Social Cohesion and Reform

This week’s edition of The Economist includes an article about the relation between social cohesion and reform: you can read it here.

7 replies on “Social Cohesion and Reform”

That’s funny, I had assumed before reading the article that it would be about how social cohesion makes reform easier! There’s certainly plenty of evidence of that from Scandinavian economic history.

@Kevin O’Rourke

The only Scandinavians that will likely emerge largely unscathed from this is Norway. The rest will have to face the same problems as we must. The fundamentals of income versus expenditure apply – even to Scandinavians.
When Latvia defaults and Swedish banks go bust, we’ll see just how cohesive the Swedes are.

@ Mokabaybob

I couldn’t find the Republic of Utopia on the map!

“Something is rotten in the state of Denmark,” William Shakespeare wrote in Hamlet, four centuries ago. Substitute Ireland today.

We aspired to be a global knowledge economy but what have we missed by not using Denmark as a model? – – a successful knowledge economy and one of the world’s best run small countries.

Of course insiders will always take advantage as they can stack the deck but even more so in a country with a broken governance system like Ireland’s.

Ireland’s Choice: Reform or risking status as a failed rich State:

@Michael H

Excellent article. We seem to be on the same page about what needs to be done, but on the wrong blog – and in the wrong place – to do anything about it.

I think it is ironic that Ireland is cited as a counter-example given that the first half of the article argues that lack of reform protects “insiders” at the expense of “outsiders” and reduces productivity growth.

“Nicolas Sarkozy, is unwilling to damage social cohesion (and risk trouble in the streets)”
I suppose another spate of riots and car torchings would be an alternative to a car scrappage scheme.

@ Mokabaybob

If you want to see how the Swedes (or Finns) will react all one needs to do is look at the early 1990s.

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