The Bertil Ohlin Institute

This is the manuscript for a lecture given by Hans Bergström on the Swedish reforms to break public monopolies and empower families, by giving them the right to choose providers of health care and school. The text was printed after the lecture. It presents the reasons for empowerment and for accepting entrepreneurship also in professions dominated by women. It shows why the counter arguments from the left are based on false assumptions, and urges liberals to go on the offensive when it comes to the right to choose.

During his time as editor in chief at the Swedish daily Dagens Nyheter, in charge of its editorial pages, Hans Bergstrom focused on how to improve schools in Sweden. With a series of articles in 1997 and 1998, he transformed the debate to be more about the concrete conditions for well functioning schools: order in schools as a workplace, leadership, teacher authority in subject knowledge, establishing good norms for life. He introduced a principal from Harlem, Lorraine Monroe, who by example showed that schools can have a major impact, irrespective of social circumstances. The campaign for a better school had a strong impact on the Swedish debate. Bertil Ohlin-institutet gathered eight DN-articles and a speech on school policy in this publication.