Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Swedish Meatballs or Goofballs?

So a reliable website, Reason had a piece on the Swedish socialist model of government. It featured some commentary by a proponent of their system who had recently made a two week trip to the country and came back an expert. After his fortnight experience, he concluded that everyone should emulate the Swedes and turn over 75% of their income in taxes and enjoy the boon of federal control of everything. He didn’t mention why we should follow the lead of people who notoriously swelter naked in small heat stifled huts and then escape the steam by jumping into snow banks.

Since socialism is epidemic throughout Scandinavia, he easily discerned a template for America. In fact this short term traveler even posed a question: "If state intervention into the economy is so bad, high taxes so destructive, then why is Sweden such a success?" It is a simple question with an extremely complex answer which completely ignores scale, ethnic diversity, history, and any hint of personal initiative.

We shall deal with the scale first. Sweden’s population is roughly equivalent to that of Los Angeles County; give or take a couple of hundred thousand. Just over nine million people live in an area 11% greater than the size of the whole state of California. The entire Scandinavian bloc (Sweden, Norway and Denmark) is home to 19,126,088 or just more than half the current California population. The comparison then is not apples to oranges but rather, grapes to watermelons. For Sweden we see a 300 to 1 comparison. Size matters but not as much as the next comparison.

They acknowledge that 89% of the population is ethnic Swedish, Finish 2% and 9% “other.” The chief religion is Lutheran, claiming 84% of the whole in their membership. Where are the huge minority numbers in comparison to the United States? 24.4% of our people counted in the 2000 census declared themselves other than native Caucasian to include African American, Asian, Hispanic, Pacific Islanders and other. (?) This eclectic mix of humanity will obviously present more problems for government and the citizens than the relatively stable base of the Swedish demographic. Based on the last decades immigration figures however, the Swedes can count on and have already observed that the principal offshoot of diversity is crime, dependency, and increased use of public resources. As gramp often said, “you get what you pay for.”

These groups at this time are not so prevalent as to have acquired the ghetto mentality. They will as a result of being human, have the urge to flock together. That observable tendency is quite easily seen in our cities. One of the commenters on the original article brought this amusing example to the discussion:

“One of my favorite stories relates to this. Once when interviewed about making the "Planet of the Apes" movies, Roddy McDowell remarked that the ape makeup was so time consuming to apply, that all the actors had to leave it on for breaks, meals, etc. When the actors would gather together, they self associated into groups of Chimpanzees, Gorillas, Orangutans, regardless of their real backgrounds. While not important in and of itself, I always thought it was a nice illustration of how humans, absent other factors, will self segregate.”

From the base of a constitutional monarchy, it is presumptive to draw a parallel to a republic. This historical form of government may indeed work for the subjects so long as they maintain the proper loyalties. Since loyalty to self is at the root of most socialist systems, it is questionable whether it can all work in harmony. What goes underreported is that the result has been mediocrity, suppressed private enterprise, stifled individuality, and loss of national pride.

As the immigrants continue to flow to the advantages of the welfare state which Sweden has become and with the increase in crime, sloth, and diminished self worth, the picture will follow its current trend. That trend has included increasing taxes, lowered average income percentage as related to gross national product, and diminished importance of Sweden relative to world markets.

Be sure to click the above link, watch the video, read the comments, and above all, don’t be jealous of the Swedes for the wrong reasons. Remember, they have a actual monarch, not a president who thinks he is one. Meanwhile I think I’ll go fire up the sauna—if I can chip the ice off the door jamb.

In His abiding love,

Cecil Moon

No comments: