Monday, May 03, 2010

Sweden: The Leftist's Poster Child of Socialist Utopia

What if instead of comparing tiny Sweden to the giant USA, you instead compared Swedish Americans to Swedish Swedes? How would the two groups compare?
Sweden is often held up by American pundits and experts as a kind of Utopia, a country to be emulated. As is often the case when dealing with Utopias however, the complexities of history, culture and policy frequently are shoved aside.

... The 4.4 million Americans with Swedish origins are considerably richer than the average American. If Americans with Swedish ancestry would form their own country their per capita GDP would be $56,900, more than $10,000 above the earnings of the average American.

The old Sweden, in contrast, has not done as well in economic terms. In 1960 taxation stood at 30 percent of GDP, roughly where the US is today. As taxes rose, economic growth decreased, with Sweden dropping from being the 4th richest country in 1970 to being the 12th richest in 2008. Swedish GDP per capita is now $36,600, far below the $45,500 of the US, and even further behind the $56,900 of Swedes in America.

A Scandinavian economist once stated to Milton Friedman: "In Scandinavia we have no poverty." Milton Friedman replied, "That's interesting, because in America among Scandinavians, we have no poverty either." Indeed, the poverty rate for Americans with Swedish ancestry is only 6.7%, half the U.S average. Economists Geranda Notten and Chris de Neubourg have calculated the poverty rate in Sweden using the American poverty threshold, finding it to be an identical 6.7%. _NewGeography
In other words, something in the Swedes themselves causes them to be successful -- when they have the freedom to do so.

In Sweden, 20% of working age Swedes are on public assistance simply because it has become easier to live that way, rather than to keep trying to get jobs that have been destroyed by the socialist system. After Obama - Pelosi has its way with the American economy, young Americans will come to the same sad conclusion.

Opportunity destruction has reached its limits in nations such as Zimbabwe and North Korea, but leftist social democracies such as Sweden are driving the same road a bit more slowly. Just throw in a few million more Muslim immigrants to stir the pot a bit and add a breaking strain to the societal infrastructure, and Sweden will get there.

The US will take a bit longer, but if Obama - Pelosi policies are not totally destroyed within the next few years, the downward collapse should proceed rapidly by the late 2010s.

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