Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Culture vs. policy

Words worth pondering:
Intellectually, I believe demography and culture are underestimated and policy overestimated.

If you live with Scandinavians you soon realize they are a completely unique people in terms of producing positive social externalities (their niceness, cooperativeness, trustworthiness and their naive trust in other people makes them have with the best individual norms and some of the worst collective norms in the developed world).

I am thus bothered by the fact that the American left attribute the high quality of life that results with the extraordinarily good norms, evolved informal institutions and well functioning culture of Scandinavians to the welfare state (which is just a outcome variable among many).

Immigrants who lack Swedish culture but live under the same welfare state have extremely bad social outcomes.
Keep in mind the author has an immigrant background himself.

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