Media personalities claim socialism didn’t cause Venezuela’s collapse, but it did.
POWERLINE sets the idea of “what socialism really is” when they note…
My one quibble is the assumption that Venezuela exemplifies income equality along with socialism. In fact, relatives and friends of the Chavez/Maduro regime have made off with billions while the majority went hungry. Socialism always leads to this kind of stark inequality. As I wrote at the link:
[T]hat is what socialism is all about: great wealth and power for a handful, poverty and humiliation for the vast majority.
Venezuela is in the midst of economic and social collapse. Which country do you think liberals would love to model our country after?
Stossel has an exchange with famed M.I.T. linguist Noam Chomsky, who once praised former President Hugo Chávez socialist policies.
(H-T to PHIL FERNANDES)Rafael Acevedo is Founder Director of Econintech, and teaches at the Universidad Centroccidental Lisandro Alvarado in Barquisimeto. He is also Director of Politics of the Venezuelan Freedom Movement.
The longer speech by Rafael Acevedo of which the above is a truncation is HERE. Dinesh D’Souza’s wife ,Debbie D’Souza, a native Venezuelan, did a PRAGERU video as well:
We’ve read and watched the news of Venezuelan society collapsing under the weight of socialism. But how bad is it really? See this firsthand account from documentary filmmaker Ami Horowitz.
Dennis Prager first read from an AP story about Jamie Foxx visiting the death hole known as Venezuela (see the FREE REPUBLIC’S POST). Later in the show he actually gets a call from Caracas, Venezuela. I teared up a bit during the call, as did Prager apparently. Good stuff Maynard!
Here is Dennis’ Facebook comment:
Actor Jamie Foxx will pay no price for his visit with Venezuela President Maduro. A rare combo of doing evil — supporting a brutal dictator — and being stupid. Foxx will get picked up by a limo and go home to his mansion in California while the people of Venezuela starve and wait in line for toilet paper thanks to the socialist revolution.
Leftists don’t care about people, they care about ideas. This is Jamie Foxx. He care doesn’t care about the Venezuelan people. He cares about an idea. He loves the idea of equality. It’s painful. Just painful. Will there be a price paid for such radical stupidity? There is nothing a a left-winger could do that would elicit criticism.
I truncated the conversation a tad in order to flesh out the important issues discussed from Karin McQuillan’s article, “Bernie Owes Obama Big Time”. The earlier opening of the interview can be found at Dennis Prager’s Channel. The subtitle of the article gives a bit more meat to the title, I will included the first paragraph that Prager read as well:
Barack Obama set the stage for the Vermont socialist’s rise to national prominence. But the Democrat’s Marxist coming-out party happened too soon for America…. Those who are surprised by Bernie Sanders’ power in the Democratic Party primaries of 2016 and 2020 have not been paying attention. The self-styled “democratic socialist” from Vermont has inherited what President Obama sowed. Sanders is riding a wave of well-funded and highly trained young Marxists weaponized by President Obama. It is Obama’s hard work that allowed Bernie to jump from fringe character to viable presidential candidate….
Needless to say this is a must read article. See more at AMERICAN GREATNESS’ TWITTER.
…The video begins with a Project Veritas journalist asking an individual identified as Sanders organizer Kyle Jurek if “MAGA people” could be re-educated if Sanders wins the White House. “We gotta try,” Jurek replies. “In Nazi Germany, after the fall of the Nazi Party, there was a shit-ton of the populace that was fucking Nazified.”
“Germany had to spend billions of dollars re-educating their fucking people to not be Nazis,” he continues. “We’re probably going to have to do the same fucking thing here.”
“That’s kind of what all Bernie’s whole fucking like, ‘hey, free education for everybody’ because we’re going to have to teach you to not be a fucking Nazi,” he added.
In another part of the video, Jurek is seen discussing Soviet Union dictator Joseph Stalin’s use of gulags, where he claims that the CIA was overly critical of them. “People were actually paid a living wage in the gulags. They have conjugal visits in gulags. Gulags were meant for re-education,” he says.
Jurek is then seen suggesting that the most effective way to re-educate the billionaire class is to order them to “break rocks for 12 hours a day.”
“[The] greatest way to break a fucking billionaire of their privilege and their idea that they’re superior, go and break rocks for 12 hours a day. You’re now a working class person, and you’re going to fucking learn what the means, right?”
The video also shows Jurek warning that Milwaukee, host of this year’s Democratic National Convention, will “burn” if Sanders fails to win the party’s nomination. “If Bernie doesn’t get the nomination or it goes to a second round at the DNC convention, fucking Milwaukee will burn,” says Jurek. “It’ll start in Milwaukee and then when the police push back on that, other sites will fucking [explode].”
The footage concludes with Jurek issuing the chilling prediction that Milwaukee could see riots akin to the 1968 convention in Chicago, where left-wing activists engaged in violent riots in the streets. “Be ready to be in Milwaukee for the DNC convention. We’re going to make  look like a fucking girl’s scout fucking cookout,” warns the Sanders field organizer. “The cops are going to be the ones fucking beaten in Milwaukee.”…
Many are just short clips of the same video… but the comments by the Twitter posters are key:
Bernie “free education” policies to “teach you how to not be a f**king nazi”; ‘There is a reason Stalin had Gulags’; ‘Expect violent reaction’ for speech. If Bernie doesn’t get nomination “Milwaukee will burn”pic.twitter.com/Koh6UTibbe
Just imagine what the mainstream media would say if this was an @realDonaldTrump staffer threatening to go inside @MSNBC studios and drag pundits out by their hair and light them on fire in the streets.
In light of seeing the Bernie Sanders campaign organizer, Kyle Jurek, saying that those who resist socialist change should be shot like they were in Cuba, it’s worth remembering that Bernie said he was “excited” & “impressed” by Fidel Castro’s “revolution.”pic.twitter.com/cipnGNH46j
…Members of the audience began flashing their “Bernie 2020” signs as Hickenlooper attempted to win back the audience by pledging to take on the National Rifle Association. Another attendee flashed the former governor the middle finger.
Hickenlooper ended his remarks to more boos as he criticized “Medicare for all,” saying it would be improper to kick tens of millions of Americans off their employer-backed healthcare plans. Instead, Hickenlooper said he supports a public option as a compromise, then was forced to end his speech as music began playing.
A Typical Response
I use to be in the middle… Voted for the person and the issues… The new left has forced me right… It's kind of sad when you think about it.
…The majority of the mainstream media have for months predicted either a Labor landslide, or a comfortable Labor win, with only a handful of pundits brave enough to suggest that the Liberals could or might win – but I repeatedly and consistently said on Sky News for the last six months that the Liberals would win and I never deviated from that prediction. None of the polls or prominent experts picked it, although of course writers at The Spectator Australia such as David Flint and John Ruddick most certainly did.
…Laughably, a veritable army of commentators, pundits, doyens of the ABC on massive taxpayer-funded salaries and other red-faced experts spent election night blithering and blathering that nobody foresaw this result. Which is nonsense. We did.
The more important question is why those of us at this magazine and on this website who foresaw the result were correct.
For my part, quite possibly the fact that I am one of Australia’s more open global warming sceptics gives me an insight into how normal, real people – away from the latte-sipping, wealthy SUV-driving trendy inner-city types – actually think. This was indeed an election dominated by climate change. Labor put forward the most radical left-wing climate polices at the very time when, in various places around the world, voters who have lived with these policies are rejecting them. Common sense Australians have now rejected them too, recognising that climate change policies would financially damage them severely whilst achieving no change whatsoever to the planet’s temperatures, as was admitted by Australia’s Chief Scientist Alan Finkel. Australians have woken up to the fact that climate change is simply socialism in drag.
This was the climate change election, and climate change lost. This was the socialism versus capitalism election, and socialism lost. This was the identity politics versus traditional values election, and identity politics lost. This was the political correctness versus common sense election, and political correctness lost. This was the luvvies versus the tradies and small business people election, and the luvvies lost.
Take note those of you in the virtue-signalling business world who sneer at people because of their religious beliefs, their love of Australia, their traditional family and conservative values. If you pander to the Left and allow your business to be hostage to left wing activism, you lose. You lose market share. You lose profit. You lose customers. And now, as we have seen you lose votes….
My prayers are with these people fighting for freedom – and willing to lay down their life for it.
Several firefights have broken out in the Venezuelan capital of Caracas with opposition leader Juan Guaido calling for a military uprising against President Nicolas Maduro.
Guaido’s call came Tuesday morning in a three-minute video declaring the uprising as the “final phase” of his plan to oust Maduro, according to CBS News. This comes Guaido has turned the garrison of La Carlota air base to his cause.
“The moment is now,” he said, referring to the moment as “Operation Liberty,” according to The Washington Post. Formerly detained activist Leopoldo Lopez also appeared in the video after being freed on Tuesday, as well as armed soldiers and armored vehicles….
If the above video (sounds of gunfire) doesn’t show the seriousness of the situation, this video surely will (GRAPHIC):
THE DAILY CALLER notes it was only 10-years ago private ownership of guns was banned:
Venezuela banned private citizens from owning guns seven years ago, leaving firearms solely in the hands of the army and the police. Now, as the country’s opposition attempts to oust the oppressive Maduro regime from power, it is a decision some have come to regret.
In 2013, just 37 weapons were handed over voluntarily. More than 12,500 were confiscated by force.
Maduro ramped up the program in 2014, expending more than $47 million to enforce the ban. His tactics included “grandiose displays of public weapons demolitions in the town square,” according to Fox News.
Citizens who disobey the ban face 20 years in prison.
“Guns would have served as a vital pillar to remaining a free people, or at least able to put up a fight,” Javier Vanegas, a Venezuelan teacher exiled in Ecuador, told Fox News. “The government security forces, at the beginning of this debacle, knew they had no real opposition to their force. Once things were this bad, it was a clear declaration of war against an unarmed population.”
He added, “Venezuelans evolved to always hope that our government would be non-tyrannical, non-violator of human rights, and would always have a good enough control of criminality.”
Omar Adolfo Zares Sanchez, a lawyer and politician, suggested citizens could have combated the Maduro regime much sooner if they had access to guns….
RELATED: MSNBC reporter Kerry Sanders unwittingly made the American case for the Second Amendment during a report Tuesday on the political upheaval in Venezuela. (WASHINGTON FREE BEACON)
Secular left and Islamic/Islamist left, united. Marxism / Socialism and Islam, are ideological brothers, both are, utopian, anti-capitalism, big state, regulate society, anti-israel, antijudaism, antichristianity, anti-individual liberty, anti-American, trans-national, wants limits of thought and speech freedom, androgyny, against marriage protection, monopolism, etc. (See more from a chapter by Melanie Phillips, HERE)
National Security Adviser, John Bolton, is interviewed by Hugh Hewitt. Topics visited are the Iranian Red Guard being designated a terror group, our possible responses to Venezuelan aggression to its own people, and the like. An important interview for the geo-political world we live in.
Someone I know on my Facebook posted a link to every “lie” Trump has told. This was my response:
All of Trump’s “lies,” combined, aren’t as bad as the press being led (willingly) by Ben Rhodes to publish lies about the Iran deal: “The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns. They literally know nothing” (BEN RHODES LIED).
…Rhodes and Obama knew that, for anyone but the hard-left to accept a deal with America’s bitter enemy in Tehran, a new narrative needed to emerge, even if it was relatively transparent nonsense. As Rhodes explained to his bemused interviewer, David Samuels, in a New York Times Magazine profile this weekend, it was first necessary to lie to a corrupted and inexperienced American media about all sorts of things, beginning with the nature and intentions of the enemy Iranian regime. Subsequent lies were caked on, as the White House took advantage of a dangerous mix of journalists’ ignorance, their ideological and partisan commitment to the administration, and, finally, their career aspirations.
Rhodes said, “The average reporter we talk to is 27 years old, and their only reporting experience consists of being around political campaigns… They literally know nothing.” Thus they will believe what he tells them. He also tells friendly non-governmental organizations and think tanks what he is telling the journalists. Those outlets produce “experts” whose expert opinion is just what Rhodes wants it to be. These ignorant young journalists thus have quotes that look like independent confirmation of the White House’s lies. Here’s how Samuels describes the scene:
In the spring of last year, legions of arms-control experts began popping up at think tanks and on social media, and then became key sources for hundreds of often-clueless reporters. ‘We created an echo chamber,’ [Rhodes] admitted, when I asked him to explain the onslaught of freshly minted experts cheerleading for the deal. ‘They were saying things that validated what we had given them to say.’ (emphasis added)…
That one deal funded lots and lots of terrorism and death… Via the Obama (and “would-be” Hillary) admin.
Trump pulled the United States out of the Iran deal that funded an increased monetary support of terrorism via the Obama administration.
This ONE ACT by Trump (defunding and designating Iran as a terrorist group) — that one act is more noble than all Trump’s “lies” and ignorance.
And here are a plethora of fake news declarations about Trump that bombed with time (DAILY CALLER). Donald Trump, Sean Hannity, Mark Levin, Sara Carter, Chuck Ross, John Solomon, Mollie Hemingway, and others, have had two years of their writings confirmed. Whereas CNN, MSNBC, ABC, CBS, NPR, NYT, WaPo, etc, we’re shown to be wrong.
Would college students support a policy that would force those with high GPAs to donate part of their own GPA to help those with lower grades? With the recent rise of politicians like Bernie Sanders and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, more people than ever support socialist policies. But would they support socialist policies when it came to their GPA? We went to Florida International University to find out.
Decades after capitalism seemed to have triumphed over socialism, politicians are once again arguing about the merits and drawbacks of these opposing economic systems. Why are we still having this debate? Andy Puzder, former CEO of the parent company of Hardee’s and Carl’s Jr., explains the misconceptions that keep the debate alive.
Gay Patriot introduces us to the myth often put forward by the left. This post by Gay Patriot will add to the video by Bill Whittle that follows it:
One of the myths Progressive Leftists elevate to “fact” by constantly repeating it to each other is the idea that Scandinavian countries are the closest on Earth fulfillment to their socialist dream utopia. ~ Gay patriot
Visitors say Danes are joyless to be around. Denmark suffers from high rates of alcoholism. In its use of antidepressants it ranks fourth in the world. (Its fellow Nordics the Icelanders are in front by a wide margin.) Some 5 percent of Danish men have had sex with an animal. Denmark’s productivity is in decline, its workers put in only 28 hours a week, and everybody you meet seems to have a government job. Oh, and as The Telegraph put it, it’s “the cancer capital of the world.”
So how happy can these drunk, depressed, lazy, tumor-ridden, pig-bonking bureaucrats really be?
I think my favorite paragraph is where he cites the Scandinavian Social Contract as the “Ten Commandments of Buzzkill.”
“You shall not believe that you are someone,” goes one. “You shall not believe that you are as good as we are,” is another. Others included “You shall not believe that you are going to amount to anything,” “You shall not believe that you are more important than we are” and “You shall not laugh at us.”
They read like the 10 Commandments of Progressive Leftism…
…From 1970 until 1989, taxes rose exorbitantly, killing private initiative, while entitlements became excessive. Laws were often altered and became unpredictable. As a consequence, Sweden endured two decades of low growth. In 1991-93, the country suffered a severe crash in real estate and banking that reduced GDP by 6 percent. Public spending had surged to 71.7 percent of GDP in 1993, and the budget deficit reached 11 percent of GDP.
TURNING POINT The combination of the crisis and the non-socialist government under Carl Bildt from 1991 to 1994 broke the trend and turned the country around. In 1994, the Social Democrats returned to power and stayed until 2006. Instead of revoking the changes, they completed the fiscal tightening. In 2006, a non-socialist government returned, and Finance Minister Anders Borg, with his trademark ponytail and earring, has led further reforms. Sweden successfully weathered the global financial crisis that started in 2008, and the Financial Times named Borg Europe’s best finance minister last year.
Before 2009, Sweden had a budget surplus, and it has one again. For the past two years, economic growth has been 4 percent on average, and the current-account surplus was 6.7 percent in 2011. The only concerns are the depressed demand for exports caused by the current euro crisis and an unemployment rate that is about 7.5 percent.
Sweden’s traditional scourge is taxes, which used to be the highest in the world. The current government has cut them every year and abolished wealth taxes. Inheritance and gift taxes are also gone. Until 1990, the maximum marginal income tax rate was 90 percent. Today, it is 56.5 percent. That is still one of the world’s highest, after Belgium’s 59.4 and there is strong public support for a cut to 50 percent.
The 26 percent tax on corporate profits may seem reasonable from an American perspective, but Swedish business leaders want to reduce it to 20 percent. Tax competition is fierce in some parts of Europe. Most East European countries, for example, have slashed corporate taxes to 15-19 percent….
Reason.org Weighs in on the “Swedish” experiment, how it got its wealth, noting how it squandered it, and how it is returning to the pre-70’s ideology:
Sweden is a powerful example of the importance of public policy. The Nordic nation became rich between 1870 and 1970 when government was very small, but then began to stagnate as welfare state policies were implemented in the 1970s and 1980s. The CF&P Foundation video explains that Sweden is now shifting back to economic freedom in hopes of undoing the damage caused by an excessive welfare state.
And do not think for a moment that the free-market has not allowed Sweden or other Nordic nations to get back on their feet. This is is pointed out in the following “101” presentation on economics:
For those of us who place more trust in free markets than state-directed economies, we must inevitably (and repeatedly) confront the skeptical interlocutor who details the “successes” of Swedish social democracy. “If state intervention into the economy is so bad, high taxes so destructive, then why is Sweden such a success?” It’s an irritatingly simple question with a incredibly complicated answer, though I do recommend pointing out, when the conversation turns to health care and secondary education, that nothing, in a state the confiscates a massive portion of your income, is “free.” But as many have pointed out, during its boom years, Sweden was a pretty free market place; from the 1970s through the 1990s—when taxes and regulation dramatically increased—the economy slowed until it spun out in the early 1990s…
…So here is my bottom line: When some American pundit, with expertise is everything, explains why some European welfare state “works,” or how everything you know is wrong about taxing income at 75 percent, do a little digging, make use of Google Translate, and don’t trust that, because Swedes and Danes tell researchers that they are happy, the United States should introduce “daddy leave” and provide subsidies to syndicalist newspapers.
The best English-language explication of the Swedish model comes from my pal Johan Norberg, who wrote this brilliant piece for The National Interest a few years back. And watch my interview with Norberg on Swedish welfare politics here and on Naomi Klein here.
The following interview is Johan Norberg, author of In Defense of Global Capitalism, sits down with reason.tv’s Michael C. Moynihan to sort out the myths of the Sweden’s welfare state, health services, tax rates, and its status as the “most successful society the world has ever known.”
National Review seems like a good place to continue the theme of showing how the Nordic countries have used the free-market system to recoup what it has lost with previous regulations that crippled free-enterprise. Here is a comparison between Sweden and Venzuala that was helpful in explaining how Sweden has less regulations that us in many places (a recent phenomenon BTW):
Talk to a Bernie Sanders voter about “socialism” — and they can be very insistent about using the word — and you’ll get paeans to Sweden, which is not a socialist country but a country with large, expensive welfare state. The distinction is not trivial: There is relatively little in the way of state-run enterprise in Sweden; the Swedish government is in fact only a 60 percent partner in the postal service. The Swedish government is, alas, in the casino business, albeit in a more transparent way than American government is. On the Heritage economic-freedom rankings, Sweden isn’t that far behind the United States. It has very high taxes, but taxes are not the only burden that governments put on the economy, not necessarily even the most important, and Sweden outscores the United States on a number of important metrics: free trade, property rights, freedom from corruption, investment freedom, monetary policy, etc. The United States’ small edge in the rankings comes mainly from relatively low taxes and a much less regulated labor market.
Reason.org again weighs in on whether Sweden is the right model for the U.S. to emulate:
The Above Video Description:
To the American mind there may be nothing more quintessentially Swedish than the leggy, blond supermodel.
But there’s another Swedish model that inspires almost as much admiration—the Swedish economic model. With a generous welfare state and high living standards, Sweden seems to prove that socialism works. Much of the hope that swept Barack Obama into the White House rests on the belief that America could reach new heights under a regime of enlightened progressivism, that we could be more like the Swedes.
Not so fast, warns Stockholm University sociologist Charlotta Stern: “If an American told me that the US should be more like Sweden I would say I don’t think it’s possible.” The United States can centralize its health care system and pass other laws that mimic Sweden’s welfare state polices, says Stern, but it’s impossible to replicate a culture that allows those policies to operate about as smoothly as possible. Swedish bureaucracies inspire trust, but their American counterparts (DMV, TSA, IRS) inspire punch lines, if not outrage.
But America could emulate some of the Swedish policies that don’t require extensive bureaucracies. Take school vouchers. Teachers unions in America regard the idea as free-market radicalism, but families in Sweden enjoy universal school choice. Sweden adopted its famously progressive policies during the 1970s, but after years of sluggish economic growth the land of ABBA altered its course in the 1990s, adopting a host of free-market reforms, from deregulation to tax cuts.
Although much of the disco-era welfare state remains, economist Andreas Bergh credits the free market reforms with reviving his nation’s economy. “Sweden is moving in the market economic direction,” says Bergh, “but that does not mean America should be moving in the socialist direction.”
What if the two nations continue on in different directions? Maybe some day when America is looking for a way to rejuvenate its economy, pundits will point to a different kind of Swedish model. One that increases individual choice and competition.
“Sweden—A Supermodel for America?” is produced by Daniel B. Klein, and written and produced by Ted Balaker, who also hosts. Shot by Jonathan Liberman and Henrik Devell, with additional production support by Zach Weissmueller and Sam Corcos and post production by Hawk Jensen and Austin Bragg. Special thanks to Niclas Berggren, Martin Borgs, Nils Karlson, and the Ratio Institute.
Finland is joining military exercises with other Scandinavian countries, as well as several members of NATO, in late May, Finnish media report. The maneuvers called Arctic Challenge will span 12 days, starting May 25, and include nine countries and close to 100 planes. The drills, over Sweden and northern Norway, come amid increased tensions between Russia and its Baltic and Nordic neighbors.
Sweden and Switzerland, which like Finland are not members of NATO, are expected to join the exercise, along with NATO members Norway, the Netherlands, Britain, France, Germany and the United States. Finland plans to send 16 F-18 Hornet fighter jets, while the other countries will supply Gripen “multirole” fighters, F-16s, Eurofighters and Jet Falcons, as well as transports and tankers, Russian news agency Sputnik reported. The Norwegian armed forces said the purpose of the Arctic Challenge exercise is to “learn to coordinate efforts in complicated flight operations conducted in cooperation with NATO.”
Russia has ramped up military activity along its borders with northern Europe, causing consternation in several Baltic and Nordic countries and pre-emptive actions to head off — or prepare for — a possible military crisis. Latvia, which reported a Russian submarine near its coast in mid-March, is beefing up security on its eastern border, while Finland recently began a letter campaign notifying some 900,000 reservists of their duties in a potential crisis. Sweden also intercepted four Russian planes flying over the Baltic Sea in March with their radios off. Russian jets have been intercepted in other instances while flying in European international airspace….
I also pointed out that this promise went back to the Cold War, and was not known about till a Swedish defense think-tank/security firm uncovered the agreements in 1994. The original story’s link has been lost, but it is here on FOI’s site. FOI’s “about us” page has this:
FOI is one of Europe’s leading research institutes in the areas of defence and security. We have 1,000 highly skilled employees with various backgrounds. At FOI, you will find everything from physicists, chemists, engineers, social scientists, mathematicians and philosophers to lawyers, economists and IT technicians…. The Armed Forces and the Swedish Defence Material Administration are our main customers. However, we also accept assignments from civil authorities and industry. Our clients from the defence sector place very high demands on advanced research, which also benefits other customers.
Initially after the end of World War II, Sweden quietly pursued an aggressive independent nuclear weapons program involving plutonium production and nuclear secrets acquisition from all nuclear powers, until the 1960s, when it was abandoned as cost-prohibitive. During the Cold War Sweden appeared to maintain a dual approach to thermonuclear weapons. Publicly, the strict neutrality policy was forcefully maintained, but unofficially strong ties were purportedly kept with the U.S. It was hoped that the U.S. would use conventional and nuclear weapons to strike at Soviet staging areas in the occupied Baltic states in case of a Soviet attack on Sweden. Over time and due to the official neutrality policy, fewer and fewer Swedish military officials were aware of the military cooperation with the west, making such cooperation in the event of war increasingly difficult. At the same time Swedish defensive planning was completely based on help from abroad in the event of war. Later research has shown that every publicly available war-game training, included the scenario that Sweden was under attack from the Soviets, and would rely on NATO forces for defence. The fact that it was not permissible to mention this aloud eventually led to the Swedish armed forces becoming highly misbalanced. For example, a strong ability to defend against an amphibious invasion was maintained, while an ability to strike at inland staging areas was almost completely absent.
In the early 1960s U.S. nuclear submarines armed with mid-range nuclear missiles of type Polaris A-1 were deployed outside the Swedish west coast. Range and safety considerations made this a good area from which to launch a retaliatory nuclear strike on Moscow. The submarines had to be very close to the Swedish coast to hit their intended targets though. As a consequence of this, in 1960, the same year that the submarines were first deployed, the U.S. provided Sweden with a military security guarantee. The U.S. promised to provide military force in aid of Sweden in case of Soviet aggression. This guarantee was kept from the Swedish public until 1994, when a Swedish research commission found evidence for it. As part of the military cooperation the U.S. provided much help in the development of the Saab 37 Viggen, as a strong Swedish air force was seen as necessary to keep Soviet anti-submarine aircraft from operating in the missile launch area. In return Swedish scientists at the Royal Institute of Technology made considerable contributions to enhancing the targeting performance of the Polaris missiles.
Some More Discussion
In this first back-and-forth, I noted some of the above and got this response:
Seems Sweden is searching for the viable balance of Capitalism and Socialism. Good for them. Bernie Sanders seeks the same.
To which I respond:
They want [and have] a lower tax rate than Sanders wants. They dumped their “wealth tax” and “death tax.” They lowered their corporate tax-rate and want it at 20% and below. Lessened regulations on businesses… on-and-on.
Bernie wants the 70’s through 90’s Sweden… I am down with the 2006 and beyond Sweden.
Someone else joined the discussion, and mentioned the following:
My family is Swedish and I can tell you with 100% accuracy they are way better off than we are…. Across the board pretty much.
Again, I respond:
There is a Swedish economist in the post that from first hand experience (and expertise in his field) telling you they are where they are because of the free market and a reduction [greatly] of the welfare state/socialism enterprise. [And, BTW, they use the many life saving drugs produced by the profit motivated “Big Pharma” spending on R&D to extend the lives of their fellow Swedes.]
When you get all these health care services for “free” then people start taking them for granted, calling ambulances without second thoughts, and going to the doctor for simple things that you don’t really need to see a doctor for… False alarms for ambulances and fire trucks end up costing the government and indirectly tax payers huge amounts of money every year. Which is why Sweden has as of late started to reform its health care system by privatizing parts of it. Mind you, these are somewhat limited in scope, but people are able to pay now for private care (1-in-10 now have private insurance/health-care).
…The paradox is that America has been doubling down on government authority over healthcare with the Affordable Care Act, just as more and more European governments, including Denmark, England, Finland, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, and Sweden, have been forced by public outcry to address the unconscionable waits for care by introducing new laws. But it is even more essential for American voters to realize, and for our government leaders to acknowledge, what other countries are beginning to recognize all over the world. These governments have started to understand that the cure for their failed nationalized health systems is a shift to privatization. And citizens under government-dominated health systems are increasingly circumventing their own systems, pursuing private healthcare to solve the uniformly poor access to care and limited choices.
Let’s consider Sweden, often heralded as the paradigm of a successful welfare state. The facts tell a very different story. Having failed its citizens in healthcare access, the Swedish government has aggressively introduced private market forces into healthcare to improve access, quality, and choices. Although once entirely public, over a quarter of Swedish primary care clinics are now run by the private sector. Sweden’s municipality governments have increased spending on private care contracts by 50% in the past decade. Private nursing facilities now receive substantial public funding to care for patients. Widespread private sector competition has also been introduced into pharmacies to tear down the pre-2009 monopoly over all prescription and non-prescription drugs. Since the Swedish government sold over half of its pharmacies to private firms in 2009, 20 private firms entered the market and over 300 new pharmacies opened, not only improving accessibility but providing the first pharmacies ever to many small towns.
Moreover, despite the fact that an average Swedish family already pays nearly $20,000 annually in taxes toward healthcare according to Swedish economist Per Bylund, about 12% of working adults bought private insurance in 2013, a number that has increased by 67% over the last five years. Half a million Swedes now use private insurance, up from 100,000 a decade ago, even though they are already “guaranteed” public healthcare….
…In the pre-Reagan Era, the media was just as left-leaning and reluctant to discuss the poverty and oppression that permeated the Soviet Union. But there were enough people willing to talk about it outside the media for the truth to get out. The pervasiveness of social media should make it easier, not harder, for conservatives to get a message out around the media gatekeepers. Millennials should be told what happened in Venezuela after his ideological brother Hugo Chavez took over; they should be told how toilet paper became a black market commodity and supermarket shelves became bare. And they should be made aware that Sweden is not quite the utopia they’ve been taught it is, either.