Headlines 2013

Swedish lesson for the US?

2013-01-23 The American

The online magazine of the American Enterprise Institute claims that "the Swedish political Right has increasingly managed to recapture the support of a large segment of the chattering classes. There may be lessons for the United States". One of the authors is Tino Sanandaji, research-fellow at the Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN).

The second author of the article is Danjell Elgebrandt, a communications consultant in Stockholm, Sweden.

The authors argue that if you "ask most Europeans or coastal Americans: Who are smarter, liberals or conservatives? and chances are they will tell you that the liberals are smarter, in addition to being more modern, more tolerant, and more likeable overall". Though, they claim that on closer examination, the picture is more complex. "The Left and the Right in the United States are in fact roughly equally educated and appear to have equally high levels of cognitive achievement. However, while averages are similar, the extremes tend to be more Democratic ..."

Sanandaji and Elgebrandt argue that the educated elites have a disproportional influence on politics and the general culture through the media, etc. "Because of this, each voter among the educated elite influences others through a social 'multiplier,' making their support more valuable than that of other groups. If the Left is able to maintain and fortify its position on the commanding heights of the elite-making institutions, especially in the top-tier universities and the media, they will continue to have the upper hand in formulating the political and cultural agenda."

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