Saturday, August 07, 2004

Sweden. The Workers Paradise

A lovely fellow by the name of Andrew has alerted me to the fact that there apparently is a genuine Socialist Workers Paradise, Sweden, which really blows my theory away.
Now, I heard Sweden mentioned just recently in a conversation with a member of the left side of life. This could be a coincidence, or maybe the mythical beast really exists and us Free Enterprisers should all just shut up. I thought that I would check out Sweden for myself to see what all the fuss was about. I was sure that armed with the correct facts that I could shoot Andrews argument down. Surely, I reasoned, if Sweden is a genuine Socialist country then it will be a shit heap, right? They all are, aren't they?
Well folks, I was wrong!
The very first place that I checked was the CIA World Factbook. Then I called up the page for Australia so I could compare the two. Pretty similar really in most areas. I tell you folks, I was getting really pissed off! This place looked alright! Then the killer. The bit about Swedens economy. (Emphasis is mine)

"Aided by peace and neutrality for the whole 20th century, Sweden has achieved an enviable standard of living under a mixed system of high-tech capitalism and extensive welfare benefits. It has a modern distribution system, excellent internal and external communications, and a skilled labor force. Timber, hydropower, and iron ore constitute the resource base of an economy heavily oriented toward foreign trade. Privately owned firms account for about 90% of industrial output, of which the engineering sector accounts for 50% of output and exports. Agriculture accounts for only 2% of GDP and 2% of the jobs. The government's commitment to fiscal discipline resulted in a substantial budgetary surplus in 2001, which was cut by more than half in 2002, due to the global economic slowdown, declining revenue, and increased spending. The Swedish central bank (the Riksbank) is focusing on price stability with its inflation target of 2%. Growth remained sluggish in 2003. On September 14, 2003, Swedish voters turned down entry into the euro system, concerned about the impact on democracy and sovereignty"

Now I'll give you my interpretation of your Workers Paradise Andrew.

"When you leave a Capitalist system alone to do what it does best, the
people who actively participate in it are rewarded with a prosperous and compassionate society."


You goose Andrew. Sweden is the perfect example of successful Capitalism. In fact the place is so good that I have decided to become some sort of politically radical dude & subvert our evil capitalist/facist/alarmist/racist/sexist government, in the hope that we can eventually rise up and allow people power to deliver us to Swedens level of wisdom. Hallelujah!!!!!!!!!!! I am born again. Thank you Jebus! It's a murkel!

Lastly Andrew, the two things that really stuck out about Sweden when you compare it to our racist/capitalist country.
  1. They take half the amount migrants that we do per capita.
  2. Their bottom 10% of wage earners was twice as big as ours and their top 10% was smaller than ours. in other words, The gap between the haves and have-nots is much bigger in their ultra-equitable society

Any other places that you would care to put forward Andrew?

Apparently Sweden has compulsory conscription into the military for everyone with two arms & legs too. I'm really starting to like this place. The further I look, the less left wing the place seems.
I stand on my previous statements. Socialism only works when supported by Capitalism.


Anonymous said...

I was under the impression that while the only working socialist joint around, Swedens outrageous taxation rates were what sustained the 'paradise'... something in the order of 90%..?

paul said...

What about having to drive a Volvo though?

Gibbo said...

Sweden just gets better and better doesn't it? I feel stupid that I have neglected the Volvo angle throughout this whole saga.
I have checked on the various tax rates in Sweden and it makes for interesting reading. Check the main page for more details.