NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

When Will Sweden Ever Learn?

May 27, 1997

Major companies in Sweden are contemplating getting out of that classic welfare state. And why should they stay, with the highest taxes of any major industrial country, regulations everywhere and outrageous welfare spending?

  • Sweden's unemployment rate is now 11 percent.
  • Although its basic corporate tax rate is 28 percent, each company must also pay a tax equal to about 40 percent of its workers' wages to support the welfare state.
  • Some 59 percent of total gross domestic product goes to taxes -- for welfare state goodies such as pensions, child care, housing allowances, unemployment, parental leave, job training, disability and income support for those who can't find work.
  • During the 1990s, GDP per person has only grown at a shameful 0.6 percent per year, on average.

In fact, in Europe only Finland and the former Soviet Bloc nations have worse growth records.

Source: Editorial, "Sweden Goes South," Investor's Business Daily, May 27, 1997.


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