These European Countries Beat Poverty and Increased Wealth with Low Taxes and Low Regulation

Democratic socialists frequently laud the Nordic countries as examples of the success of progressive taxation, generous welfare states, and powerful labor unions. Free marketers have responded by pointing out that not only did these countries get rich long before these policies were implemented, but they also have as much regulatory flexibility as the United States, according to World Bank data. However, we should also point to countries that embraced so-called neoliberalism as a means to getting richer and reducing poverty. It turns out that this strategy has been proven to work and these areas of Europe have living standards that are just as high, if not higher, than that of the Nordics. Here, we’ll look at three examples.

Progressives use the Nordic countries as examples of successful socialist systems. While this simply isn’t the case, free marketers ought to use these three countries—Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Ireland—to show that it is not necessarily welfare spending and redistribution which raise the standing of the poorest. Rather, it is economic growth, productivity gains, entrepreneurship, and property rights which enrich the poorest among us.

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