Skip to comments.If Sweden were a US State, it would be the poorest state in the union
Posted on 05/05/2002 11:50:18 PM PDT by bourbon
Reuters Market News Swedes less well off than poorest Americans -study
STOCKHOLM, May 4 (Reuters) - 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, a Swedish study showed on Saturday.
The study by a retail trade lobby, published in the liberal Dagens Nyheter newspaper 19 weeks before the next general election, echoed the centre-right opposition's criticism of the weak state of Sweden's economy after decades of almost uninterrupted Social Democratic rule.
The Swedish Research Institute of Trade (HUI) said it had compared official U.S. and Swedish statistics on household income as well as gross domestic product, private consumption and retail spending per capita between 1980 and 1999.
Using fixed prices and purchasing power parity adjusted data, the median household income in Sweden at the end of the 1990s was the equivalent of $26,800 compared with a median of $39,400 for U.S. households, HUI's study showed.
"Weak growth means that Sweden has lost greatly in prosperity compared with the United States," HUI's President Fredrik Bergstrom and chief economist Robert Gidehag said.
International Monetary Fund data from 2001 show that U.S. GDP per capita in dollar terms was 56 percent higher than in Sweden while in 1980, Swedish GDP per capita was 20 percent higher.
"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, Bergstrom and Gidehag said.
They said they had chosen that measure for their comparison to get around the differences in taxation and welfare structures. Capital gains such as income from securities were not included.
AMERICANS CAN BUY MORE
The median income of African American households was about 70 percent of the median for all U.S. households while Swedish households earned 68 percent of the overall U.S. median level.
This meant that Swedes stood "below groups which in the Swedish debate are usually regarded as poor and losers in the American economy," Bergstrom and Gidehag said.
Between 1980 and 1999, the gross income of Sweden's poorest households increased by just over six percent while the poorest in the United States enjoyed a three times higher increase, HUI said.
If the trend persists, "things that are commonplace in the United States will be regarded as the utmost luxury in Sweden," the authors said. "We are not quite there yet but the trend is clear."
According to HUI figures, in 1998-99 U.S. GDP per capita was 40 percent higher than in Sweden while U.S. private consumption and retail sales per capita exceeded Swedish levels by more than 80 percent.
The HUI economists attributed the much bigger difference in consumption and sales mainly to the fact that U.S. households pay themselves for education and health care, services which are tax-financed and come for free or at low user charges in Sweden.
According to recent opinion polls Sweden's Social Democrats are comfortably ahead of the centre-right opposition in the run-up to the September 15 elections.
Tiny rant before I go to sleep!
Tack sa myckett,
Sharon Johnson Mason Palmer
I know but like they all have guns though...that would be kewl, right?
I never saw any follow up information on this or any real news on how the socialist countries are actually doing. I would very much appreciate anyone who could direct me now or in the future to further solid information on this subject.
As I remember it, the Kiwis had their chance back in the 80s, and blew it.
New Zealand is not only the oldest socialist country, but the ONLY one to every significantly roll back their socialism Non-Violently.
How it happened (as best I can recall, without rooting around on the hard drive) - back in the 80s, the Kiwi government piled up SO MANY LAWS AND REGULATIONS on commerce, that they actually brought the entire national economy to a STANDSTILL.
Severe economic double-plus-ungoodness.
The President/Prime Minister (whatever - the head leftist goof) went on national TV and delivered a weepy, drunken, resignation speech that stands in history as New Zealand's greatest humiliation.
Many of the brainless laws were rolled back. But global economic conditions (and stupidity) caused the Kiwis to go back to their socialist ways after several years. (the exact time frame eludes me at present)
Within the past three years I remember reading an article that said that the Auckland area had the highest suicide rate among teenagers (or people under 25 - I don't remember exactly) in the WORLD.
It is tragic, but New Zealand appears to be (for the time-being) hopeless - as far as moving AWAY from socialism is concerned.
Feel free to correct me on the details here - this is the best I can do at 4:42AM without further research.
And don't they have that transexual person as their Head Goof down there now? At the swearing-in ceremony the parliment sang: "For She's a Jolly Good Fellow".
I kid you not.
That's not an economy, it's a nightmare!
One thing bugs me, though. Is it true that blacks are the most economically deprived group in the US? How about Native Americans? Mexican Americans? African Americans have made great strides into the middle class in the last 20 years.
I just can't help but think that the writer of the piece assumes that blacks here are all still poor, and everyone else is white and rich. I hope at least the researchers did their homework.
Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!
Scouts Out! Cavalry Ho!
When socialists take over a rich country like Sweden or Britain, it takes a long time to break down and redistribute the wealth of, literally, a thousand years. And it takes a few generations to "reeducate" the people.
After that, of course, there is no wealth to redistribute and no producers sufficently robust to fund the system.
When socialists take over where there is no wealth, like Zimbabwe or Sierra Leone, you have immediate catastrophe.
Art Bell used to play ABBA as bumper music. Can't recall the last time
I heard him play them. (a niece was playing the A*Teens the other day though.)
Wonder what the net would yield on a billion. A swedish fish?
"This meant that Swedes stood "below groups which in the Swedish debate are usually regarded as poor and losers in the American economy," Bergstrom and Gidehag said."
I don't know how many Swedes you know personally, but half of my family are 100% Swedish. So you just insulted my family and me with no provocation, based only on what the Swedish government has done. Assuming that all Swedes condone their government's position at all times is like assuming that, for the past decade, all Americans have loved Bubba and his administration.
Say what you will about ABBA, they always wrote their songs, played their own instruments, and had a slew of Top Ten hits. When you do that, let me know, and I will honor your vast musical knowledge and experience, and your critique of them, or any other music talent out there.
Not all Swedes are the same. Not all Swedes love their government. (Why you you suppose so many have immigrated?!) Kindly do not include my family (originally Persson, but changed to Johnson because there were so many Perssons in Sweden!) in your sweeping genaralizations.
Tack sa myckett,
Sharon Johnson Mason Palmer
Phew, talk about your damning with faint praise...
Hey, I'll take some of that! :-)
All those years of having to eat lutfisk, you know.
knowing the country, gotta dispute this generalization-soo many slackers/entitlement believers there; but that's socialism for ya.
but, it's a fairly civilized place compared to the states....tho 10% of population is third world/non-white now, causa liberal welcoming...
cia, inacurrate as USUAL: NORWAY's got a higher %.
Stockholm probably ranks much higher on one critical measure - leggy blondes per capita. ;)
If you must continue with your ABBA-bashing; I am well aware that they are not of same calibre as a large number of music talents (comparing them to the Berliner Philharmoniker?!) (check your spelling), but they made an impact and they made a fortune. So they performed "feel good" music -- not a thing wrong with that.
What credentials do you have to judge them and their music? Just curious. Opinions are like -- well, no need to finish that little gem. Do you have a musical performance background? A degree in music or music business? I just like to know who my verbal sparring partner is, you understand.
Tack sa myckett,
Of course, the Swedes (and I like their cars, dammit!) convienently ignore other statistics that show that if black America were it's own nation, the GNP would be the tenth largest on the planet.
To hear this group tell it, Swedish households are no better off than the deepest, darkest reaches of Mississippi!
Sorry - I grew up in Gary, and while it isn't the be-all, end-all of life (I certainly am not proud of everything going on there - ask me one day to tell you about politics there and why I refused to run for City Council there), there are definitely worse places in the US to be from and to have lived in.
That being said, Stockholm sounds like a pretty nice place...
If you do know the country, it doesn't necessarily mean you know the Swedish people -- your "average Lars," so to speak. Please -- I'm fascinated; more detail please?!
Tack sa myckett!
now u know more(i'm bein irresponsible; am 'asleep @ the wheel this a.m..?): my statistics stand, however inappriately posted....