Free Market Iceland

More

"Iceland is known as the Nordic Tiger because of rapid economic growth," writes Cato's Daniel Mitchell, "much of the nation’s prosperity is the result of free-market policies." When I visited Iceland it struck me as more a Scandinavian social democracy than a free market paradise. And indeed the OECD stats back me up. Here's a few countries compared by how big a share of their economy is taken in as tax revenue:

oecdstats.png

Iceland features somewhat lower levels of social spending than do the other Scandinavian countries, but it's still a really high level especially when you consider that pretty much none of that tax revenue is going to the country's non-existent military. I would love to see the US become more like Iceland -- flexible labor market, high taxes, and generous public services sounds good to me. But I'm pretty sure Cato would freak out if I proposed a 50 percent increase in the tax share of the American economy. Meanwhile, in the vein of promoting free market policies for Iceland, let me observe that their agricultural policies are absolutely insane -- trying to create a viable agricultural sector on a sub-arctic island with no soil and high wages is ridiculous.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Saving Central: One High School's Struggle After Resegregation

Meet the students and staff at Tuscaloosa’s all-black Central High School in a short documentary film by Maisie Crow. 


Elsewhere on the web

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Where Time Comes From

The clocks that coordinate your cellphone, GPS, and more

Video

Computer Vision Syndrome and You

Save your eyes. Take breaks.

Video

What Happens in 60 Seconds

Quantifying human activity around the world

Writers

Up
Down

More in Politics

Just In