Lots of Sweden defenders in the comments here. Sweden is, obviously, a fine nation and its citizens enjoy an enviable standard of living by global standards. That said, as you’ll see here Sweden has clearly begun to fall behind its Nordic brethren in GDP terms and the current vogue is to site Denmark as the premiere example of the Nordic social model.

Specifically what I had in mind with regard to Sweden is that in addition to consumption and income/payroll taxes, Sweden raised money from a wealth tax that tended to cause a fair number of Sweden’s highest-earning individuals to leave the country. This, it seemed to me, really was a place where the dread Laffer Curve applied, and a policy more friendly to rich people would encourage rich Swedes to keep living in Sweden and paying Swedish taxes. I was Googling around to find some “data” to back me up on this, when I discovered that plans were announced last week to drop the wealth tax. The article notes that “Several European countries have dropped taxes on wealth in the last decade, including Denmark, the Netherlands and Finland” and those three are precisely the countries that have tended to displace Sweden recently as the example of choice as the paradise of social democracy. So, you see, even Sweden thinks Sweden went too far and should become more like Denmark.