How Australia can learn from Scandinavian countries

Independent Australia columnist, Paul Budde, has published article entitled “How Australia can learn from Scandinavian countries”, which calls on policy makers to emulate the Scandinavian model of government:

The Anglo-Saxon model is very much driven by small government, market-driven economic and social policies, and in general, has a large focus on shareholders’ value.

By contrast, the other two models operate more in accordance with the so-called triple-bottom-line. This is an economic framework informed by three different components: social, environmental, and financial considerations…

The Scandinavian model goes the furthest, with a very high level of government involvement in all sectors of the economy and society. All the basic elements of life are fully looked after — education, healthcare, social welfare, childcare, the pension, public transport and other essential infrastructure.

Obviously, this is reflected in higher taxes, but people in these countries clearly see the value of their socio-economic model as it provides peace of mind throughout their lives. As is clear in the recently published World Happiness Report – the annual UN survey that looks at “happy citizens” – the Scandinavian countries consistently score the highest results, despite their high tax regime. This year Finland is number one, Denmark is second, Switzerland third, Iceland fourth and Norway comes in fifth. Australia is number 12…

The main area where Australia should emulate the Scandinavian countries is with immigration.

As noted above, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway are renowned as being among the wealthiest, happiest, best functioning nations in the world. They also have the highest living standards. And they got there without mass immigration-driven population growth:

One of these nations (Norway) is also a commodity economy, like Australia.

Australia should seek to emulate these Scandinavian countries by focusing on improving productivity and living standards instead of perpetual low quality, quantity-based growth that benefits a small number of elites over the masses.

Unconventional Economist
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  1. Your analysis is quite flawed. The most successful traits of those countries are saunas, naked bathing and beating each other with birch twigs. That’s what drives higher living standards.

        • You do prefer to be subject to botched experiment on plandemic and counter-natural social engineering??

          Look, there’s nothing unnatural about sitting down to have a leak, especially for people with prostate problems.

          • And I’m not entirely sure what you’re suggesting wrt “plandemic and counter-natural social engineering” – your dog whistle is a bit too high-pitched for me I’m afraid.

          • I see… the PC/approved narrative police was here…

            Lemme try again:
            >>My apology Smithy, I will try to lower the pitch for you to be able to hear the whistle next time.

          • Sorry if it upsets your ‘feels’ when Islam is ridiculed.

            It is a toxic ideology. You have to be concerned with an ideology and its adherents who have a warmonger, mass murderer as their prophet and figurehead.

            Muslims should rise up and ditch Mohammed as their figurehead – perhaps return to their more peaceful religious beliefs before it was corrupted and adopted by Mohammed.

            Sorry to all the Muslims that inherited a dud quasi-religion ideology – but time to move on.

          • To understand it you need to see all 7 videos.

            Why do I get the feeling the TL;DR is “men should be men, women should be in the kitchen, and poofs should be in the closet” ?

            I’d bet there’s a significant crossover between people who think that and people who like to criticise Muslims, as well. 🙄

          • Second try, apparently saying it is a day when it is a day can be offensive…

            …Why do I get the feeling …
            Maybe it is the Christmas eve that has that effect on all of us?

            By the way, “nope” is the answer, it is not what you assessed, without watching the video as you admitted,

            Hey Chris, is this better now?

        • I don’t agree, their conclusion is self-serving. It’s all the genes except when it comes to poorer countries where they overcome that to select jobs that are higher paying. Funny that they would also be the jobs were competition would be higher from men and where sexism would also be greater.

          • this is the link to the first of the 7 videos.

            Baron-Cohen is the name we all associate with a dense mind of a Sascha.
            There is another person of the same name and he plays pivotal role, I think in the video #5 or #6

    • According to latest stats, its 8% of total population, vs 2.5% here in Australia….
      Just a word Ryan, you’re new around here (2 comments total).
      Go read the comment rules. Say anything like this again and you’re out of here forever.

      • How is this comment any different to 20% of those posted on any other immigration, China, international student, daily/afternoon blog?
        Islam is protected but Asians (east, south, southeast), Africans, even Christians aren’t?

        • They could be following the spaghetti monster for all I care. The sad fact is that this group of imports do not respect women – 25% of Swedish women feel unsafe leaving their home.

          International students, Chinese do not do this. It is specifically a group of people who feel the need to conquer their surroundings and emulate the actions of their founder.

          • Where did you get the 25% figure from?

            I’m curious, Chris has the muslim pop at 8% of the pop, so lets say that 8% is 50/50 M/F, so 4% is M and let’s assume that 3% is causing trouble (figures are pretty loaded), so 3% of the pop is causing 25% of women (around 13% of the pop). I’m a tad suspicious of that claim.

        • Yeah its funny how everyone is scared of offending followers of Islam. No one seems to be scared of offending Christians, Atheists, Hindus, Jedis or Pastafarians.

      • And France is around 15%.
        What did he say that was so inflammatory?
        As the other guy noted, there is more vitriol directed at China so why the bellicose reaction from the censor?

      • @Chris Becker. The issues with Muslim immigration and crime in Sweden are well documented. Malmo is particularly problematic. There are “no go zones” for police and fire services in Stockholm too.

        The worst thing they did was to let “The free s h i t army” catch a bus across from Copenhagen.

        Downtown Oslo is an eye opener. A good mate of mine lived in Toyen – immigrant Central. Constant problems so he and wifey sold up and moved a couple of burbs over.

        And if you think it’s a utopia then do a stint living there like I did.

        • Didnt say it was a utopia, didn’t infer theres no crime. Because that would be stupid.
          I have no problem offending Islam or any religion or fundamentalism or the ideas behind it but I don’t go around saying “all Muslims are bad” as Ryan exactly implied.
          Just called out classic racism for what it is.
          If you dont like it, go comment somewhere else or wait until after the Christmas break when I stop moderating.
          Have nice day.

  2. I remember writing an article about 10 years ago comparing the possible two paths Australia could take going into the 2020s – be like Scandinavia or be like Singapore/South Korea.
    Instead its following the path of the banana….

  3. buttzilla thirtysix

    I don’t know, all my scandi cousins and friends tell me everyone in those countries listed; are drunk and depressed.

  4. Well, we did have LESS babies this year compared to the last…

    In the year ending 30 June 2020:
    •there were 304,100 births
    •births decreased by 600 (0.2%) since the previous year

    In the year ending 30 June 2020:
    •there were 167,000 deaths
    •deaths increased by 4,000 (2.4%) since the previous year

    and 2020 was the bottom for deaths which climb quickly now.

    • I wonder if we could see quite a few babies in the coming months thanks to lockdown, our neighbours had theirs a couple of days ago after years of trying, though think the experts said we wouldn’t 🤷‍♀️

      • All the data I have seen points to a reduced births during covid and reduced conception. Pandemics reduce fertility.

  5. Yep. It’s amazing how green that grass always appears over the fence.

    Reminds me of how excited the Poms were when their government started announcing an “ Australian style “ immigration program and the geezers all mistook this for a return to respecting the institution of citizenry as a foremost priority……lol. Next minute it’s boatloads of disputed asylum seekers per week taking the spotlight off the real issue of plane loads of regular immigrants every day .

    Be careful what you wish for .

    • There are other aspects of Swedish/Scandi model that are more terrifying: Social engineering contrary to biological varieties.

      Sweden is the immaculate model of both extremes of what a country should be and what a country should never be.
      Alas, luckily model cannot work here. Perhaps in Melbourne, maybe in Tas and potentially in NZ.
      If Scandi’s had better weather, they’d spend it on the beach, not tucked in at their home not knowing what else to do.

  6. I am always uneasy about these arguments for lower immigration, even though I know I will be better off. I think it is the moral issue that concerns me. Why should we live a relatively empty land whilst other people are crammed into over-populated slums elsewhere? Is it not a form of NIMBY-ism?

    • How are about we not deplete or soils by having more population than our natural carrying capacity? What does the amount of space we have compared to the amount space other countries do or don’t have, got to do with our level of immigration?

    • I don’t think you should be evaluating our pop on area, more like carrying capacity.

      My daughters are in Hyden (WA wheatbelt) for Christmas, the lake there is currently dry. On settlement of Hyden the lake was a freshwater lake, now it’s a saltwater lake, saltier than the Red Sea! We have caused massive salinity problems throughout the wheatbelt area, just as we have in Murray/Darling.

    • Is this a joke?

      Other countries have exceeded their carrying capacity. You think we can bring people in, and it’ll turn out differently here?

      Do me a favour can you? Show your kids what you’ve written today? In forty years, when you’re probably gone, they need to know this is how you felt, AND VOTED.

      I can’t cope with how dumb this country and it’s people are.

      “moral issue”

      Fkn lol. What about the moral obligation to your kids?

      • Totes,

        I can understand you not wanting to be nice to those you know cannot be talked around with science etc, but Jaduong doesn’t appear to be of a fixed mind, you’ll just drive me further away from where you’d like to see him head.

        • Fair comment, but seriously dennis, anyone who’s got any understanding of the world and immigration should know better. I’d expect a comment like Jaduong’s from a 10 year old raised in an ABC journalists, woke household.

          He’s taking the piss. Can’t be serious.

          • I don’t agree, plenty of people will agree with that until you point out the numbers, and plenty will hate immigration based on racism and wouldn’t give a f about numbers no matter what they said.

    • People are fooled because Australia looks big on the map, but it is really a small to medium sized country wrapped around a big desert. Most of what isn’t desert is semiarid range land that might feed a scattering of sheep or cattle in a good year. 6.2% is arable, and the average quality of that arable land is very low compared to Europe. We feed around 60 million people in a good year and around half that many in a severe drought year. See Figure 2

      It isn’t even certain that we can maintain present levels of production. We have serious problems with land degradation, too many demands on a limited water supply, and droughts that can go on for 8 years or more, depending on what is happening in the Indian Ocean and the Western Pacific. This isn’t even considering what climate change might do.

      Australia is not responsible for poverty in badly managed, overpopulated countries. I am not saying that we shouldn’t help to the extent that we can, but there is no advantage to anyone in making Australia as poor, populous, environmentally degraded, and conflict ridden as the places that people are risking their lives to escape. The only dysfunctional culture that you can hope to change is your own.

    • If more people practised NIMBYism the world would be a better place. Put aside the negative connotations which have been purposefully crafted by developers / miners and think of it as a localised version of “ The standard you walk past is the standard you accept “.

      Think globally act locally.

      • “If more people practised NIMBYism the world would be a better place”

        Exactly. Something so obvious I struggle to understand how anyone fails to understand it.

      • Unfortunately I don’t believe it works like that! Political power is what counts and that is why the vast majority of high density redevelopment happens in western Sydney. Those nice posh areas arc up and push back against their local member, in the lower socio-economic areas they’re just ignored as I assume they’re not as politically strong.

        Nimbyism doesn’t work in Balga, Armidale etc.

        • Yet, the biggest pushers for immigration suffer none of the pain. I’t all a scam dennis, the whole lot.

    • You are a custodian of this country. It behoves each person to pass on.the land in as good a condition as possible, or at least, as when they lived on it.

      200 years of strip mining our soils and water, and now huge pressure on agriculture for exports is totally unsustainable. Add the highest immigration rates (alongside Canada) in the developed world….

      Your kids will be lucky to eat. Straya has the arable land of two US states – Idaho and Iowa.

      Think global, act local. Strewth, by the end of this century the whole world will be plumb out of topsoil. Straya is the canary in the coal mine with soil, water and CC., so wake Up!

    • Are you Han Chinese? How’s China going with their immigration rates? You probably inherently have no concern for environmental issues and expect the world to embrace your ‘dog eat dog’ culture.

  7. Last year Australia’s government spending as % of GDP was 44.48%. Sweden was 48%. The difference is slight.

    Sweden for example has gone through various phases. Until the 1960s the government was small. By an amazing coincidence, economic growth was high. Then government grew markedly but this has been pared back more recently.

    The idea of a markedly different “Scandinavian model” is basically fanciful.

    • the key difference LVO is pointing out is the different policy (policy by stealth on Australia’s part) on population growth since 1960… its fast taking quality of life in Australia in the wrong direction, just look at the data on GDP per capita.

      • Sweden is quite the same to Aus in bringing in people of significantly different culture too fast and in large quantities whose integration monumentally failed.
        I can go more but check above who’s the new sherif in town over holidays and I don’t want him to melt like a flake of snow.

    • Government spending on what?

      Negative gearing cost reaches $13 billion a year.

      Private schools, including grammar and religious schools, will have their funding boosted 25.6 per cent over the next three years, to hit $16.1 billion by 2023/24.

      • Negative gearing cost reaches $13 billion a year.

        Yeah… that thing…
        But think about how many nurses and posties have doubled their wealth and how they can lose all if NG goes away…