Coming from an educational background in Lucknow, India, whenever we started off any work in our notebook, we used to begin with writing a virtue thought. ‘Honesty is the best policy’, ‘To err is human, to forgive is divine’, ‘Do good and good will come to you’ were some of the thoughts we used to write in our notebooks. Without virtues, a philosopher is just someone who knows about the world but is not educated. Without virtues, our lives are full of misery.
Unfortunately, the idea of virtues in Scientific Economics was barred in the 20th century with industrial revolution and colonials expanding their nations presence to the third world. Today, to sustain an economy, virtues are the need of the hour. There are so many variants of capitalism and social democracy in the Nordic Nations – Iceland, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland is a sustainable variant of Capitalism.
Capitalism is based on the theory that an economy runs on free market and countries like UK and the US were the forerunners of this concept. From centuries, it has been a successful model until the gap between the rich and poor stretched over time. It leads to inequality in distribution of income, destruction of environment and winding up the scarce resources leading to people thinking whether this is sustainable in the long run or not. It is also important to mention that the Soviet planning has also lead to the environmental destruction hence Capitalism is not alone in this.
When countries like Norway, Finland, Sweden, Iceland and Denmark remember social responsibility and become a Sate that cares for people, environment, healthcare, sanitation, water, renewable energy; magic happens. They truly become a role-model for each growing nation.
Social Equality = Economic Efficiency from Nordic Nations
- The Five Nordic Countries are consistently listed as the world’s happiest nations in the Happiness Index. The model is a ‘Virtuous Cycle’ and is credited with their social success.
- The Nordic Model is based on a strong commitment to private ownership within a market-based economy, a welfare state with a tax-based social safety that guarantees healthcare, education for free.
- Property rights, contract enforcements, free trade with collective risk sharing, positive partnerships between employers, unions and government, price stability, socio-economic equality, high gender employment equality and low corruption levels are the rockstars of such type of economies.
- Its social protection in turn creates richly productive economies – with a total factor productivity growth, they have been successful in keeping up with the US in purchasing power parity (PPP) – adjusted GDP in the last 30 years which is a big achievement for smaller, growing nations.
- Ease of Doing Business Index, the World Competitiveness Index and technological innovation leaps have been on the top since years in Nordic Nations.
Finland, Sweden Denmark were ranked 1-2-3 in the Sustainable Development Goals in Index while India ranks 120th in the list. The United States ranked at 32 in the list. We need to measure human well-being directly to see whether a nation will be sustainable in the long run or not. Nordic capitalism is strong, has a purpose and further strengthens sustainability leading to making our current world a better place to live in.
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