Evidence points to the fact, a hundred years ago, Sweden and the other countries of northern democratic Europe were among the most poverty-stricken on the continent.
Even, between 1840 and 1914 more than one million Swedes migrated to North America, mainly to Wisconsin and Minnesota in the United States, in search of a better life. Their departure provided eloquent testimony to the backwardness of the country they had left behind them. But during much of the last century after the 1920s Sweden, along with the other Nordic nations, was transformed through its own efforts. From being one of the poorest countries in Europe it became among the most successful political economies in the world as measured by an impressive range of international comparative statistics. Today Sweden alongside neighboring Denmark, Norway and Finland remains an affluent and equitable society with a higher standard of living for the overwhelming majority of its citizens than almost anywhere else. Sweden has the most generous system and the highest level of social protection. It is obvious that this generosity comes from the high taxation (Alesina, Glaeser, Sacerdote, 2005).Swedes can claim to enjoy not only the longest life expectancies for both men and women outside Japan 78 years and 83 years, respectively, as well as widespread material comfort, revealed in their patterns of personal consumption, but also a relatively equitable distribution of income and wealth between their citizens and families.
In addition, recently before the G20 summit, ex president of United States of America Barack Obama decided to visit Sweden, a country that exemplified the economic recovery and the way out of the global financial crisis. The data of the International Monetary Fund and the Organization for European Cooperation and Development show that today Sweden has one of the lowest inflation indices in Europe. The state budget of the country annually has a surplus, and corporate tax rates here are much lower than in the US (Bergsten, 2013). All these facts make it clear that all the previous researches by different scientists were reasonable and true. By way of conclusion, it can be said that this essay has advocated the points that shows how and why the Swedish and US welfare states are so different. “Three worlds” classification really helped make this idea clear.
In the first section, the realization of “welfare” state was discussed. By following this, Esping-Andersen’s ideas have been mentioned on the difference between US and Sweden welfare states by dividing them into different welfare regimes and how other researchers, scientists support his opinions. It is obviously seen that there are lots of differences between these welfare states in terms of generosity, taxes, gender equality and so on. Although, many years have passed, new generation still uses the research of Esping-Andersen as it is very accessible and explains the difference very clearly.