Something is unsustainable in the West as this word is being used more and more. However, Sweden is currently having a growth of 6,4% during the first quarter 2011 with some of the highest taxes on Earth. It should be mentioned that the OECD ranking of GDP growth in Sweden is going to fall during the upcoming years.

The health care spending in the US is twice as expensive per capita as the one in Sweden and some say that it is on the average not of the same quality, even if the US has the sharpest health care in the world. The Republican Congress is presently not raising the debt ceiling of the nation. Some say that instead of pondering the size of the ceiling they should balance the budget. There seems to be a general consensus that expenditures rather than revenue, or taxes, should be considered.

Perhaps it is a little frustrating that the Nordic way does not ring any bells at all in the US. What is perhaps of great interest is why this is so. I have not calculated on this but my gut feeling is that is would not be possible to lower costs and fund a balancing of the US budget. Taxes have to be raised.

So we are talking about cultural differences where Sweden seems to be a posh suburb of the US and that a comparison straight off country by country is not really possible. A surplus country like Sweden also fared better during the financial crisis that highly leveraged deficit countries like the US and the UK.

It would be interesting to know whether the US or Sweden scores best on innovation per capita? I don't have that comparison but if Sweden was to score better there should be an argument for the US following Sweden's lead. However, if the US scores better Sweden have to ask themselves if contributing to the top class innovation of the world is not more important that living poshly. Is living standard more important than contribution to progress?

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