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Because means of production are not state owned, Finland cannot be considered to be a socialist country. However, being a Nordic welfare country, Finland has socialist characters in the form a large public sector.

Finland has a thriving private sector, including e.g. worlds biggest mobile phone manufacturer Nokia. This has made Finland into a very prosperous country; according to World Bank (2008) Finland is the 10th richest country in the world, measured by nominal GDP per capita.

Finland's public sector is large, comprising about half of the GDP. Practically all health and education services are provided by the public sector. Even though this model could be called socialistic, it is very effective. High quality health care is available for all, and this costs only 7,5% of GPD (e.g. in USA the costs is 16%). Also education is free, and the quality of education especially in primary and secondary schools is among the best in the world.

Because of the large public sector, tax rates in Finland are high. Typically employees pay approximately 30% income tax, but the rate is heavily progressive, and can be much less with low salaries. Also the mandatory payments to various pension and other funds by both employer and employee account for about one fifth of actual salary. Additionally general VAT is 23% and there are also corporate taxes.

To summarize, the Finnish economical model is Nordic welfare country.

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2010-07-02 11:18:49
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Q: Is Finland a socialist country
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