Rarely has a section of The Economist roused such interest as when the magazine last winter paid respect to the Nordic model. One of the readers who was captivated was, according to the author of the articles Adrian Wooldrigde, Microsoft founder Bill Gates.
On the cover of the issue of that particular magazine, was a long-haired Viking with a wild beard, but the theme was how the Nordic countries had renewed themselves and rediscovered their model of capitalism. In Sweden the changes have been so radical that Stockholm’s streets are full of blood from holy cows, the magazine reported. According to The Economist, the Nordic countries nowadays combine generous, transparent and fair welfare states with a politic system that has reduced the public sectors and which favors private businesses. This type of model has helped the countries keep a strong economic growth compared to the rest of Europe.

Foreign politicians from both right and left have much to learn from the “light of the North”. The magazine also pointed out that these countries international surveys are the best controlled in the entire world, though there are also problems and questions, for instance, that not enough new companies are able to take over from the old big companies.

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“It’s been a long time since one of our supplements got so many visits online,” says Adrian Wooldridge. “This has partly to do with Bill Gates's recommendation on Twitter.”
Gates stressed how well governed the Nordic countries are, as a contrast to the political problems and budget crises in the U.S. Gates’ post released a flood of comments, and American debaters have opened their eyes to how the countries of the North manage to balance government spending with lowered taxes. There are, according to Wooldridge, three reasons for the global interest in the Nordic model.

1. The Nordic countries are on top of every international index showing economic standards and social conditions.
2. The North has had a good economic development.
3. Politicians of all colors like to use the Nordic countries as a projection surface for their own images and views. In England, for instance, leader of the Labor party Ed Miliband, sees the socialist elements in the model, while the conservative Prime Minister David Cameron is fascinated by the Swedish privatization of schools. “Sweden is clearly a source of inspiration, while the private schools are growing at a great speed in England, the schools aren’t run for profit,” Wooldridge adds. Another example of inspiration from the North is that Scottish nationalists with Norway as their model, want to build a huge welfare sector with the help of their own oil revenues. Even Egyptians eager for reform, want to learn from the Nordic countries, and similar reactions can be found in South Africa. The new cluster of innovations that can primarily be found in Finland, has also attracted interest. And Wooldridge himself says he found the Nordic countries much more exciting than he thought he would when he first started working on the supplement issue.

For the online article: Politicians from both right and left could learn from the Nordic countries

Bill Gates on Twitter: https://twitter.com/BillGates