WATCH the documentary on Amazon Prime: “Sweden: Lessons for America?” (1-hour)
(Jump to the challenges directed at me dealing with America protecting these smaller countries)
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
In an excellent Bloomberg article entitled, “Booming Sweden’s Free-Market Solution,” the myth is dismantled in toto by Anders Aslund. Here is a snippet:
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:
The Above Video Description via Reason.org:
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.”
- See also the Mises article about the health care system entitled: “The Market is Taking Over Sweden’s Health Care.” See also “How Laissez-Faire Made Sweden Rich.”
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):
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.
A Challenge Directed At Me
In conversation about an audio upload to my YouTube Channel of Dennis Prager discussing Bernie Sanders, I was challenged with this:
- Sweden is not a Nato member so how does the US pay for Sweden defense? Pointing at Whittle and saying “because he say they do” won’t cut it.
To which I responded with a quote from an International Business Times article:
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.
Here is the info from the old article via WIKI:
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:
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:
Gay Patriot ends the beginning of this post well:
Dennis Prager reads from an older article by the JERUSALEM POST, in which a family is interviewed about why they left Sweden. Here is an excerpt that caught my eye:
- “The politicians, the media, the intellectuals…they all played their parts in pandering to this dangerous ideology and, sadly, it’s changing the fabric of Swedish society irreversibly.” Karla, who’d sat passively, occasionally nodding in agreement at Dan’s analysis, then interrupted, saying, “If you disagree with the establishment, you’re immediately called a racist or fascist, which we’re definitely not. At times I felt that this was what it must have been like to live in the old Soviet Union.”
Larry Elder quickly explains Trump’s gaffe, then moves on to a fascinating interview of a German who has moved from Germany due to the government not keeping them safe. The interview can be listened to by itself on Larry Elder’s site.
Dr. Tino Sanandaji (Kurdish-Swedish economist and author) joins Dave Rubin, discussing political correctness and the immigration crisis in Sweden.
Dennis Prager reads from a 2014 article by the Gatestone Institute entitled, “Sweden: Rape Capital of the West,” by Ingrid Carlqvist and Lars Hedegaard (http://tinyurl.com/hkkg43r). Near the end of the audio Pragers asks who has skewed the numbers… that’s easy. The Swedish government and court system. (Some examples after the audio.) The other mention of the German politician misreporting her own rape can be found here:
- Left-wing German politician who was raped by migrants admits she LIED to police about her attackers’ nationality because she did not want to encourage racism
Other commentators have mentioned — specifically — Sweden as well. See my favorite atheist, Pat Condell:
A country which supports such an influx of Muslim migrants supports officially a raper culture. This includes the Democrats [Hillary Clinton wanting to let 100,000 Syrian “refugees” into our nation — she supports a rape culture.]
This from GATEWAY PUNDIT:
JIHAD WATCH notes the religious aspect of this act in a much longer post that should be read!
(This is the bringing together of two older posts from 3-years ago with the addition of Dr. Sommers’ video just below)
A DEBATE ON THE PEACE-INDEX
In a prolonged debate about the above “poster,” one young gentleman brought up an issue I hadn’t really encountered all that much in my years of discussing like topics. So I wanted to isolate it and post it here for other “arm-chair apologists.” I will post his an my discussion on the matter of the “global peace index.“
First Response by Me:
My Second Response:
“It’s become common knowledge that Denmark, Sweden and Norway routinely rank highest on lists of the world’s happiest nations…” (The World’s Happiest Countries Take The Most Antidepressants)
(As usual, all graphics/pics are linked to other resources.) Often I hear about how much lower the crime rate is in Europe, at times having the “Peace Index” thrown into the conversation without any meditation on what exactly this “index” says. Happiness is another moniker often thrown around without any comparisons of “what constitutes ‘happiness’.” So lets deal first with happiness, and then get into the peace index and gun-control/stats.
What constitutes happiness between the States and Europe? Let’s delve — quickly — into this topic via Forbes (2006):
American happiness is a pursuit important enough to include in one of our Founding documents, right next to life and liberty. This “pursuit” we are use to (and is being harmed/deformed by the welfare state growing larger) creates innovation. For instance David Mamet notes the following:
In my family, as in yours, someone regularly says, “Hey, you know what would be a good idea … ?” And then proceeds to outline some scheme for making money by providing a product or service the need for which has just occurred to him. He and the family fantasize about and discuss and elaborate this scheme. Inherent in this fantasy is the unstated but ever-present truth that, given sufficient capital and expertise or the access to the same, the scheme might actually be put into operation (as, indeed, constantly, throughout our history, such schemes have), bettering the lives of the masses and bringing wealth to their creators. Do you believe such conversations take place in Syria? In France?
David Mamet, The Secret Knowledge: On the Dismantling of American Culture (New York, NY: Sentinel Publishing, 2011), [FN] 120.
Some can be happy with less pay and trusting the state will care for them enough to go on 12-week vacations. While doctors, for instance, may enjoy a month-long vacation in France [mandatory vacation], this “happiness” rather than hard-work often has deadly consequences, one being — for instance — nearly 15,000 people dying in a heat wave in France in 2003 (a record for Europe… previously Italy held it with 3,000).
- …Health Minister Jean-Francois Mattei has ordered a separate special study this month to look into a possible link with vacation schedules after doctors strongly denied allegations their absence put the elderly in danger. The heat wave hit during the August vacation period, when doctors, hospital staff and many others take leave…
So Europe being “happier” than the United States is something of a misnomer.
About the above graphic:
“Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” We pursue it, not expecting government to provide it for us. If government doeas, a simple economic law states — basically — that creativity is squelched:
When people do, austerity more-often-than-not leads to riots and collapse. And why in many European countries the EU is being rejected, and conservative parties are getting landslides (like UKIP in the UK). People are fed up with horrible health care, no incentive to succeed, taxes, crime, and immigration issues.
Okay, I feel my point has been made. Innovation comes by a drive to work hard, as much as you wish in fact… whereas Europe forces people to work less, and thus is stagnant in relation to this said innovation. What about crime rates and violence, yes, even gun violence? Lets see. Firstly, I deal with some of the more pressing issues with the Peace Index here. But in this conversation, I wanted to deal with violent crimes… which include more than gun violence. As Europe gives birth to a generation divorced of their cultural heritage, you will see a rise in violence, and then a rise in reaction to it. Maybe an over-reaction?
Firstly, if you are an in-depth kind of reader, at this link you will find multiple debates and appearances of John Lott on CNN and other programs discussing gun crime. But let’s deal with a place that has for years made gun ownership illegal, the United Kingdom. Here is the headline from The Telegraph on the topic:
Which segways into a recent comparison in crime and gun-control in a Wall Street Journal article by Joyce Lee Malcolm, entitled: “Two Cautionary Tales of Gun Control: After a school massacre, the U.K. banned handguns in 1998. A decade later, handgun crime had doubled.” Here is an interview of her in regards to the article, followed by excerpts from said article:
Of course America’s worst massacre involving a school is the Bath Bombing (below), Michigan (1927). And a bomb killed 168 people in the Oklahoma City Bombing. So if someone wants to kill another… no amount of government regulation will decrease this fact: