The lesson of all of this is something that Scandinavian countries learned long ago. The region’s small countries understood that openness was the key to rapid economic growth and prosperity. But if they were to remain open and democratic, their citizens had to be convinced that significant segments of society would not be left behind.
The welfare state thus became integral to the success of the Scandinavian countries. They understood that the only sustainable prosperity is shared prosperity. It is a lesson that the US and the rest of Europe must now learn.