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The Nordic Model Essay

1284 words - 6 pages

No matter how successful the Nordic Model may be in producing and expanding human welfare it will always be subject to attack as long as human nature remains at its current state of evolution.
-The Nordic News Network
Scandinavia is a region of Northern Europe that includes Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, and Iceland. All the countries of Scandinavia share similar languages, are ethnically homogeneous, and are known to be punctual, honest, and modest. While each country does have its differences, they all have one major thing in common: the Nordic Model. All the Scandinavian countries are Social Democracies, which basically means that citizens pay high taxes, but in return ...view middle of the document...

The high taxes are in direct exchange for the many social services that the government provides and the large amount of free or subsidized things supplied to everyone.
Many benefits come from the Nordic Model, all of which can be seen in any of the Scandinavian states. On the outside, the Nordic Model has treated its countries well. At an EU, or European Union, conference, Britain and France both agreed that Europe should look at the Nordic Model. Leif Beck Fallesen, a journalist, writes in the periodical, Europe, that he found that the cities of Scandinavia were generally “spotless, with its countryside spectacular, countries rich, people beautiful, and governments that take pretty good care of them”. Like the favorable outwards condition of Scandinavia, all the Nordic Model’s benefits are widespread, like education, so it touches and affects almost every citizen. Education is mostly free or highly subsidized. Anyone can attend all universities without high fees or nearly free. Wide spread available education has its obvious benefits. For example, in an OECD recent survey, Sweden’s percentage of adults who has a documented literacy level of high is 35.5%, as compared to the United State’s 19%. The Scandinavian’s states emphasis on education has paid off, as shown by its high literacy rate of 99% and the thriving economy.
Many people believe that the generous welfare of the Nordic Model destroys private enterprise and is not good for commerce. However, a recent study showed that all the Scandinavian states came out on top of a list of most competitive economies in the world. This report also showed the countries as one of the best places to do business. Even though the government spends a large amount of money on its citizens, the 24 million populations of the Nordic countries have more income then the 40 million population of Spain. Another important benefit of the Nordic Model is the resulting gender equality. The Scandinavian states were the top 5 in a Human Development Reports by the United Nations in 2002 that showed women participation in political decision making. Equality is another important aspect of the Nordic Model. Maternity leave and childcare is generally provided by the government. In Norway, for example, all working mothers have 10 months maternity leave with full salary or a full year with 80% salary. A good daycare system for every young child is also available in most of the Scandinavian states, which means women can go back to work quicker. In Sweden, for example, 525 hours is provided free by the government for every child older than 4. This means that if an average child were to spend 3 hours in after school care, their parents would pay either no money or a very small amount on childcare for the school year. The government provided maternity leave and childcare greatly supports gender equality in the Scandinavian states.
Despite the...

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