Sunday, January 14, 2007

Nice when seen from a Distance

Henrik Rasmussen from Denmark questions Jonathan Cohn of the New Republic who says "It is entirely possible to have a large welfare state, with generous benefits, without choking the economy". Cohn cites the following:

  • Economist Kevin Hassett: "The Scandinavians show that you don't have to have a terrible economy if you have a big welfare state and high taxes."
  • Columbia University's Jeffrey Sachs: "A generous social-welfare state is not a road to serfdom but rather to high levels of satisfaction, fairness, economic equality and international competitiveness."
  • Former Treasury Secretary Robert Rubin: "I think I would like to move to Denmark."
Though some might want former Treasury Secrety Rubin to do the same, kidding aside, the reality is somewhat different. I don't recall who said it, but for every society, it's become clearer that there are only two choices when it comes to income distribution and wealth creation: 'do we want to be less equal but wealthier overall, or equally poor?'

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