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Thread: Socialism Like . . . Sweden?

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    Socialism Like . . . Sweden?

    Socialism Like . . . Sweden?
    Vance Richards By Vance Richards
    | March 4, 2019
    32 COMMENTS

    A few months ago Ricochet member @mattyvan put up a great post about Sweden, Sweden. Lessons for America? , which included an hour long documentary about Swedenís economy. Since then we have seen Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez become one of the most popular young Democrats and one of the oldest, Bernie Sanders, announce that he will run for president in 2020. With admitted socialist becoming more and more more prominent, it might be worth revisiting this topic.

    While Cuba and Venezuela give us good examples of what socialism can do to a country, they do not exactly tell a happy story. So, the folks promoting ďDemocratic SocialismĒ are telling us to look to Sweden as an example of what we can do in America. The problem is, Sweden doesnít really fit the model of what Bernie and company are trying to sell.

    First, Sweden is not socialist. The government doesnít own the means of production. It is a free-market economy.

    Sweden does, however, have a huge welfare state and their people like it. Funding the welfare state takes a lot of money and you need a strong economy to create that wealth. Also, they found that government isnít very good at providing the services people want so they have a more market approach to many of the benefits provided by the state. For instance, they have school vouchers that students can use to go either a public or private school. What might Americaís so-called socialists think about that?

    Another big disconnect between the Bernie/AOC form of socialism and the reality of what Sweden is doing is how the government is funded. In America politicians use the welfare state as a way to buy votes with other peopleís money. They will tell you what you will get and then say it will be paid for by someone else. Someone who isnít paying their ďfair share.Ē The 1%, the 5%, the 10%, whatever, just not you. In Sweden it is understood that if you want all of these benefits, everyone must pay for them. That means poorer Swedes pay a very high percentage of their income in taxes.

    The main point is, if you want a huge welfare state, you have to be willing to pay for it. I do not believe there is consensus for that large of a welfare state in America and there is absolutely no serious willingness to fund one by either party.

    In the video below you can see John Stossel give a brief synopsis of the documentary Sweden: Lessons for America?


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    We have 50 "laboratories" in the US. The feds should allow the states to control welfare, social security/pensions, medical care, etc.

    And lets see who makes a go of it.

    Mark
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    Looks like right wing propagandists are starting to realize that calling everything from public schools to Medicare "socialism" has finally caught up with them and it isn't all that scary a word any longer.
    The reason Trump succeeded isnít that complicated after all. He didnít win the nomination by tapping into some nascent political movement. He won by doing a fairly good impression of a right-wing media celebrity. Every issue, every conspiracy, every applause line has been ripped from their websites, radio shows, and television programs. Itís why he became Americaís most prominent birther. Itís why he floated rumors that Ted Cruzís dad killed JFK, and that Hillary Clinton killed Vince Foster. Itís why he talks the way he does about Mexicans and Muslims and women and African Americans. Itís why heís been able to get away with knowing little to nothing about policy or government or world affairs ó because Trump, like any good talking head, only speaks in chyrons and clauses and some-people-are-sayings.

    Trumpís greatest trick has been to realize that right-wing media stars have a built-in audience that Republican politicians donít. To that audience, Jeb Bush talks like Washington talks. Ted Cruz talks like conservative ideologues talk. Marco Rubio talks like the last consultant he spoke with talks. But Trump talks like a true talk radio fan ó longtime listener, first-time caller. He comes off like the winner of a reality TV show in which one lucky Fox viewer gets picked to run for president of the United States.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Jingo View Post
    Looks like right wing propagandists are starting to realize that calling everything from public schools to Medicare "socialism" has finally caught up with them and it isn't all that scary a word any longer.
    Funny, seemed to me that the left wing propagandists (MSM) realize socialism like the the New Green Deal is bat shit crazy.
    Quote Originally Posted by Billy Jingo View Post
    No, you do. Except when you go full frontal white supremacy. Then they just pretend you didnít say that. They do that with all their bigots except Lady Marva. That is probably because her racism is clumsy. But so is Markís but in a Trumpian acceptable way, I guess.

    But you? You are rarely challenged here (other than by Bane) and even then, when Celeste forgets how much she loves her gun, it is exceedingly mild.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Frostbit View Post
    Funny, seemed to me that the left wing propagandists (MSM) realize socialism like the the New Green Deal is bat shit crazy.
    If there's anything that's wacky about their position or statements, anything that can't possibly work or invariably backfires in practice, well, that's not what they meant.

    They really mean only wonderful things, and you're a dimwit not to understand that.
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    When I've spoken in real life with people who want "socialism", this is what they want:

    Free health care but only the 24/7 Mayo Clinic kind;

    Free college;

    Free transportation (not buses);

    Guaranteed job;

    Guaranteed minimum "living" wage.

    No Nordic country has any of that.

    There is National Health care but it's prioritized so anything really complicated or non-acute is going to take quite a while and it won't be American-style state-of-the-art outside of trauma centers. This is why Swedes buy supplemental insurance now and go somewhere else for that joint replacement or heart condition.

    If you pass all your grade school exams and if you pass all your high school exams and if you complete all the requirements for higher education, then you can enroll in a college but not necessarily in any program you want. Most Swedes get tracked into vocational programs in high school and go on to get certificates often in work/study partnerships with businesses. But college is "free" if you get tracked into it AND if you can maintain the grades and performance required.

    Rail is heavily subsidized in Sweden because it can't pay for itself (as are most rail lines in Europe). It isn't free, though, except in special cases for some refugees and other groups. Everybody else pays.

    There are no guaranteed jobs for Swedes. Job placement programs primarily deal with immigrants (badly). Everybody else has to find and keep her own job.

    There is no minimum wage in Sweden.

    In addition to the regular taxes, Swedes all pay VAT as end-consumers. Everything has a VAT added to the price. The VAT runs around 20% - 25%. Poor people pay just as much as anybody else.
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

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    The main point is, if you want a huge welfare state, you have to be willing to pay for it. I do not believe there is consensus for that large of a welfare state in America and there is absolutely no serious willingness to fund one by either party.
    Funny, ironic, in light of the thread talking about how AOC's mom didn't want to pay her "fair share" and so moved to Florida.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Marva View Post
    Funny, ironic, in light of the thread talking about how AOC's mom didn't want to pay her "fair share" and so moved to Florida.
    To be fair, there's no reason AOC's Mom should back her play. She may well love and be proud of her daughter but that doesn't obligate Mom to manage her own affairs along her daughter's party line.

    It's somewhat unfortunate for AOC in terms of press but no normal person would hold her mother's financial choices against her.
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gingersnap View Post
    To be fair, there's no reason AOC's Mom should back her play. She may well love and be proud of her daughter but that doesn't obligate Mom to manage her own affairs along her daughter's party line.

    It's somewhat unfortunate for AOC in terms of press but no normal person would hold her mother's financial choices against her.
    Uh, but the mother brought her up and taught her that stuff. Apple doesn't fall far from the tree.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lady Marva View Post
    Uh, but the mother brought her up and taught her that stuff. Apple doesn't fall far from the tree.
    Oh, you be surprised.
    "Alexa, slaughter the fatted calf."

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