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Sweden's Socialist Experiment -- failing?

by Evie / June 17, 2006 10:06 AM PDT
Stockholm Syndrome

Welfare State: The architects of the cradle-to-grave Swedish system said that if it couldn't work there, it wouldn't work anywhere. Well, it didn't and it doesn't.

Sweden was supposed to be the model for the soft-socialist state. The left has cited it as the paradigm that every nation should copy. It's been hailed as the Third Way, a cross between free-market capitalism and the redistributive state that nurtures the public and treats its ills.

And Sweden didn't disappoint, performing relatively well from its inception in the 1930s. In 1970, it had the world's fifth-largest GDP per capita.

For a while, it performed well for the very reason that its master planners, Nobel Prize winners Gunnar and Alva Myrdal, thought it would: that Sweden was the ideal country to try the welfare state experiment.

"The Swedish population was small and homogeneous, with high levels of trust in one another and the government," Johan Norberg, a Swede himself, explains in the current issue of The National Interest.

Other factors, Norberg writes, included: an honest, efficient civil service; an ingrained and culturally supported Protestant work ethic that drove people to work hard even as taxes rose and welfare spending grew; and productivity fueled by a well-educated population and a strong export sector.

Even with all that, "the Swedish model is rotting from within," Norberg writes. "Ironically, the unique social and economic foundation that first allowed Sweden to construct its political edifice ? and which makes it such a difficult model for other countries to emulate ? has been critically weakened by the system it helped create."...
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Yeah, but,
by duckman / June 17, 2006 10:25 AM PDT


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The factors which made success possible have been left
by Kiddpeat / June 17, 2006 10:41 AM PDT

behind. How does the Protestant work ethic survive in a state where very few buy into religious belief? It doesn't. Ditto for other factors.

The real world ultimately breaks through.

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Socialism doesn't work, neither does Communism and
by JP Bill / June 17, 2006 10:59 AM PDT
the U.S. will take the same well-trod path to stagnation as Sweden. That's especially true if it doesn't rein its growth in entitlement spending, bureaucracy and regulations.

What to do, what to do?
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Elect small government conservatives to office
by Evie / June 17, 2006 11:01 AM PDT

That's what!

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small government
by JP Bill / June 17, 2006 11:10 AM PDT

I didn't know those two words went together.

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(NT) (NT) Sounds like an oxymoron :)
by tomron / June 17, 2006 2:20 PM PDT
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Elect small government conservatives to office?
by Paul C / June 17, 2006 7:17 PM PDT

Could you please tell me where some may be found, Evie?

I know that there are some scattered around in various places, but apparently not enough to reverse America's transformation into a socialist leviathan state. I submit our ballooning spending and deficits as well as the continued expansion of government regulatory authority - all this under nominal ''conservative'' control of both houses of Congress and the White House - as ample evidence that the principles of conservatism were long ago discarded by the party that I discarded not too long ago.

As an independent conservative, I am subject to taxation without representation, and only slightly mollified by the knowledge governmrnt in the hands of the overt socialists in the Democrat Party would be worse than government by RINO.

I'm waiting for a true conservative party, and suspect that I'll have a long wait.


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It starts with the courts and getting the Liberal agenda out
by duckman / June 18, 2006 1:39 AM PDT

of the government schools so they can educate, not indoctrinate

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This person thinks the US
by JP Bill / June 17, 2006 1:31 PM PDT
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onley if your countrys around
by Mark5019 / June 17, 2006 2:00 PM PDT

your apeasement policies leave some doubt in my mind

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by marinetbryant / June 17, 2006 2:31 PM PDT

And if they don't get the admin THEY want, what happens?


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who is mr norberg?
by WOODS-HICK / June 17, 2006 6:47 PM PDT

'liberal values' = oxymoron?

from the cato institute:

A young writer from Sweden, who started on the anarchist left and then came to understand the world better. Johan Norberg has traveled to Vietnam, Africa, and other hot spots in the battle over globalization. And he has become a passionate defender of the globalization that is lifting poor countries out of poverty.
In Defense of Global Capitalism is the first book to rebut, systematically and thoroughly, the claims of the anti-globalization movement. With facts, statistics, and graphs, Norberg shows why capitalism is in the process of creating a better world. The book is written in a conversational style with an emphasis on liberal values and the opportunities and freedom that globalization brings to the world?s poor.

interview with mr norberg here:

Stories and People
Poor Man?s Hero: Part I
Part One of a two part interview:

Controversial writer Johan Norberg champions globalization as the best hope for the developing world.


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My hero ;-)
by Evie / June 18, 2006 1:43 AM PDT
In reply to: who is mr norberg?
Poor Man's Hero

In the early 1990s, as part of a libertarian group called the Freedom Front, Norberg helped to organize speakeasies that illegally sold liquor to protest Sweden?s restrictive licensing laws. After the group grew to 30,000 members -- and after more than a dozen raids by the police -- Swedish politicians realized they couldn?t contain what was becoming a broad-based social movement. Instead, they liberalized their laws, allowing drinking establishments to maintain longer hours. "That?s my biggest political success to date," jokes Norberg.
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I knew you would like him
by WOODS-HICK / June 18, 2006 2:19 AM PDT
In reply to: My hero ;-)

he is a rebel with a cause.

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