Skip to comments.Is there any TRULY Capitalist nation on Earth?
Posted on 04/19/2008 2:08:46 PM PDT by WesternCulture
Yes there is.
Read on and you'll find out about it.
Capitalist paradise exists here on Earth.
However, it comes with a price tag called "competence".
Most of the world lacks this "competence" and will have a hard time aquiring it, because it is a matter of spirit, a spirit that I'm convinced most parts of the world ever will fail to aquire.
In my opinion, Scandinavia leads the world in true Capitalist endeavour (check out how many multinationals we possess in realation to population size).
The explanation for this tradition of entrepreneurship is not Scandinavian "Socialism". Sooner, it is a question of Scandinavian FREEDOM.
While continental Europeans suffered under the yoke of Feudalism, Scandinavians were running their own farms!
This is a MAJOR and often overlooked explanation behind our unparalled competence in the field of producing successful companies as well as producing wealth. Entrepreneurship is more or less in our blood.
Our prosperity is NOT a matter of coincidence.
I am a son of Gothenburg, Sweden, Scandinavia.
The region of Gothenburg is a part of Europe which would be churning out heavy trucks, buses, luxury cars and heavy industrial equipment even if she daily was struck by nuclear assaults.
It's a question of work ethics combined with self-reliance. Without a widespread attitude like this, Sweden wouldn't house more BMWs per capita than Munich, the home of BMW, or more Audis/capita than Ingolstadt etc, etc.
While continental Europe is away from its 6 hour work day due to ridiculous strikes, Scandinavia is working overtime.
The founding of the major port city of Gothenburg here on the West Coast of Sweden meant the guaranteed death of Danish hegemony over the Baltic region (Sweden could hereby reach the Seven Seas) and in the end, even our Viking brothers and sisters in Denmark accepted the cold, hard, concrete reality of Gothenburg - today a thriving little city of (almost) one million inhabitants on the go.
I've found out people from this home city of mine seldom reflect upon the fact that we DESERVE to drive around in luxury cars, travel around the world and live in affluence. We take it for granted. But why is this so? I think it's because a true lifestyle of progress can be taught.
In Gothenburg, you'll meet with few inhabitants who claim they're rich (even if their family owns two houses and a Volvo XC90). BUT, if you ask them if they feel strongly convinced their sons and daughters will be even better off than they, they'll answer:
THIS is a sign of a well functioning Capitalism structure.
I've never been a soldier, but I sure have experienced a frontline;
The assembly line of Volvo - Try it, you won't like it.
Still, Volvo is an extremely well run company (although Ford isn't) and I'm proud of living in a country where such an example of modern Capitalism (and American-Swedish cooperation) exists.
For better or for worse, Scandinavia is a part of the world where Capitalism is still given chance - by ordinary, hard working, responsible people.
I doubt there is ANY part of the Earth that boasts such a work ethic as Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Finland.
The only part of the world that can compete is Eastern Europe (and hardly surprising, the economic development of this part of Europe is a completely different story compared to Germany, France and Italy - the sick core of a magnificent, giant economy).
Did you write that? If so - inspiring.
Thanks from an Ayn Rand fan.
I was kinda under the impression that Sweden had 60% income tax, etc.
Who is John Galt?
“I doubt there is ANY part of the Earth that boasts such a work ethic as Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Finland.”
In no way, form, or fashion should Norway be included in this grouping.
Hours worked per year
United States: 1841
except for the welfare part....
On an average day, about 25 percent of Norway’s workers are absent from work, either because they have called in sick, are undergoing rehabilitation or are on long-term disability. The rate is especially high among government employees, who account for half the work force.
The average amount of time people were absent from work in Norway in 2002, not including vacations, was 4.8 weeks. Sweden, its closest competitor, totaled 4.2 weeks, while Italy came in at 1.8 weeks and Portugal at 1.5 weeks, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.
Throw in vacation time (five weeks for most people), national paid holidays (11 per year) and weekends, and Norwegians take off nearly half the calendar year, about 170 days, a figure that does not include time off for disability and rehabilitation, according to Bergens Tidende, the newspaper that made the calculations. Long-term disability leave, up 20 percent since 1990, is growing at an even faster rate than sick leave.
There are few penalties for chronic absenteeism. Most people who take sick leave receive 100 percent of their pay for a year, though the level dips to 60 percent in the second year under a job rehabilitation program. Few employees get fired, but, if they do, unemployment benefits are generous.
- The income tax is something like 30% and the corporate taxes are lower than in most countries.
Still, taxes are - de facto (a fancy expression that means “in fact” more or less)- higher in Sweden than they are in most countries because of the 25% VAT/Moms (a kind of sales tax). On top of this, there are extra taxes on alcohol, tobacco, gambling etc.
BUT, I personally claim this doesn't mean Sweden is Anti-Capitalist.
We nurture a STRONG government culture, which everyone ought to be aware is very DIFFERENT from the underlying principles of the magnificent Declaration of Independence.
The US and Scandinavia are both successful in the field of democracy, freedom and economy and often, we find it easy to communicate with each other even if we might not always agree.
Personally, I think Sweden/Scandinavia has got a lot to learn from the US. Like pointed out above, traditional Scandinavian work ethics constitute a true asset, but we need more of the overall support American culture provides the entrepreneur with. In the Nordic countries, entrepreneurship is sometimes met with suspicion and envy, which of course is bad.
Who is John Galt?
America needs to figure this out before we turn into a “People’s State”.
In France, most employees work 6 hours a day, in Norway the norm is 8 hours.
On top of this, Norwegians, especially people working in the oil, fishing and shipment businesses often work overtime a lot.
Few French would claim they work as hard as people do in the Nordic countres and this also is the reason why they are poorer, not the fact that Norway has oil, Sweden has iron ore or Denmark has mermaids.
Taxation: The rate of corporation tax is 28%. Personal taxation is based on worldwide income derived from employment, business and investments and is largely raised by local government. Including central government, the top rate is 60%. Capital gains tax is levied at a general rate of 30%. Value-added tax (VAT) applies to the sale of all goods and most services. The basic rate of VAT is 25%, with reduced rates of 12% on food and 6% on items including books and personal transport.
So if one earns 100 kronor at a job, one can buy 32 kronor worth of goods (60% income tax plus 25% VAT on the remaining 40). If one owns stock in a company whose share of gross profits is 100 kronor, one can buy just over 40 kronor worth of goods (28% corporate tax, 30% capital gains, and then the 25% VAT).
Sounds like Swedes have to work twice as hard for the government as they do for themselves, and their companies are almost as bad off. I am impressed that any can afford Volvos and the like at all after that burden, but it sounds a lot more like oppressive Eurosocialism than capitalism to me.
Yeah. They’re hard working all right. That’s why the shelves of the world are chock full of Norwegian, Swedish and Finnish products. (snicker).
Pilfering money from individuals at the point of a gun is always Anit-Capitalist and anti-freedom - no exceptions.
Over the past few years, it seems, everybody and his brother speaks about the capitalist system in America. Before, using the word was the hallmark of marxist training or influence. Yet lately, everybody is using the word - regardless of political leaning.
It bothers me because capitalism - the word and the concept - was the brainchild of Karl Marx. As well as offering an “-ism” opposite his own -ism, it describes a rigid class society in which one class possesses the means of production, the other nothing except its labor. The latter class is called “The Proletariat” who, as Lenin declared, can lose nothing but its chains when it rises against the oppressor.
This is not the place to argue whether capitalism was the appropriate way to describe certain European societies. The point is that owning things has always been open to Americans. The moment you buy one share of stock, you part-own “means of production,” not to mention owning your home and arriving at your place of work in your own automobile - a very American image.
America never had a proletariat.
In that case, America could not have been a capitalist country.
It’s even more complicated that that, but thanks for these remarks.
Let’s forget about the issue of taxes as such and approach this particular question:
Standard of living.
We would probably agree that as long average Swedes consume more than average Americans, they are richer and vice versa.
Well, what’s reality like?
- Americans own MORE cars in relation to population compared to Sweden (something like 0,85/capita - Swedes own a sole 0,56/capita)
- Measured by American MSRP Swedes, drive luxury cars that few Americans can afford.
- Average American wages are low compared to their Swedish counterparts
- Swedish consumer prices are high compared to American ones
- Swedes live in very well built houses
- It is more common for Americans to own a single family house.
- Many Swedish families (and even some singles) own a summer house.
Who’s rich, who’s not?
How to settle this issue?
Travel around in Sweden and the US some and form an impression of your own without the aid of statistics:)
Yes, and Iberia has lots of ships . . .
Thanks for posting.
Sorry, there have been a number of articles published coming out of Sweden that show statistics that Sweden’s average standard of living is slightly lower than the standard of living of the average black in the USA. I think this was discussed before on FR. Here is just one discussion article on it from the Hudson Institute. http://www.hudsonreview.com/BawerSp04.html