The View From 1776

Something to Like in Swedish Socialism

Since the 1930s, the Scandinavian socialist countries, particularly Sweden, have been held up as the models for social-justice policies that liberals want the United States to emulate.  Swedish citizens are actually better off than we, but not in ways the liberals anticipated: they don’t have inheritance taxes or minimum wage laws, and they do have a school voucher system.

Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) on 08/28 at 03:04 PM
  1. Still, comparing United States and Sweden is like comparing apples and oranges. Sweden is a more homogenous society, more prone to do the right thing socially. They don't need a minimum wage because employers are more likely to pay a fair wage, which is most likely determined with unions. Even though the poor in The United States and Sweden who get medical treatment are about equal, I bet the poor in Sweden get better care and medical treatment. The estate tax does not exist in Sweden because general taxes are higher. The school voucher program in Sweden is probable better run than it is in the U.S. and less likely to succumb to profiteering
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  08/28  at  04:20 PM
  2. David,

    Once again you
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  08/30  at  10:51 PM
  3. (cont.)

    Like many my age, I have medical problems; yet, I do not see how socialized medicine would improve my lot very much. Yes, I pay about double what people in Canada pay directly, but Canadians pay more in health taxes which leaves them with less say in their quality of care. In Britain (where they have fully socialized health care), things are far worse, with patients waiting months to years to get diagnosed for conditions that may be killing them. I did my own investigation a while back of how much Americans and British pay per person, and found the British are really paying slightly more per capita for health care, despite the fiction they pay far less. This is slight of hand by a government committed to socialized medicine, in which they take money only to dole it back with great inefficiency and loss of choice. If I have a potentially life threatening condition, I have a far greater chance I will be diagnosed properly and quickly here than were I in Britain or Sweden. If I need an MRI to determine malignancy, I will get it and have the result within days, not months or years. If I need surgery, I need only schedule it and relax. I have British friends, by contrast and with the same symptoms as I, who have been waiting over a year to learn if their condition is deadly or merely painful. On finding they do have a tumor they can expect to wait more months, with frequent cancellations and delays. If non-malignant, they can expect to wait even longer to get decent treatment for the pain. They may even be told to just live with it. I have to wonder how many have died never knowing they might have been spared.

    If, in the U.S., we spend a great deal on health care, it is partly because we choose to do so. Good health is our most important asset. Over a life span, we will spend hundreds of thousands to have a nice house (more than we really need), nice cars (at least one every decade), dining out, vacationing, and other luxuries we could survive without yet make our lives better. Without good health, we couldn
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  08/30  at  11:09 PM
  4. (cont.)

    Significance of life expectancy differential, factors other than health care and health climate (natural advantages), overstatement of anti-smoking results (claim is too soon), effect of demographic trends skewing reported life expectancy, &c make two years out of eighty statistically moot. Moreover, this much of a difference is easy to manipulate by those with an ideological or monetary axe to grind, particularly if the objective is to persuade a voting public the U.S. needs to follow a European or Canadian example. Two years does not warrant the kind of hysteria used to drive us into the clutch of an expensive and ineffectual health care monstrosity. Yet, its proponents keep harping we have a health crisis (and have had for many years) on the sole basis of two questionable years difference. I have to keep asking
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  08/30  at  11:16 PM
  5. Bob,

    "Once again you
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  08/31  at  09:16 AM
  6. David,

    Just what over-the-top generalization do you feel the author has made, and to which author do you refer ... Mr. Brewton, Mr. Worstall, or the authors of "The State of Working America"? Assuming Mr. Brewton, let's take the points he makes one at a time to discover what "generalization
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  08/31  at  07:35 PM
  7. quote:
    Sweden's enormous, hidden unemployment rate
    How reliable is the official Swedish statistic that 5.4% of Swedes are unemployed? Every single day, one in every 20 employed Swedes is "out sick". That, as bizarre as it sounds, is just the tip of the iceberg: one of Sweden's leading leftist economists has broken through the blue line to tell the truth. True Swedish unemployment is in the range of an obscene 20-25%. So much for the Socialist paradise. Full employment is a pipe dream when you give people incentives not to work, and disincentives to work.

    And yes, our actual rate is higher than our reported rate too. However, the point I wanted to make was the "health" issue. If they really are "sick" then their healthcare must be lousy (no I don't believe it is, just making light of "sick days)
    Posted by JanPBurr  on  09/04  at  12:47 PM
  8. David,

    One thing I do agree with is the inheritance tax (what many of us refer to as the death-tax) ought to go. The U.S. saddles us with the highest remaining death tax on the planet.

    However, I disagree with your assessment Sweden
    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/15  at  06:20 PM
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