Thinking Citizen Blog — Socialist Monarchies: Charming, Revolting, or Just Weird
Thinking Citizen Blog — Sunday is Political Process, Campaign Strategy, and Candidate Selection Day
Today’s Topic: Socialist Monarchies: Charming, Revolting, or Just Weird
Paradox rules. Sweden, a model of socialism to some, is in theory at least a monarchy. Some Swedes have a problem with that. Others don’t. There is a similar division of thought and feeling in the United Kingdom with respect to the compatibility of monarchy and democracy. In total, today, there are twelve monarchies in Europe. Of these seven are kingdoms (Belgium, Denmark, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom), three are principalities (Andorra, Liechtenstein, Monaco), one is a Grand Duchy (Luxembourg), and one is a “theocratic elective monarchy” (Vatican City). Is it time to sweep away these relics? Do you have a strong opinion on the subject? If you were British, Swedish, Spanish, or Dutch would you support the abolition of the monarchy? Experts — please. chime in. Correct, elaborate, elucidate.
ARE MONARCHIES MORE PROSPEROUS AND LESS UNEQUAL?
1.“Most people believe that monarchies are more prone to confiscate property, wage war, undertake megalomaniac projects, add to the national debt, and mismanage the economy. The historical record, especially during the last 100 years, could not be more different than the conventional wisdom.” (first link below)
2. “Of the 43 monarchies in the world, more than half (23) are among the 50 richest countries. By contrast, of the 157 republics, only 27 are among the 50 richest, a mere 18 percent. Shockingly, if one looks at the 50 countries in the world with the lowest per capita income, the overwhelming majority of them are not monarchies or former monarchies.” (ditto)
3. “Monarchies are frequently accused of concentrating wealth at the top. So, how do they compare in terms of income inequality? The answer is very well indeed. Of the 113 countries for which data on income distribution (Gini coefficient) are available, seven are among the half with lower inequality, and only four are among the half with higher inequality.” (ditto)
NB: Below is King of Sweden, Carl XVI Gustaf (1946 — ). He “ascended the throne” in 1973. His heir apparent is his daughter, Crown Princess Victoria.
THEY ALSO HAVE BETTER CREDIT RATINGS
1. “Countries that have a king or queen as a head of state are on average more creditworthy and have stronger balance sheets than republics, new data shows.”
2. “Sovereigns with a monarchy have an average credit rating of ‘A-’ according to a new report from one of the largest ratings agencies, Standard & Poors, which rates 129 countries, 39 of which have a ruling monarch.”
3. “Nations without a king or queen have an average rating of around ‘BBB’ to ‘BBB-’ around 3 rungs below that of the average monarchy, the S&P report revealed.”
NB: “The largest royal sovereign debtor is Japan, with more than $11 trillion in outstanding rated debt, which amounts to just over 25 percent of all sovereign debt globally.”
THE CASE AGAINST MONARCHY: the quintessential “undeserving rich”
“Andrew was not one bad apple. He comes from an orchard that produces them.” (last link)
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