This morning I was investigating whether Sweden is a socialist country. Why? Well, having just seen many accusatory commentators on Fox News claiming that we are “becoming a socialist country like Sweden”, I decided to put on my investigative cap and do some research.
The first question that came to my mind was: Is being like Sweden a bad thing?
I traveled to Sweden after college and saw nothing but good things, and I am not just referring to the Swedish female contingent. The people there all seemed to live really well and be very happy. Granted, I was there in the summer when it is light for 21 hours a day. I have heard that the suicide rate in Sweden is very high, especially during the dark days of winter, but this list of countries with the highest suicide rate proves otherwise.
However, these are personal impressions and are probably slightly influenced by Ingrid, a story for another time. The objective question on the table right now is: Is Sweden a socialist Country?
Fox News obviously uses this term to mentally terrorize its viewers because Americans are trained to view all socialism as a bad thing. When we hear the term socialism, we think redistribution of wealth and all of our hard earned dollars going to feed the unemployed drunk on the corner or the 20 year old bearing her fourth child.
As my research began, I first encountered a map of countries with the highest quality of life. Look who shows up on the map: Sweden. Then, take a look who is not there.
If Sweden is socialist, then socialism, according to this map, produces a higher quality of life than capitalism.
Sweden is not a socialist country. According to Wiki Answers, it is a “social democratic economy, with high, redistributive income tax and general welfare benefits.”
In fact, while Fox News condemns the socialist ways of Sweden, many other reports suggest that Sweden is more advanced in capitalism than the USA. In this article, we read that many pundits suggest that Sweden “should be held up as a bastion of market capitalism.”
So, if Sweden is this bastion of capitalism, why isn’t everybody there on the world’s list of wealthiest people? Well, in Sweden, the wealthiest of individuals pay as high as 60% in taxes.
In the article Where tax goes up to 60 per cent, and everybody’s happy paying it, we find that the Swedes incur the “second-highest tax burden in the world [yet] top almost every international barometer of successful societies.”
After viewing all of these graphs and charts about socialism and standards of living, it was a great pleasure to find Jon Stewarts response to Fox’s dreaded Socialist Sweden prognostications.
The Daily Show took matters into its own hands sending a reporter to Stockholm and produced this report:
The Stockholm Syndrome Pt. 1: The Daily Show Goes To Sweden
The Stockholm Syndrome Pt. 2: The Daily Show Goes To Sweden
Is Sweden A Socialist Country? Conclusion
As we look at this question of whether Sweden is a socialist country, the answer is basically no.
Today, socialism has evolved into many different forms all with different names (see Socialism on Wikipedia). At its core however, socialism mandated that the government–and thus the people–would own everything. Corporations and private businesses would not exist under pure socialism. And, as we have seen, corporations are thriving in Sweden. Ever bought furniture at IKEA?
We have also seen in many reports that Sweden outranks nearly every other country in quality of life studies. This is no doubt due to the many social programs that have workers paying an average of nearly 50% in taxes.
As I mentioned earlier, Americans understandably don’t like seeing their hard earned dollars going to the drunk on the corner or the teenager having her fourth baby.
However, it’s not unreasonable to ask whether these two situations would ever exist in Sweden given that the drunk on the corner and the young mother would have had access to well-respected health and educational systems in the first place.
READ-ON: This report led to an interesting revelation about Income Equality and Standard of Living…
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Denying that Sweden is a Socialist country is convenient now that it is the premier economy in the world. When Sweden was struggling the Capitalists never grew tired of pointing to Sweden as a failure in Socialism. Despite your conclusions Sweden is a Socialist nation and it does what no other Capitalist nation can claim to do, it takes care of it’s people. Sweden is an example of how successful Socialism can be when the entire nation is onboard.
Things are changing. Canonical socialism nations only exist as a flash in pan if any of them has really existed ever. I live in North America and China for long time. I understand the tableau experiment in the orient. Russia, North Korea, Cuba, China, …, these nations have … NEVER been socialism. I believe that elites who initialized communism campaigns in these countries really believed in the idea. Unfortunately, finally these scientists and practists created monsters out of their control—actually nobody could control. I would say these nations fascism ones rather than socialism.
Those fascism nations exist only for a small of people, and the country machines would not hesitate eliminating any power erasing the benefit of the governors. Sounds familiar? Yes, U.S., which only serves bankers, is also belonging to these nations. This `fascism’ culture is heritage of old time.
We human is living forward to the most rational social structure, in which resources are utilized scientifically. But we have to admit we are far off to that, because of a lot of stupid human activities, including cheating, selfishness, lazy, etc. We have known for a long long time that we should have established the heaven if without those stupid activities, but we not, because our brains are full of … bullshit, such as bullshit of how to make money without working, bullshit of how to coax stupid to give up for you their fruits. Education helps clean bullshit out from our brains.
Education makes a rational person, and many rational persons live as a happy commune. The earliest communists they just wanted a happy society for the most people. But they didn’t approach it via a rational way. Actually they totally omitted the point that we human being are born of stupids that lead to `fascism’. Then how to cure our stupids, the root of fascism and the opposition of rationale? Yes, education.
If the ratio of rational citizen of a nation is measurable, I believe Sweden has the highest one. I also believe that’s because Sweden citizens are offered an easy channel to get education resources. Sweden and other Northern European nations are so the most similar ones matching people’s imagination on a communism society. So, why don’t we re-define socialism, or even communism, w.r.t. the Sweden model?
By the way, affluent education resources don’t compare with high-tech. Many people regard U.S. has the advanced education in the world. Still, U.S. education serves bankers’ benefit. That’s why billions of dollars are burn for exploring crazy things each year to hold the position of the leader. Without rocket or apple, without a happy life? Keep living simple, man!