Scandanavian nations are often regarded as role models. Egalitarian Richard Wilkinson once said that, if you want to live the American dream, you should live in Denmark. Sweden often gets envious glances from social democrats in the Anglophone world.
Scandinavian societies are characterised by high living standards, high life expectancy, low crime rates, high social cohesion and an even income distribution. But, are these attributes caused by large welfare states? If you study Sweden’s history in depth, much of its success is explained by a unique culture, as well as reliance on free-market policies for much of its history.