In Europe's Economies, The State Is Still King

After five years of studies in the U.S., more than three years of work in Spain, and various years in my home country, Norway, I do not believe in your left-of-center economic and social model ("Left-of-center capitalists, unite" Economic Viewpoint, June 22). The U.S. has shown what is needed to develop prosperity: innovation, flexibility, relative low taxes, deregulated industries, and minimal government intervention.

Spain is still paying a high price for its inflexible labor markets, regulated industries, huge public sector, and still-large state ownership in various industries while still struggling with unemployment of about 20%. This can only be solved by more capitalism, not less.

Scandinavia has had great development since World War II, but I believe the development has been slowed by a failed socialist model. Its people's freedom to choose is limited by strong state control of industries, schools, and hospitals. In most of Europe, the state is still the king. Let's solve Europe's current ills with a modified U.S. model before we start talking about the greatness of the left-of-center capitalists.

Kristian Naess


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