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Will the Nordic Supermodel Evolve into a Union?

A COUNTERPOINT on "The Next Supermodel" in The Economist special report on the Nordic countries, print edition February 2, 2013

PRELUDE

How does our country fare, to be honest? What about our Nordic neighbors? Obviously, in view of the unraveling crisis in Southern Europe and in the EU system, it is no surprise that the relative wealth and stability in Sweden and the Nordic countries attract global attention. But is it really true that our country is a fairytale? How do we as insiders relate to the rosy picture painted by one of the most influential weekly economic magazines? Have we as Swedes (perhaps descending from the Viking on the cover image of the issue, with horns and paraphernalia) earned their praise or should we remain modest and skeptical, devoting ourselves to the unrelenting work of improving our society, openly and honestly diagnosing its failures in an effort to finding efficient remedies for the future and for next generation?

After an email conversation with academic friends in the US, UK and in Canada (who are granted anonymity but thankfully honored) I tried to help my friends by answering their inquiry post reading The Economist laudation, eager to protect them from the sudden shock and disappointment they would all suffer should they prematurely decide to invade our country, blaming misrepresentations of the article under scrutiny.