This is an interesting piece in Vox from a libertarian think tank. In a nutshell, countries can have less inequality and more economic security alongside freer markets. Indeed, the author of the piece suggests that social-welfare economies need fewer impediments to business activity in order to support generous redistribution policies. Will Wilkinson writes:
…As late as 2000, the American economy was indeed the freest in the West. But something strange has happened since: Economic freedom in the United States has dropped at an alarming rate.
Meanwhile, a number of big-government welfare states have become at least as robustly capitalist as the United States, and maybe more so. Why? Because big welfare states needed to become better capitalists to afford their socialism. This counterintuitive, even paradoxical dynamic suggests a tantalizing hypothesis: America’s shabby, unpopular safety net is at least partly responsible for capitalism’s flagging fortunes in the Land of the Free. Could it be that Americans aren’t socialist enough to want capitalism to work? It makes more sense than you might think.