Saturday, September 28, 2013

Why is there Less Poverty in Scandinavia?

It's pretty simple really: they give their poor citizens more government help. Kevin Drum:
The chart on the right shows raw poverty levels in blue. The Nordic countries are basically about the same as the United States. There's no Scandinavian miracle that provides high-paying jobs for everyone. However, once you account for government benefits, the poverty rate in the Nordic countries is about half the rate in America. Universal health care accounts for some of this, and other benefits account for the rest. Some are means-tested, others are universal. There's no single answer. The only thing these countries have in common is a simple commitment to taking poverty seriously and doing something about it.
There is no free market route to a poverty rate below 10%; only governments can achieve that.

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