Vores allesammens “Onkel Milton”–altså Nobelprisvinderen Milton Friedman–er (som nævnt før her på stedet) “still going strong” og skarp som Occams Razor, selv om han nu nærmer sig de 94. Det fremgår med tydelighed af et længere interview i New Perspectives Quarterly, som kommer vidt omkring: Irak krig, Reagan & Thatcher, Bush, EU, den “tredje vej”, og meget, meget andet–bl.a. de skandinaviske velfærdsstater:
NPQ | Perhaps the Scandinavian countries are a model to look at. They are high-tax but also high-employment societies. And they have freed up their labor markets much more than in Italy, France or Germany.
Friedman | Though it is not as true now as it used to be with the influx of immigration, the Scandinavian countries have a very small, homogeneous population. That enables them to get away with a good deal they couldn’t otherwise get away with.
What works for Sweden wouldn’t work for France or Germany or Italy. In a small state, you can reach outside for many of your activities. In a homogeneous culture, they are willing to pay higher taxes in order to achieve commonly held goals. But “common goals” are much harder to come by in larger, more heterogeneous populations.
The great virtue of a free market is that it enables people who hate each other, or who are from vastly different religious or ethnic backgrounds, to cooperate economically. Government intervention can’t do that. Politics exacerbates and magnifies differences.
Hat tip: Dan Drezners blog.