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Lars Calmfors: this is my wish list for a blocköverskridande cooperation

Nearly four months after parliamentary elections, the political system has not yet managed to deal with the location all knew would arise. The inability to solve the regeringsfrågan weakens confidence in the traditional political parties. It stands in sharp contrast to the popular image of Sweden as a country where rational actors find pragmatic solutions to various problems.

It is difficult to understand the election process in 2018. It seems – not least from the allianspartiernas page – have been completely without thought on the formation of the government. On the one hand were excluded talks with The sweden democrats. On the other hand, followed the debate with the social democrats, the usual pattern. Neither the ruling coalition parties had agreed or the red and green hand laid no basis for the collaboration across the traditional blockgränsen. Therefore, the difficulties to form a government, is not surprising.

assess whether the ongoing (?) talks between the social democrats (and the Greens) and the Centre party (and the Liberals) can lead to a new government. However, I can conclude that the publicly expressed demands from a page on the partner to surrender on key issues (type ”do a hefty right turn”) gives bad conditions for a sustainable cooperation. A better starting point is that there are a number of problems where blocköverskridande cooperation can mean good and stable long-term solutions.

the Publicly-expressed demands on the partner to surrender on key issues providing bad conditions for a sustainable cooperation.

the Political decision is about trade-offs between different objectives. A central such is between efficiency (high growth and employment) and equal income distribution. A related trade-off concerns the extent of the public commitment and market solutions. The trade-offs must be based on objective assessments of the various effects and subjective values. With my – social-liberal – values are a number of areas where compromises over the blockgränsen would be able to provide a desirable policy. This is my wish list:

An ageing population and the likely demand for a higher standard requires more resources to care and treatment. For a reasonably uniform distribution of the consumption of these welfare services, public funding is required. It is probably difficult to achieve without raising the tax rate, thus the share of taxes in gdp, slightly. At the same time is a great value in the freedom of choice for users as the presence of many private providers (which, in turn, requires that the gains in welfare are allowed).

A more threatening omvärldsläge, and a more erratic the united states, justifying a rapid and significant strengthening of the defense. A boost from 1 percent to 2 percent of gdp is reasonable. It makes it even more likely that the tax rate must increase by 1-2 percentage points.

The top marginal tax on earned income of 60 per cent is likely to have major negative implications for the effective supply of labor. Värnskatten and avtrappningen of the earned income tax credit for high incomes can therefore probably be removed without any major effects on tax revenue. In the interest of efficiency, it would be an advantage if the taxation can be rotated from labour towards consumption (read higher vat on food) and environmentally damaging activities. Of fördelningsskäl it may be desirable that in parallel raise the kapitalinkomstbeskattningen (and at the same time make it more uniform). Higher taxation of real estate and condominiums should be included in such a reform.

Labour law has been the focus of recent political debate. Liberalisation would give rise to efficiency gains, but these are probably small. A bigger issue is that the technological development will lead to old jobs disappear and entirely new ones are added. Many will need retraining. It should re-actualize the question of whether an individually-saving statement with the state tax subsidies to finance further education. Such a reform had previously had wide political support but realised never.

rent regulation is holding back the construction and means that the existing hyresbeståndet being utilized inefficiently. The regulation should be phased out, but gradually and gently. The required ceiling for how quickly the rent increases may take place, a tax that reduces the profits of the landlords will make, the higher the housing allowance for vulnerable groups, and any type of ”social housing” which is designed in order to counter bostadssegregation.

Current efforts are insufficient to integrate low-skilled workers, especially low-skilled foreign-born people in the labour market. There is a need for new types of simple jobs that require lower wages than today's. The state can facilitate the parties to negotiate such jobs by offering the holders of tax-exempt contributions, and generous educational support in order to advance to more skilled employment.

My nyårsönskan is a blocköverskridande interaction according to the lines above. But several of the suggestions take time to implement and requires extensive preparatory work. They lend themselves to smart förhandlingsspel in a governmental crisis. What is needed instead is a common political vision in the policy mittfåra. It is high time to develop one.

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