“Solidarity” behind the success of the Nordic model

Here is a good read about the economies in Sweden and the countries in northern Europe, where, “befuddling Americans, economic growth is robust, and unemployment is lower than in most other European countries.”

So writes Stockholm-based businessman Daniel Sachs under the headline “The Nordic Model’s Economic Appeal” in the latest issue of “The Globalist.”

“The Nordic model leads to one great benefit: it promotes adaptability and openness to change…Openness to change is a core aspect of the competitiveness of the Nordic economies.”

Sachs, who was educated in Sweden and at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, writes that he believes in “incentives” but then uses a word seldom, if ever, used in the U.S. debate — “solidarity.”

“What the Nordic experience shows is that ‘individual’ incentives can be soundly balanced by solidarity on a ‘societal’ level. Solidarity makes good economic sense. Solidarity — that is, risk-sharing — is a key ingredient in being open to change…These aspects of the Nordic model — the relationship between state and individual, generous social protection, freedom of the individual and high levels of trust — all help foster risk-taking and openness to change.”

In turn, he ends, this has led to high levels of trust, fairness and transparency, low transaction costs and low corruption – all reasons why he as a businessman likes the Nordic model.

Anything to learn here?