America should follow Sweden's example and encourage immigrants to make its economy great again

Forbes thinks Sweden is the world's best place for doing business, and its economy is flying  

James Moore
Monday 20 February 2017 18:05
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The early reader's guide to making your economy great again
The early reader's guide to making your economy great again

And you thought the Middle East was where all the monsters lurked!

Yes, President Donald Trump has fired another volley at poor old Sweden.

You might have thought his orange-ness would have taken a break on the President’s Day holiday. But Twitter sleeps for no man and especially not for Donald Trump when it comes to taking potshots at his latest bugbear.

“Give the public a break - The FAKE NEWS media is trying to say that large scale immigration in Sweden is working out just beautifully. NOT!” growled the President.

Looking at that, you wonder whether he might possibly have spent the previous evening watching Wayne’s World. Mr President, the kids don't say “NOT” anymore.

It’s easy enough to read between the lines of this latest volley. Having taken a pasting for referring to a terrorist attack that never happened in a nation that would probably rank alongside Uruguay, or Swaziland, in terms of its value as a target to the average ISIS yahoo, he was simply doubling down in the way that he does.

Sweden, you see, does have a lot of immigrants. And it doesn’t do a lot of business with Donald J Trump. So Sweden must have a lot of terrorists. Sweden baaad.

But perhaps he might care to consider a few of the real facts about Sweden as opposed to the alternative ones favoured by Kellyanne Conway.

This country of mass immigration turned in economic growth of more than 4 per cent in 2015. It has slowed down a bit since, but the IMF it is still projecting it to outpace the US in 2016 and in 2017.

It thinks Sweden's economy will have grown by 3.6 per cent when all the data is in for last year, followed by 2.6 per cent this year.

That compares the America’s 2.3 per cent and 2.5 per cent.

Sweden’s public debt is running at around half the level of America’s and it has a public healthcare system that ensures people don’t need to die through lack of care.

What’s that got to do with immigrants, or immigration policy, I hear you ask? Well, immigrants are good for an economy.

They work hard, pay tax, create prosperity and often do jobs natives don’t want to do (ask any farmer). The United States' success was built on that fact. It was immigrants seeking a new life in the land of the free that created the most powerful and dynamic economy the world has ever seen.

Of course, it has had a little bit of the shine knocked off it in recent years. If you want an explanation for that you might care to look in the direction of Wall Street, rather than America’s immigrant communities.

But back to Sweden. Let’s ask what Forbes, a publication not generally regarded as a hotbed of liberalism, thinks.

Forbes annually ranks countries based on how attractive they are for the purposes of doing business. It grades 139 of them on 11 factors: property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, freedom (personal, trade and monetary), red tape, investor protection and stock market performance.

Its data comes from published reports written by the Freedom House, Heritage Foundation, Property Rights Alliance, Transparency International, World Bank Group and World Economic Forum. Again, not much sign of liberal bias in that lot.

Forbes best country for business in 2017, having considered that lot? Drum roll please, yes, that's right it's Sweden, where, it seems, mass immigration is indeed working out beautifully. You want to make your economy great? Follow Sweden's lead and get yourself some more of them!

As for the US, it languishes down in 23rd place. Forbes suggests that it will be several years before America is “great” again, even if Mr Trump can deliver on his bold promises. It further notes that most economists are somewhat sceptical of his economic plans.

Sadly, I think we know who he’s going to blame if they don’t come off.

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