 18% in the US. However, they get everything they need in exchange: free high quality education, financed high quality health care, elderly care, etc. The relationship between citizen and state is crucial. In order to understand it, we are going to use a comparative example by Professor Tragardh: The US state promotes an individualism that points towards the separation and protection from the state. However, the Swedish have a symbiotic relationship, in which the state itself provides its citizens with all their necessities. Nevertheless, the state is just a safety net, actual individual independence is based on having an own income. There is also a narrow relationship between the state and business as well. Both benefit from a high tax income, but they have to make sure that every single service in the welfare system fulfils high standards. Swedish...
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