Sweden Not a Socialist Success

Sweden Not a Socialist Success


Today, many Americans don’t like capitalism. Socialism would be better, they say. Not repressive Russian or Venezuelan socialism, but democratic socialism like what’s practiced in Scandinavia. I think we should look to countries like Denmark, like Sweden. Say why, do you want to be like Sweden? Kinda. Sounds pretty good. People interviewed in this just released PBS documentary say America should be more like Sweden. It seems like it’s like a place that like no problems or something. It is a socialist economy. Volvos and uh, socialized medicine. Volvo is now a Chinese company. Welcome to Stockholm, Sweden. My name is Johan Norberg and this is where I was born and raised. Johan Norberg made this documentary because he wanted to set the record straight. Sweden is not socialist because the government doesn’t own the means of production. To see that you have to go to Venezuela or to Cuba or North Korea. But we did have a period in the 1970s and 1980s when we had something that resembled socialism. A big government that taxed and spend heavily and that’s the period in Swedish history when our economy was going south. So much so that even socialists complained about the high taxes. Astrid Lindgren, who wrote the very popular children’s books Pippi Longstocking for instance, she was a social democrat but she had made a lot of money from her books. She found that she paid 102% in taxes. She wrote this angry essay about a witch who was quite mean and vicious, but not at all as vicious as the Swedish tax authorities. And yet even though taxes were high, they did not bring in enough money to fund Sweden’s welfare state. There were waiting lines to get health care, people couldn’t get the pension that they thought that they depended on for the future. At that point the Swedish population just said, enough we can’t do this. Sweden then reduced government’s role. They cut public spending, privatized the national rail network, abolished certain government monopolies, eliminated inheritance taxes, and sold state-owned businesses like the maker of Absolut Vodka. Lower taxes reformed the pension system so that it wasn’t unsustainable. The results from the spending cuts and privatization? This impoverished peasant nation developed into one of the world’s richest countries. All I hear is that Sweden is this socialist paradise. We do have a bigger welfare state than the U.S., higher taxes than the U.S. But in other areas, when it comes to free markets, when it comes to competition, when it comes to free trade, Sweden is actually more free market. That free market pays for Sweden’s big welfare programs. Today our taxes pay for pensions. You call it Social Security. For 18 month paid parental leave, government paid childcare, for working families, but having the government manage all of these things didn’t work well so we had to manage it in another way. They privatized. We realized in Sweden that with these government monopolies, we don’t get the innovation that we get when we have competition and this is particularly true for the school system. Sweden switched to a school voucher system that lets parents pick their kids’ school, and forces schools to compete. And one of the results that we’ve seen is not just that the private schools are better than the public ones, but even the public schools in the vicinity of private schools, they often improve because they have to. Sweden’s version of Social Security was going broke, so Sweden privatized that, too. Privatize the pension system? That terrifies people. And obviously that scares people, but when they realize that the alternative was that the whole pension system would collapse, they thought that this is much better than nothing. Now the bulk of pensions is really contribution defined. So if things are going well for Sweden pensions are increasing, but if things are going less well, pensions are automatically lowered, which basically takes away from politicians the ability to buy votes by just promising higher pensions and letting future generations pay. And when it comes to taxes, what Sweden does may surprise you. The low income earners in Sweden pay a lot more than low income earners in America. So despite the fact that Sweden looks like sort of a socialist country which taxes rich exorbitantly high, the truth is the opposite. People who earn below average income pay up to 60% in taxes. This is the dirty little secret about the Swedish tax system. We don’t take from the rich and give to the poor. We squeeze the poor because they are loyal taxpayers. Not taking more from the rich, school choice, privatization, Sweden is anything but socialist. You can’t turn your backs to the well, to the creation of wealth. You can watch the full documentary Sweden: Lessons for America? at free to choose.TV.

100 thoughts on “Sweden Not a Socialist Success

  1. SWEDEN? And democrats HATE the white man. Bunch of fucking hypocrite assholes democrats are. I challenge any of you democrat terrorist to a DEATH MATCH. I will have whatever weapon I want and you cowards can use your rocks, hammers and safe space. And I am a minority! Bernie Sanders can take his followers to SWEDEN. He will never be allowed to FORCE his facism on the rest of us. If he wants war, bring it you liberal fucks. Only a fool instigates war on other Americans like democrats/ fake independents like Bernie do.

  2. School vouchers are the most obvious good idea in the world. I literally cannot understand why anyone would oppose it, except:

    (A) Conservatives support it, and some people automatically demonize anything supported by a Conservative, even if it's AWESOME;

    (B) Maybe they literally want to force-feed propaganda to children without parental support? And if 'school choice' exists, then horrible propaganda schools would have to compete with schools that DON'T force-feed children propaganda, which might mean they'd have to reduce (or, gasp, eliminate) their own propaganda, in order to entice parents to enroll their children there? And that'd get in the way of some totalitarian group-think agenda they're trying to effect?

  3. Sweden ain't even demographically successful. Or successful at not committing cultural and suicide and not successful at electing a decent non-crazed, non-feminist, and/or not a libtard.

  4. Just listening to this today, Sweden is having its social cost problems right now. The Krona is suffering a small bit these days. Also Sweden has a one state government from top to bottom. The USA is a 50 state federation of independent states each with its own state and county governments down to individual State, County Municipal police forces. The USA federal government cannot run all fifty states with different economies from very low to very high dynamics.

  5. Privatization in Sweden have f-ed up the transportation system, the postal system, the schools, the healthcare, the pharmacies and more. The "winners" are the people, like the dude in the video, that have been able to enrich themselves on others and can afford expensive insurances. The income and social divides have increased a lot in resent years. Sad!

  6. These fear mongering POS. Bernie is not advocating for takeover of means of production but a Single payer system where the government pays private hospitals, clinics, and you can pick any doctor. This eliminates or reduces the whole billing department and saves money cause there is no more middlemen. Medicare works great for the seniors, Bernie wants to expand it for everyone. Medicare for all is wholesale healthcare, like when you go shopping at Costco or Sams, you get the same exact product without the middlemen markup as let's say 7-11 for a whole lot less. Stop the fear mongering, it's not just Sweden, it's basically every major developed country, including Canada and all of Europe have paid healthcare and other benefits. The US politicians are just beyond corrupt to care about anyone but their pockets and their lobbying money. Bernie's Plans SAVE the government millions of dollars, many economists and many doctors support it.

  7. If you eliminate, suppress, or debase, the white conservative male, you kill the goose that laid the golden egg, just saying ,,,

  8. Libertarians are just disgruntled Republicans that think the GOP isn't selfish enough.

    And notice that even in Sweden, the rich pay little taxes. The guy literally said they tax the poor because they're the ones that actually pay their taxes. Didn't hear John mention anything about going after the rich. Seems if they want the lion's share of the profits, they should shoulder their actual tax burden.

  9. Socialism is cruel. Canada has free health care and my stepson needed an operation for a torn ACL in his knee. Despite the pain, the government health care scheduled his operation for a year after the injury. We brought him back to California and signed him up at Kaiser. The doctor examined him and said: when do you want the operation scheduled? He also added that for a young person, this operation should not be postponed.

  10. And the worst of all, swedish government supporting economically to all socialists/communists in countries like Guatemala. So long swedish embasy in Guatemala and Andres Kompass!!! The day you bring the money to fight corruption without supporting socialists/commnists you are very welcome!

  11. Now imagine employing this same system in the US where there is 320 million people instead of 9 million, where only 56% of the population even pays income tax, where Sweden its nearly 100% pay in. Then instead of making that 56% of Americans pay 10-20% income tax make them pay 60-70% while the other 44% percent of Americans collect welfare and give nothing. This should work out great Bernie…..He knows it wont work the left is just buying votes from the ignorant and poor like always.

  12. Problem is, Stossel doesn't mention that most kids come to school essentially the same so the schools can compete fairly in Sweden, but in the US the wealth of a neighborhood determines the quality of the school system and the capability of the kids.

  13. This Example PROVES that Demographics MATTER!!!
    While the VAST Majorityy, of 1st World Nations, have Higher TAXES to Provide for "The Common Good", the Average Citizen, Produces MORE than They consume. Hence the 1ST World Status…..
    The "Average" Human Being that Lives in a 3rd World Shithole DESERVES said Shithole because that is all They are Capable of PRODUCING!!!

  14. Of course Sweden is not socialist! But equality and rights for the people are among the highest in the world. We should not take for granted all the support we get, from child support and parental leave, study support and free education to just support to cover your living expanses if you need to, not to mention workers rights, all of which is unbelievable in most parts of the world. And all of that is more than worth perserving and paying taxes for.
    This following video is about Norway, but Sweden follow more or the less the same pattern (and we have population fond as well, but that is based in iron mining)!
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hKGwGAHznFQ

  15. Bernie and his comrades are well aware that socialism doesn't work, that isn't their goal. The goal of these leftist parasites is total and tyrannical control over every aspect of our lives. They are, in fact trying to create the next Evil Empire with their elitists in charge. Try to imagine a lying dirtbag like Warren deciding your medical fate, or a half-assed idiot like AOC controlling every aspect of your life, this is their utopia. These people are evil, as evil as the ideology they push like a drug dealer pushes cocaine.

  16. Conservatives want it both ways: any increase in the US government’s role is nasty socialism, but other successful countries with a much more robust public sector aren’t /really/ socialist.

  17. It all boils down to Americans having a FAILED healthcare system and getting too little vacation and other benefits. Sadly Sweden's political leaders seem rank very low when it comes to wisdom as because of immigrant policies the country is now faced with shocking crime and rape rates.

  18. Democratic Socialism is Venezuela. Sweden and Scandinavia are not. We should learn from Sweden and Scandinavia, but not trying to follow their socialist ideas. In the first place, their system is much smaller, yet their economy was almost collapsing. It still is going toward getting rid of socialistic policies despite tending more toward stability these days.

  19. This video's fallacy: pretending the American Left and B. Sanders say Sweden is a socialist country or some sort of paradise. They never said that. Sweden has a socialist history and they still got many features of that kind of economy even if they now embrace capitalism. What Sanders and the others say is that America should be more like Sweden regarding social benefits and pension and education instead of an aggressively neoliberal country. The Swedes don't have better living conditions than the US because they switched to capitalism but bc they mixed both systems, keeping what worked of socialism ( wealth redistribution and heavy taxation) and jettisoned centralised bureocracy and industrial stagnation of typical socialist systems. This video is nothing but 5 minutes of strawman-ing and slight of hands to convince Americans they live in the best of worlds possible.

  20. I don’t get the last part, is he saying they leave the taxes low on the rich so they are more inclined to stay in Sweden and won’t move away?

  21. Pretty much everything that the UK government has privatised over the years isn't fit for purpose. I wonder how come it's had the opposite affect in Sweden? 🤔

  22. If any European country had America's demographics, they'd be a third world nation. It pains me to say it, but recognizing this is crucial to the future of our nation.

  23. Wherever we live we are going to complain that's a fact. This is good though, it shows that even if we live good, we still want to live better and I am not talking about money only. I mean the quality of life, safety, access to the health system and education. That's pretty advanced stuff not everyone is that lucky. So wanting to get better as a society is healthy, we just need to stop trying to link this getting-better with labels. It's not socialism vs capitalism. It's not EU vs non-EU. It's about people. People are going to lead us there, and of course, those people that are going to do that, and those that aren't, we vote for them. We place them where they are. So in the end, WE are the ones that are going to make a better place for us. Wanting to live better is a healthy thing, but labels and false dilemmas aren't. Freedom is a great thing to have but it takes responsibility to make good use of it.

  24. I love that black guy in the intro. First thing happens in Sweden is YOU ARE GONE BROTHER. ( That's racist IN SWEDEN – not here)

  25. Not surprisingly some of Johan's comments presented as "facts" pass through, i.e. the comments on the "success" of their school voucher system, and the better performance of private schools.
    PISA results showed Sweden had one of the largest declines in education standards ever recorded over the 15 years following the introduction of their voucher system, and results also indicate their public schools outperform private.
    Guess we should calibrate expectations on a 5.29min video that claims to summarise (with an obvious conclusion!) such a complex and question and subject. But who really wants an answer anyway?! Okey dokey John!

  26. Swedish happiness index – 7.33
    US happiness index – 6.8
    Maybe they figured something out from their brush with socialism.. Seems like they've struck a fair balance now..

  27. Oh Sweden and socialism is great I mean sure middle class citizens have to go bankrupt so lazy people who don’t want to work can live a nice life but hey it’s not THAT bad!

  28. If you really think that sweden is really that bad u r fucking stupid it is 10x better to live in than America… And why do people care about Sweden care about ur country… Only problem is a bit to much Arabs

  29. Just lies. This is a capitalist channel. Private school are less good than public. I private schools there is a lower payment for workers

  30. Are we comparing!? Well Sweden and Scandinavia are all full demoracies, USA is a ”flawed” democracy that doesn’t make top 20 in the Democracy index.
    USA barely makes top 20 in the Happiness index where you find all scandinavia always in top 10. Go compare:

    Democracy index
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Democracy_Index

    Happiness index
    https://countryeconomy.com/demography/world-happiness-index

  31. It should be noted that the privatisation of the railroads was a horrible failure that has resulted in higher costs and failing infrastructure. Similar situation with the privatisation of education, with Sweden slipping in education quality compared to other countries. As for the pension system, a small part of it is privatised, not all of it. As for care for the elderly, there has been a long series of reports of mistreatments from private actors, all for the sake of profit. Or private daycares not serving children enough food or even just hard bread (to children that don't yet have a full set of teeth!). Norberg is a really awful source of information in general.

  32. 0:55 "Sweden is not socialist because the government doesn't own the means of production. To see that you need to go to Venezuela or North Korea". You're mixing up socialism with communism. Or is the definition of socialism different in America? Socialism means that there is a tax system in place that provides social products/services which no individual would pay for due to the free loader problems. Social products/services such as flood barriers, military & defence, roads, schools, police, paramedics, healthcare etc. Its not black and white,its 50 shades of grey. A scale.

    Well this is the economic definition of social goods or services. Im presuming the political name follows this

  33. Socialists are dumb tards that act like victims entitled to the wealth created by people who work and are innovators- pray for America cuz with this mentality we are all doomed

  34. You'd think that leftists would do some research and realise that poor are getting taxed in sweden too.
    But n a h.
    Tho they really need to cut on that welfare state too.
    I mean omg 60% tax?
    For p o o r?!
    They should go even further beyond in free market and PROVE that 90% free market economy DOES work

  35. In Sweden the parties work with practical solutions toghether. They dont work from an ideological standpoint like this program.

  36. Truth is there’s enough money in the U.S. government that we wouldn’t have to raise taxes one penny to have universal health care and community college for whoever wants it. We just need to eliminate corruption and theft from our politicians and military.

  37. ''Not a socialist success'' Well maybe we're not perfect, but at least we have free College education for everyone who has a Swedish citizenship, almost free health care, dental care, and oh yeah. We students receive money from the State for studying, we are basically payed to study at college for free.
    Now as a college student, I take this before capitalism.

  38. Socialism has never been the issue. Whether or not you choose to accept that welfare programs can work, like medical, day-care, and education, the fact is, that it does work and it is the right of the taxpayer to receive these things, more especially when a nation and a people actually sort out priorities.. The issue with Sweden, and many other countries, is that there were other things at play, like sudden immigration, and EU issues that caused problems elsewhere in Europe to filter into the country. Anyone can film a documentary with one side propped-up through straw man arguments, and make something 'fit' an argument to suit. But this article makes it sound like Sweden on the whole is in an extremely poor position, when it isn't. In Canada, we do have some socialist policies, I prefer to call them deserved programs for the taxpayer. Americans love to slam other countries that in many ways, do things that Americans feel, flies in the face of democracy or freedom. The United States, has some of the worst problems in the world, and this is always overshadowed by 'how great you are!' You spend trillions on the military, you have a clown as president, and if someone gets sick in your country, they can lose everything in order to pay the bills. You lead the world in incarceration of minorities, and your placement in literacy, child-mortality, and a great many other things is very poor. I don't want to quote a certain TV show, but your military spending is the same as the next 26 countries combined, and 23 of them are allies. Makes no sense. When you deal with homelessness, starvation, mass shootings, corruption in medicine and the pharmaceutical companies, and fix your own problems, you can point out problems in other countries. Nobody is perfect, and despite the fact that you Yanks think you are, you're far from it.

  39. It is always funny to me how its always americans who wanna teach everybody else in the world about how their country "really" is or working… There really isnt' any more self-absorbed and arrogant people than americans….

    As my name suggests, I'm swedish, but I thank god everyday that I got born in Sweden than the USA, because if you make one mistake in your country you're fucked for life… That is really terrifying to know and be reminded of everyday for the rest of your life… Here in Sweden I'm so thankful that my elders and peers stood up against mistreatment in the workforce and demanded a better social structure from the government 🙂

  40. So how exactly can the average person afford a 60% tax rate, if I was paying that much I would be out in the street by the end of the month.

  41. Social Medicine is just great, every country should have it. But as a whole 'Socialism' only seems to work in small countries with a strong national sense of identity.

  42. Sweden has been neutral in every war, is that what they desire? Our military gone and no hep on the global platform for any other countries? They do not have anything near the military that we have.

  43. This man could tell me the sky is never really blue and I'd have to look and he'd probably convince me in the process.

  44. True. Sweden is a SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC success! And we are doing awesome! Our economy is surging, the unemployment is low and we have a fair system. The right wing wants to destroy our securities and justice and that is where things may go wrong! The right lower taxes and that creates problems. Too much choice creates problems sometimes.

  45. ¡'ve seen in the newspaper today the statistics of wellness in europe & sweden has decreased wellness from 2007 to 2019 in a 60%,..

  46. There are a few key industries that either don't function properly in the marketplace in terms of offering affordable service to the majority of people or are otherwise significant barriers to social mobility. Sweden succeeds because it has been more accurate than other countries at figuring out what industries these are and what types of government intervention would solve their flawed market nature. They are fully aware that the market works the majority of the time, and so they are careful with not going too far with policy that would be counterproductive.

    That being said, they have also made mistakes. For example, high levels of rent control and NIMBYism have become problematic for a growing city, as the rate of house construction has fallen far behind rates in more liberal markets, meaning that it is difficult to find a place to live in Sweden. They would likely be better off opening the market for housing up and then reallocating that tax money to build even more housing so that the costs remain stable over time. Sometimes it's better to compliment a free market, rather than attempting to do everything yourself, such as what they have done with the school system. You can make something universal while still maintaining competition, which is something that Sweden has generally been more successful at doing when compared to other countries.

    If you're wondering whether or not this is possible in US, I would say no, because for the system of government intervention to work, the people in power would actually have to care about making the lives of people better. There is very little money involved in Swedish elections, and they take corruption very seriously. They actually try out possible solutions when they notice that the birth rate and life expectancy in their country is beginning to decline, sticking to what works and scrapping what doesn't quickly. The US, in comparison, has been having the same arguments in congress for the last 100 years, with no signs of improvement.

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