Bloomberg: Now Even Swedes Are Questioning the Welfare State

“It feels like the whole system is deteriorating.”


They’ve been questioning it really since 1992 when they went through their economic crisis.

(From Bloomberg)

When the maternity ward was closed at the hospital in the Solleftea district of northern Sweden early last year, the nearest alternative was 100 kilometers (60 miles) away by road. So the local midwives decided to teach expectant parents a new skill: how to deliver a baby in a car…

Paying some of the world’s highest income-tax rates has been the cornerstone of Scandinavia’s social contract, with the political consensus in Sweden to save money for when the economy is less healthy. Yet the country is showing strains all too familiar in other parts of Europe with nationalists gaining support and Swedes increasingly questioning the sustainability of their fabled cradle-to-grave welfare system

There are also soaring crime rates, gang violence, complaints about education and pregnant mothers even being turned away from maternity wards due to a lack of capacity. The number of people waiting longer than 90 days for an operation or specialist treatment has tripled over the past four years.

“The Swedish social contract needs to be reformed,” a dozen entrepreneurs including Nordea Bank AB Chairman Bjorn Wahlroos and Kreab Founder Peje Emilsson wrote in an op-ed in the Dagens Industri newspaper on May 31. “Despite high taxes, politics isn’t delivering its part of the contract in important areas. We get poor value for money.”

“Poor value for (our) money.” That’s it right there. That is always the way with big government.

Above is the Scandinavia we occassionally hear about from readers. It is a Scandinavia that many leftists in this country know nothing of. In the words of a reader a few years ago – “Sweden isn’t that great.” And it should also be noted that the number 1 destination for emigrating Swedes is the good ole’ US of A. (Not that we don’t have failing socialism here too.)