Call Me Stormy

Finding righteous currents in turbulent times

Archive for the tag “Johan Norberg”

Corporate Welfare

Politicians in Memphis gave Swedish furniture giant IKEA tax breaks to come to the city and create jobs. IKEA created fewer jobs than promised and drove existing small furniture stores–who still had to pay taxes–into the ground.

“Where’s our tax break?” business owner Louis Caddell, of King’s Furniture, asked. Then he went out of business. He couldn’t compete with a giant like IKEA that got special breaks. Does this sound familiar in other parts of the country? It seems government handouts repeatedly end up in the pockets of giant corporations, a sort of corporate socialism, says John Stossell.

Surprisingly, the policy has caught the attention of uber-liberal PBS, who is airing Johan Norberg’s new documentary, Corporate Welfare: Where’s the Outrage. Here’s Stossel’s TV-sized version of it.

The Good News Of 2020

The general consensus anywhere on the planet these days is that 2020 ranks as one of the worst years on record. Not only were we consumed with the COVID-19 pandemic, but also a strong economic downturn, political divisiveness like we’ve never witnessed and scandal after scandal.

On the flip side, historian Johan Norberg, author of The Story of Human Progress, says we’ve never had a better year and points out that people don’t realize that life keeps getting better. And he doubles down and says, “If I were to pick a year, the best year in human history to face a pandemic, I would say it’s 2020.”

Facing such a threat, say in 2005, would have been bad news, since we didn’t have the technology to create the vaccines we now have. In the 1990s, we didn’t have the worldwide web and in the 1970s we had no way to read the genome of the virus. Forget the 1950s, we wouldn’t have had a single ventilator.

In addition, Norberg says, the world has become a lot wealthier. “If you look at specifics like global poverty, child mortality, chronic undernourishment and illiteracy, they all declined faster than ever.” He elaborates further on our prosperity in the following interview with John Stossel.

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Sweden Was a Socialist Disaster

Democratic socialists, such as a large swath of the radical Democrat Party, like to single out Sweden as a socialist success, a model for all nations to follow. Not so fast, says Swedish historian Johan Norberg. “Sweden is not socialist.” He  says that Sweden’s experimented with a system that resembled socialism in the 1970s and 1980s that failed miserably. “Big government taxed and spent heavily,” he says. “It was a period in Swedish history when our economy was going south.” At that point the Swedish population said, “Enough!” So Sweden reduced government’s role, cutting public spending, privatizing the national rail network, abolishing certain government monopolies, lowered taxes and reformed the pension system, among other moves. Now Sweden is regarded as one of the richest country’s on the planet. Here’s more from Norberg and host John Stossel on Stossel TV.

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