Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Setting Labor Free

The Wall Street Journal is reporting that "economies in the Nordic region are surging" (subscription required / Congoo):

From almost every angle, the economies of Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland look much stronger than those in the euro zone. In Sweden, double-digit growth in consumer sales last year helped to produce the country's best year of economic growth since the 1970s. Labor-market overhauls have helped push unemployment to near record lows in Denmark, Finland and Norway.

In Sweden, the new center-right government, which won power in September after 12 years of Social Democratic rule, has cut income taxes and employer fees and reduced unemployment benefits to increase both labor demand and supply. One result: Retail sales in Sweden jumped 10.9% in December from a year earlier.
Governments can do more by doing less. It's remarkable how long it can take for governments to realize that the only thing the've been protecting people from are jobs.

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