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Le bourdon suédois

Economists frequently express puzzlement about the Nordic countries’ recent economic success, given that their governments are so big. According to a professional rule of thumb, an increase in tax revenues as a share of GDP of ten percentage points is usually associated with a drop in annual growth of half to one percentage point. But such numbers need to be adjusted to allow for the benefits of honesty and efficiency. The Italian government, for instance, imposes a heavy burden on society because the politicians who run it are mainly concerned with extracting rent rather than providing public services. Goran Persson, a former Swedish prime minister, once compared Sweden’s economy with a bumblebee—“with its overly heavy body and little wings, supposedly it should not be able to fly—but it does.” Today it is fighting fit and flying better than it has done for decades.

— The secret of their success, The Economist.

Le magazine se penche sur les secrets du succès (économique) des pays Nordiques, en particulier le pragmatisme (même si on sait que cette notion peut être utilisée pour faire avaler des couleuvre) et la transparence (en Suède, tout le monde a accès à toutes les archives publics).