Denmark and Sweden: What I'm Expecting
By Bryan Caplan
Since I’ve never visited either of these paragons of the Third Way, it’s a good chance to test the rationality of my expectations. My plan: I’m write down my expectations before I go, then see how they compare to my observations when I return. Here goes:
1. Denmark and Sweden will be more aesthetically pleasing than most of the U.S., but markedly less so than Alpine Switzerland.
2. Middle-class Danes and Swedes will be noticeably poorer than middle-class Americans, especially on the vital dimensions of living space, car ownership, and meat consumption.
3. There will be 75% fewer beggars per block than in major U.S. cities, but somehow even in “the People’s Home,” they’ll be there.
4. I will perceive the Danish and Swedish systems to be extremely oppressive of high-ability and materialistic people. In fact, all things considered, I will deem Singapore a freer country.
5. However, aside from a few indigenous libertarians, these oppressed classes will suffer from false consciousness – just like the Singaporeans who laughed in unison when I denounced conscription as state slavery.