Skip to comments.Socialism in Sweden
Posted on 01/08/2014 6:04:43 AM PST by madmominct
Hello all -
In the interest of fighting the arguments of those (like my daughter) who defend socialism and point to how "happy" and content people are in Scandanavia in terms of healthcare and general prosperity, can you give me some good responses (besides "We are not Sweden"). I know of their problem with radical Islam now, and I know that their taxes are ridiculous, but I have heard that they are supposedly happy with their socialist government. I don't get it...why does it supposedly "work" there or in Germany, where the economy seems to be strong? I despise collectivism and I want to have some good arguments against it. I would appreciate Freepers' help. Thank you all in advance!
Sweden is not socialist - it is simply heavily shackled capitalism.
This article is FILLED with points. Sweden is becoming conservative and people are tiring of big government.
It’s all they know.
They are indoctrinated from birth that theirs is the best system.
If the entire country there votes to preserve their system, that is their right.
We do not need it imposed on us against our will.
If someone believes we should be so enshacked, perhaps they should just move to a fully flourishing socialistic country instead?
Sweden is smaller than Texas and much less diverse. It’s a lot easier to find common ground for social programs when you’re not trying to meet the needs of a diverse group of people. I have a co-worker who brags about the healthcare and education in Finland. Finland is nearly all white and there’s very little diversity. When their immigrant population reaches 40% they’ll be singing a different song. Or do they allow people to immigrate there without college degrees? Some countries don’t.
Even Sweden, long the darling of the true believers in the welfare state and the model held up to all the world as proof that socialism could be successful and humane, couldnt cut the mustard in the end. In May 2002, Reuters reported on a survey conducted by the Swedish Research Institute of Trade, known in Sweden by the acronym HUI. According to the article:
Swedes, usually perceived in Europe as a comfortable, middle class lot, are poorer than African Americans, the most economically-deprived group in the United States.
"Black people, who have the lowest income in the United States, now have a higher standard of living than an ordinary Swedish household," the HUI economists said.
If Sweden were a U.S. state, it would be the poorest, measured by household gross income before taxes, [the report authors] said.
My wife's family believes that they are born with nothing and they will die with nothing. All they ever owned was a car, which they really could not afford to drive because gas is 10 frickin dollars a gallon. They have bought into it lock, stock, and barrel and it is really sad.
Then, poor people are the happiest people on earth.
Obama Hope’nChange / socialists / big gubmint collectivists had helped us all becoming poorer and thus happy-er!!!
And why we see so many rich unpleasant people being nasty, b*tchy, and unhappy. Out to make everybody else as miserable as they are.
It feels cozy to have Mom take care of you?
That ‘study’ would leave any Swede scratching their head. It has no connection to life in Sweden , as it currently exists.
Yes - or the Nanny State. My daughter is going to college in Rome and thinks it’s great that she can (even as a foreigner) go to the doctor and get “free” medical care, which she says while sticking her tongue out at me. But Italy is a mess economically, which doesn’t seem to matter to her or the Italians...
I thought the Swedes started moving somewhat to the right economically back in the 90s. Anyway, I think their population is roughly the same as North Carolina’s, and it is far more homogeneous. I would say that collectivism is doomed to failure at any level in that it will never produce the same level of prosperity that free markets will. Sweden may be relatively stable, but it certainly is no model for a country as large and diverse as the US. Also, what do they pay for defense? It is easier to pay for a sweet welfare state when you remain neutral.
That study was from 2002, and so doesn't address life in Sweden as it currently exists.
As for the validity of that study, all I can tell you is that it was reported by Reuters. I make no claims about its validity. I do, however, remember when that study came out, and don't recall anyone questioning its conclusions.
Wait until she has to pay a Euro just to take a pee...then send her a photo of you sticking your tongue out at her (unless you’re paying for it!).
I have a good friend that I have known for over 20 years. She was born and raised in Sweden. She has lived here as a legal resident and just recently became a US citizen. She loves her native country but, being a conservative, she freely acknowledges its flaws. I will tell you what she told me some time ago and I assume that it is still fairly accurate.
Sweden has about the same population as NYC. They have been under heavy government regulation for so long that they have become docile and unquestioning. When the government tells them to do something, they comply without thinking. It’s a far cry from their Viking ancestry. They are sheep. Part of their “happiness” may come from their not spending the energy to get upset about it. It is true that life seems idyllic there on the surface, but you must get used to most of your income being confiscated from you. Doctors don’t get paid much. Clerks in shops live about the same lifestyle as people who spend years in college. Every two person household must have a double income to succeed and it is accepted that all children will be in childcare from birth. Everybody gets 5 weeks off in the summer when the country shuts down. Many things require the government’s permission there that we take for granted here. The government has taught them to be robots and many of them don’t realize it.
Of course the siege on their borders by the Muslims are changing that and people are angry about it, but they are a long way from true realization of the freedom that has made America what it is. It is also true, as another poster pointed out, that the population is trying to go toward a more Capitalist system. The Capitalist party has even won elections in the past, but the population as a whole will have to accept the tradeoffs that they are not used to in order to succeed.
My friend described the difference between most of Europe and America in this way. If a problem is presented to a European, he will find a way to adjust his life to accommodate it including doing without. That is how the government gets by with imposing so many regulations. If an American is faced with a problem, he will find a way to fix the problem, which explains why so many inventions originate here. She told me this more than a decade ago. Now we are becoming more like Europe. It is really a fundamental difference in the way the two cultures see success and our view is being corrupted. We are the engine and we are shutting ourselves down. Government dependency will do that.
LOL - great idea! :)
Thank you - that’s great information.
I used to work with a bunch of Swede RF Engineers at an unnamed Swedish owned telecom company in Dallas. They were amazed at the low prices on food, housing, etc. They actually would take pictures of some of the Plano/Richland area two story brick houses, they couldn’t believe how huge and cheap they were. When they told me what their tax rate was, I replied that Sweden could be a nuclear superpower with that kind of money. They didn’t think it was funny.
You nailed it.
It reminds me of this horrible children’s book that a lib relative once gave my kids (that promptly got put in the trash)- I think called “The Rainbow Fish” (that should have given me a clue right there). Its scales were so beautiful that it made the other, more drab fish, feel badly about themselves. So, to make the other fish feel better the rainbow fish took its beautiful scales one by one and gave them to the other fish, so that they all felt better about themselves and nobody was more beautiful than the other - they were all ugly. That’s socialism.
I’d be inclined to simply say people in North Korea are probably very happy too, if you poll them.
Hah...came across that book...my initial thought after reading it was...what the hell!!!
The facts are these
1) Sweden is helped by a small population in a rather large mass of land
2) Social Democrats control every institution in the country. It’s easy to make people happy if you tell them they are sexually liberated and can get free healthcare. Just look at the Obama lemmings.
3) They aren’t that happy. Their suicide rate is just a little lower than ours, and they don’t have easy methods to carry it out.
4) In Sweden, its hard to fall into total destitution, but its equally hard to succeed or make a name for yourself. It’s a flat economy, meaning no big losers but also no big winners. Last big thing from Sweden? Ikea is the only thing coming to mind.
5) In Sweden, huge taxes mean that you earn money, and the government deems how it is spent. If that’s your daughter’s idea of happiness, she’s got a warped sense of freedom. Stockholm is also the rape capital of Europe with all the Muslim immigrants, and the government can seize your children for attempting to educate them at home and put them into literal ‘re-education’ to convince them never to see you again.
It’s not that great, and with more immigrants every year, it will only get worse.
Oh, and that’s another point, Sweden has a pathetic military. If Russia invaded, they would completely rely on the US and some of the larger countries to protect them. Luxembourg could probably invade Sweden, where the boys are taught at a young age to behave effeminately, including mandatory ‘dress like a girl’ days in some preschools. Not kidding, it’s THAT insane.
“In Sweden there are no poor people” - Socialist Prof
“In America there are no poor Swedes” - Milton Friedman
Part of the reason Sweden and other ‘socialized’ healthcare systems ‘work’ is that the American consumers are subsidizing those systems via what we pay for pharmaceuticals and medical devices. This is so because the US still develops over 60% of all drugs and devices and most of the world obtains them for a fraction over cost. The US consumer picks up the ‘profit’ difference. Allow the US to re-import those items at world cost and those fantastic ‘socialized’ systems would break either due to increasing cost or reduced services(increased rationing) due to decreased availability of said items. If he US were to go ‘single payer’ our taxes would have to be so high as to continue that subsidizing or those other systems are screwed.
Democratic socialism can work, and work well, among a nation whose people regard themselves as part of a large, extended family AND who have a strong Protestant work ethic.
Of course, diversity will destroy that national family and make socialism fail.
In multi-ethnic empires like the USSR and the USA, communism is required to make socialist-like schemes barely functional.
Sweden, Scandinavia in general, is a very infantalized society. It is also a hugely elitist society.
What people see as "working" is a heavily socialist society that was not working and has been going through decades of reforms. So, while we see it as so shackled, the movers and shakers of those societies see it as more free. Sweden is more "free" in many ways than the United States. Certainly more free than California.
I have spent a lot of time in Sweden. I like it. But, then, I have spent time there as an ex-pat with ample amounts of money and most of my bills being paid. My 2000 sq ft apartment was $3500 a month and Swedes thought I lived in a massive place. A 10 pack of coke is about $10. A candy bar out of a vending machine is about $2. A cup of coffee is easily $5 and not a foo foo variety. Dinner out for the family of four--you better be ready to part with $100+ for basic food nothing fancy.
I am also not much of an innovator so I am not so frustrated by the shackles. A real "go getter" must get squashed in such a society. I am to the point where a safe city where I can grab a subway ride, call in sick for 10 days because I sniffled once and just throw my Christmas tree outside my front door doesn't sound so bad but then I am also to the point where I have seized most of my opportunity here when the United States was freer. I am not sure such a society would have appealed to me when I was, say, 25.
There is a huge baby boom in Sweden right now (with the cultural Swedes not just the Muslims). Kids every where. They are having four kids a piece (that is what is in fashion) and cramping them into their two bedroom flats. Kids are everywhere. It's insane, completely unEurope like. I am very, very curious how this will effect their willingness to give up to 60% of their incomes to the state. Then there is Norway. Where everything costs twice as much as Sweden. And that only works due to the oil money.
Ofcourse, I have not even touched on the Muslim problem. But I am completely rambling.
Very interesting - thank you for the ramble!
“Sweden is more “free” in many ways than the United States”
Can you give a few examples of this from having lived there?
I also remember hearing, not that many years ago, that one child families were the norm. Things have definitely changed.
Norway funds their socialism with oil revenues. Scandanavians don’t encourage the active invasion of third worlders across their borders (exception for Muslims), more illegals live in border states than the entire scandanavian region. Scandanavian countries are net exporters.
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