Kunal Mukhopadhyay

Posts Tagged ‘Sweden’

Simply(?) the best…

In Social trend, Sweden on June 13, 2010 at 9:18 am

Came across this news article on The Local about a non-profit organization having conducted a survey of sorts and concluded that Sweden is the “best ” country in the world. Here are some interesting snippets from the Local’s report. My first reaction on seeing the title was “HAH!” as in, “yeah, right.”  I hope to write a more thought-processed and structured response to that later.

We combined the countries placings in the various lists into an overarching ‘meta-index’. Just as when we last did this three years ago, Sweden comes in first place, averaging 4.6. The other Nordic countries take the next four positions. Other countries on the list include Germany, which averages 15.0, the UK on 18.9, the US on 25.4, Russia 72.9, China 82.0 and India 90.6.

These surveys of everything from competitiveness to human rights, the environment and democracy are based on systematic comparative analyses. The fact that Sweden and the other Nordic countries are strengthening their lead is interesting in such a rapidly changing world. Their leading positions strengthen the image of Sweden and the Nordic region as the national park of the global society.

Modern Swedish society is built on various traditions: the right of public access, village councils, private ownership, the social movements, social solidarity – all of which have represented a continuous struggle for a better society, and which are now doing the same on a global level.

The analysis shows that Sweden is not a typical country, if there is such a thing.

However, one area Sweden has fallen back somewhat since our last analysis: the ease of doing business. Sweden is in 18th place, and this is Sweden’s only ranking outside the top ten.

Among the range variables that define business climate, the only one in which Sweden comes in the top ten is trade. Sweden is only the 43rd best place to start a company, the 18th best place to wind up a company, 117th best place to employ workers, 57th best at protecting investors and 71st best for obtaining credit. This ranking list is published by the World Bank.

The timing is quite nice with respect to BD’s recent blog on the impending doom on the future generations if some major reforms to pension plans are not made at the earliest. My biggest peeve at the system right now is the definition of age of retirement. I haven’t understood yet HOW this limit was defined and WHEN. Is it time to re-visit the age-limit in light of the improved living standards in modern-day society compared to 40 or more years ago?

To be continued.