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If you look at the Nordic countries, Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland, you have
five countries, they are all different in many ways but there is one very strong common
factor, these five countries all have very competitive free market economies. And in
every international ranking they are among the top nations in that respect. And their
economic success in recent decades demonstrates that the Nordic free market economies perform
extraordinarily well. They have produced global companies that dominate many other parts of
the world, but at the same time these five Nordic countries have developed a social welfare
system where everybody, irrespective of their income and class, gets the same right to education,
to healthcare and to equal treatment in any economic way. This coexistence of a social
welfare society with a right to education and healthcare is equally distributed throughout
society is one of the pillars of our economic and business success. So you cannot find any
business organization in any of the Nordic countries, which is advocating that we should
decrease this social welfare system. On the contrary, the prominent business leaders of
our countries realize that the evolution of this social welfare system in terms of education
and healthcare is one of the major reasons why the Nordic businesses have been globally
so successful and why our market economies have grown so aggressively.
Why? Because if we have an established system that takes care of the sick when they need
it and allow every kid to be educated to the fullness of its potential, the business leaders
can concentrate on the business. They don't have to worry about the health insurance and
everything that goes with this complicated system where you don't have a universal educational
or health right. So the Nordic formula, not just the Icelandic one, but also from Norway,
Sweden, Finland and Denmark, has created what The Economist, the preeminent weekly economic
newspaper in the world, deemed a few months ago perhaps the most successful economic model
in the last few decades. So when my American friends call it socialism in a very negative
term I'd ask them look at our business record, look at our economic record, look at the growth
rate, look at the prosperity, look at the global companies, look at the innovation that
takes place within this framework. And if you do that the evidence is absolutely clear
that to provide everybody with a right to education and healthcare is a formula for
economic and business success.


Social Welfare Does Not Kill Business, with President of Iceland Ólafur Grímsson

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Grace Chen 2015 年 8 月 28 日 に公開
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