Though we give Sweden a hard time often we do like the country. Volvos, Saabs, Ikea, Swedish meatballs, Abba, all things to be proud of. But the socialist Utopia is seeing a real threat now with the current crush of “refugees” entering the country.
It should be noted that Sweden has a population of only 9.6 million people, which is slightly less than the population of North Carolina. The cozy socialist system, a closed system in many regards, between “neighbors” is under tremendous strain in the face of the immigration influx.
Socialism is failing the Swedes in various ways right now. Generous benefits entice people to settle within the borders of Sweden. Highly restrictive real estate development and rental laws artificially create a shortage of housing. Add an isolated crony government class, which feels the need to comply with the the wishes of greater Europe (Germany) and pretends that there is no problem, and one can understand the frustration.
We have significant challenges in this country with regard to illegal immigration. But we have a number of advantages over Sweden. First we have a population which is over 30 times that of the Nordic country. We also have a more resilient economy in many respects (though the big government folks always want to make the economy less resilient and dynamic) which can change to accommodate newcomers. (If the state is small, immigrants create less resentment in the native population generally. “Natives” don’t feel they are footing the bill for newcomers who are different culturally than they are. Indeed in a small government situation people may see new comers as bringing needed economic vitality.) But Sweden is stuck. Its system is not dynamic. It doesn’t appear to deal with changes well. The state is massive and it is monolithic. As such it creates a societal “game” which is much closer to zero sum than a more capitalistic society. It also creates anger.
One more thing should be noted. Another country with a very generous welfare state (at least for people who aren’t Filipino or African) is much closer to the Syrian war than Sweden, Saudi Arabia. But for some reason the Saudis don’t want to take in any refugees even though it is the Saudis who have to a large extent perpetuated the war in Syria. Wonder why that is?
(From The Gatestone Institute)
During the last few decades, Swedes have had to get used to the government (left and right wing parties alike) prioritizing refugees and migrants above native Swedes. The high tax level (the average worker pays 42% income tax) was been accepted in the past, because people knew that if they got sick, or when they retired or otherwise needed government aid, they would get it.
Now, Swedes see the welfare system failing them. More and more senior citizens fall into the “indigent” category; close to 800,000 of Sweden’s 2.1 million retirees, despite having worked their whole lives, are forced to live on between 4,500 and 5,500 kronor ($545 – $665) a month. Meanwhile, seniors who immigrate to Sweden receive the so-called “elderly support subsidy” — usually a higher amount — even though they have never paid any taxes in Sweden.
Worse, in 2013 the government decided that people staying in the country illegally have a right to virtually free health and dental care. So while the destitute Swedish senior citizen must choose between paying 100,000 kronor ($12,000) to get new teeth or living toothless, a person who does not even have the right to stay in Sweden can get his teeth fixed for 50 kronor ($6)