My upcoming book, The Upside of Inequality: How Good Intentions Undermine The Middle Class, quotes from statistics updated in Nima Sanandaji’s just-released book, Debunking Utopia: Exposing the Myth of Nordic Socialism. Tyler Cowen reports:
“Danish-Americans have a measured living standard about 55 percent higher than the Danes in Denmark. Swedish-Americans have a living standard 53 percent higher than the Swedes, and Finnish-Americans have a living standard 59 percent higher than those back in Finland. Only for Norway is the gap a small one, because of the extreme oil wealth of Norway.
Of the Nordic groups, Danish-Americans have the highest per capita income, clocking in at $70,925. That compares to an U.S. per capita income of $52,592, again the numbers being from 2013. Sanandaji also notes that Nordic-Americans have lower poverty rates and about half the unemployment rate of their relatives across the Atlantic.”
Cowen concludes, “It is difficult, after seeing those figures, to conclude that the U.S. ought to be copying the policies of the Nordic nations.”
[Note that if Danish-Americans earn 55% more than Danes, then Danes earn $45,800—less than the $52,600 earned by Americans.]