Many “progressive” Democrats, including Hillary Clinton rival Bernie Sanders, argue America should model itself on Scandinavia and its egalitarian social democracies. As Sanders told ABC News, “I think we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway, and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people.”

img_0674But is IKEAmerica really possible or even desirable? To find out about whether the US should be Swedenizing — as well as the latest about that country’s immigration crisis — I chat with Tino Sanandaji, a Stockholm — based economist and author who received his graduate degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago. Some listeners may be familiar with his work in National Review where he has written on immigration, education, and entrepreneurship.

Sanandaji is also the author of several books, including Institutional Entrepreneurship with Magnus Hendrekson, and SuperEntrepreneurs – And How Your Country Can Get Them, co-authored with his brother Nima. He also has a blog.

For more on this subject:

7 myths about Scandinavia’s social democratic ‘paradise’

Here is the left’s secret plan to turn America into Sweden

Democrats, it’s time to give up your obsession with Denmark

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Members have made 19 comments.

  1. Profile photo of Miffed White Male Member

    Blue Yeti: think we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden and Norway, and learn from what they have accomplished for their working people

    There’s a reason the most famous company in Sweden makes it’s money by selling cheap furniture for people to put in their tiny apartments.*

    *With apologies to whomever I stole that from – saw it on a thread probably here on Ricochet, a few months ago.

    • #1
    • November 24, 2015 at 9:59 am
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  2. Profile photo of Peter Meza Member

    Claire Berlinski might want to listen to this podcast.

    • #2
    • November 24, 2015 at 10:12 am
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  3. Profile photo of Aaron Miller Member

    Excellent. Thanks.

    • #3
    • November 24, 2015 at 12:44 pm
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  4. Profile photo of Henry Castaigne Member

    Very good podcast. I feel that elites are failing us everywhere in their refusal to talk about culture. For example, I was with my Uncle watching the news the other night and they talked about this winsome Tibetan girl who spoke English as a fourth language being a valedictorian at her mostly white school. I turned to my Uncle and I said, “That’s not unusual or surprising. What would be really unusual would be for a Native-American or a ghetto-black to be a valedictorian.”

    So this girl because of her Asian culture gets to succeed but the oldest American ethnic group get to stay poor and immiserated but we are forbidden to talk about it. It’s absolutely inhumane this stifling political correctness. Asian-Americans, Igbo-Americans (a tribe from Nigeria) and Iranian-Americans can succeed no matter how poor they start and we can’t tell point to their triumph over poverty as an example to those left behind.

    • #4
    • November 24, 2015 at 2:50 pm
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  5. Profile photo of rod Member

    great guest. very asutue observations.

    • #5
    • November 24, 2015 at 3:30 pm
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  6. Profile photo of civil westman Member

    The Swedish founder of IKEA, Ingvar Kamprad, is a permanent resident of NOT Sweden, but SWITZERLAND! Wonder why?

    • #6
    • November 24, 2015 at 3:32 pm
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  7. Profile photo of civil westman Member

    For those in Rio Linda – Sweden and Switzerland are not the same country (most Americans don’t seem to know the difference). The latter is capitalist, still prosperous and protects individual liberty.

    • #7
    • November 24, 2015 at 3:33 pm
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  8. Profile photo of PJS Thatcher

    One of the best podcasts ever! Mr. Yeti Sir, please give Jimmy P my thanks.

    • #8
    • November 24, 2015 at 4:48 pm
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  9. Profile photo of Peter Murphy Member

    A brilliant podcast; Sanandaji’s analysis of Sweden’s political economy is superb. Get him back JP to do more.

    • #9
    • November 25, 2015 at 1:43 am
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  10. Profile photo of Israel P. Member

    New programs in Sweden have to get the money from somewhere. OK, is there accountability for that? What if it doesn’t get paid for?

    If there is anything Congress is good at its pretending on budget issues.

    • #10
    • November 25, 2015 at 2:13 am
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  11. Profile photo of James Pethokoukis Contributor
    James Pethokoukis Post author

    I agree. I thought Tino’s mythbusting was excellent. I will definitely have him on again!

    • #11
    • November 25, 2015 at 9:57 am
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  12. Profile photo of Layla Member

    I think this might be among the best podcasts I have *ever* heard. I absolutely didn’t want it to end. PLEASE bring Mr Sanandaji back ASAP for more!

    • #12
    • November 25, 2015 at 10:00 am
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  13. Profile photo of Chris Member

    Great podcast and thanks to TS for providing a much needed bit of perspective on the real dynamics at play in northern Europe.

    • #13
    • November 25, 2015 at 10:59 am
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  14. Profile photo of Full Size Tabby Member

    I do wish more people would bring up culture. I have been struck by articles or studies when they come up comparing Americans of Scandinavian ancestry either with Scandinavians in Scandinavia or with others in America as indicating there is something about Scandinavian culture. I’d like to see more information comparing similar government policies implemented in different cultures.

    • #14
    • November 25, 2015 at 3:35 pm
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  15. Profile photo of I Walton Member

    We have to have an erudite, specialist with deep area knowledge to tell us what common sense should have told us. But we need it so bravo.

    • #15
    • November 26, 2015 at 5:41 am
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  16. Profile photo of kgrant67 Member

    One of the most fascinating discussions I have listened to. Thanks

    • #16
    • November 26, 2015 at 10:35 am
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  17. Profile photo of La Tapada Member

    What a wonderful conversation! I didn’t want it to end either. Please have Tino Sanandaji back.

    • #17
    • November 30, 2015 at 2:48 pm
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  18. Profile photo of Hartmann von Aue Member

    New title, but same Psychedelic Furs intro. Excellent. And excellent skewering of the USA regressive leftwing’s poor knowledge of the real conditions in Scandinavia.

    “Duktig” does have an English cognate, of course, in “doughty” but Tino is right about the difficulty in rendering it well into English. “Hard-working” and “actively competent” work.

    No inheritance tax and lower capital tax rates? Vad bra! Skulle vi ocksa goera i USA!

    “They have oil…that means their economy is idiot-proof.” Best assessment of Norway’s economy I have ever heard.

    Interestingly, today’s second headline on “Die Welt” online: “Schweden will angenommene Fluechtlinge loswerden”/ “Sweden wants to get rid of refugees it has accepted”.

    • #18
    • December 1, 2015 at 1:24 am
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  19. Profile photo of Chris Campion Thatcher

    Fantastic podcast. Did not want it to end. And hopefully not just because Tino Sanandaji was articulating, with data, much of what I assumed to be occurring but lack the background knowledge in to even discuss.

    • #19
    • December 6, 2015 at 12:51 pm
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