Monday, December 20, 2004

Attention Jack Layton - Model "Socialist Utopia" Falling Appart

Paradise Lost: Swedish, European Economy Muddled in Mediocrity
By Dale HurdCBN News Sr. Reporter
December 6, 2004

STOCKHOLM, Sweden -- The good times just keep rolling along in Sweden's social-democratic paradise. Welcome to a veritable welfare wonderland, where everyone is taken care of from the cradle to grave; where alcoholics can retire on government pensions; where the average worker calls in sick one day a week, even if he or she is not sick; where drug addicts get disability checks and the where the real unemployment rate is close to 25 percent. If all this sounds like a recipe for disaster, congratulations for grasping some basic economic principles that most Swedes, and in fact, most Europeans, still haven't figured out.

If Sweden ever was an economic paradise, welcome to what is turning into paradise lost. Economists here seem to think that all that is needed are a few tweaks. But this bloated welfare state needs more than a tweak. That's not likely, because most Swedes, and most of the world, assume Sweden has found a combination of socialism and capitalism that works. But does it work?

Right this whole nanny state idea works just fine doesn't it Jack?

“Sweden is much poorer today in comparison to other countries than say 10, 20, 30 years ago,” Erixon continues. “The GDP (gross domestic product) growth has been declining for a number of decades.”

What? Noooooo! Our shining socialist utopia makes everyone better off. This simply can't be!

Yes, Virginia economics is real and capitalism is much more efficient than bloated socialist states.

Sweden's official unemployment rate is six percent, but that figure is "cooked", to use an economic expression. Because it doesn't include another six percent on sick leave, at least 10 percent on disability, and a significant chunk of the nation's high school and college graduates are well, just loafing.

This according to top Swedish Economist Stefan Folster: “If one adds all that together, it's probably fair to say that one in four people is not in work but could be,” Folster says.

One in four people aren't working. Essentially 25% of the population is simply leaching off the rest of the country. I'm sure tolerating all that dead weight is very "progressive" and will lead to everyone being better off, or to an economic collapse - one or the other.

Says Rojas, "Because the welfare state needs people paying taxes, working, behaving in a moral, responsible way. But people say, ‘I don't need to go work. I have too much. I'm tired. My children need me.’ And the state's going to pay."

And Sweden's problem is Europe's problem: high taxes, low growth, huge welfare payouts, and a shrinking population.

Just another reason why Canada obviously needs to continue to follow the European example. It obviously works so well. After all convincing people that the state somehow magically produces money and things like work and entrepreneural spirit are antiquated and silly American notions is working so well for Sweden isn't it?

And the verdict from Economics 101 is - “Uh, No,” comments Frederik Erixon. “It's quite simple. No, it doesn't work.”

(via Free Dominion)


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