Sunday, March 6, 2011

Socialism Will Be the Death of Economic Growth - SHHHH Don't tell Sweden!

If you believe what the American media, or at least the loudest bunch of people screaming in the US at the moment, socialism is the death of all that is good in our beautiful capitalistic world of free love or wait, that was free commerce.

And while I don't want to make this blog too political, the news from the Swedish business world this week sings a slightly different tune. I think this must be because someone forgot to tell the Swedes how terrible Socialism is for the market or something.

According to this article not only is the Swedish economy recovering from the latest financial downward spiral, it is growing by leaps and bounds, 5.5% growth for 2010. New jobs are everywhere. Companies are seeing a huge upswing in sales. The crown is strong. The economy is growing. 

All this despite the strong unions in this country, the high taxes, the five week vacations.

What could it be? A deal with the devil? (We already know that God Hates Sweden). Why do Swedes bother to go to work at all? When they could be lying at home on the sofa being cared for by their Nanny State?

 Things like this continue to frustrate a certain side of American politics, but not too much, because they never actually read about these things because FoxNews doesn't write about them.

OK, political rant over. And while I am highly skeptical of a sustainable growth in perpetuity - and the crazy amount of loans my generation is being saddled with due to the extortionist prices of housing - I am glad that things seem to be going well for Sweden.


  1. Yes, I always find that funny about the US, too, how socialism would crush business or whatever. But of course the US has like a gazillion more people, is much more diverse, and has a larger share of idiots than Sweden (if you ask me) so I'm not saying a wholesale adoption of Sweden's approach would work. I'm just saying it's funny so many Americans think it would be impossible, especially since, by all measures, Sweden is doing so much better than the US.

  2. I think the US and Americans have sort of a "twisted" view of what they believe is socialism. And they are sometimes to focused on their own country and forget that there are actually other ways of doing things. I would say that the way things are going in the US some major changes would need to happen to improve the way of life here. More than 40 million people on food stamps! Something is wrong.

  3. I agree, I don't think that the Swedish system is possible in the US, nor that it would be an improvement. I just don't understand the throwing around of the word 'socialist' like it is some terrible terrible thing, when you don't even understand the meaning of the word.

  4. Speaking like a true Socialist with no personal ambition. Sure, the country is growing. Socialism benefits the collective because it's a collective-driven system. There's no personal accountability. The system stands as such: if you work hard at your job, you'll be able to live your life in mediocrity, but if you try to excel or be an entrepreneur, you will most likely fail because of how the government subsidizes and taxes everything to death. I know the U.S. would be better as a country if it was socialist, but it goes against the belief in personal accountability, social mobility, and all the other American traits that you socialists would know nothing about. My country put a man on the moon, invented the automobile and the airplane, played the deciding role in defeating the japanese and nazis in WWII, invented computers, the telephone, electricity, and the internet. And all that Sweden is known for is crappy furniture.

    1. USA actually has some of the worst social mobility in the developed world, far behind Sweden.

    2. Social mobility for what? Social mobility should not be the main concern or even used as a benchmark. The advancement of Mankind is driven by capitalist incentives and those incentives are nearly non-existent in Sweden's mixed economy.

    3. Actually the first computer was invented at Bletchley Park during World War II. Only an obsession with secrecy and utter lack of imagination of the potential of the creation led to the designs being destroyed and the impetus being handed to the Americans.

  5. Hi Toymaker,

    If you read the blurb at the top of this blog you might have noticed that I am American and thus pretty familiar with a lot of what the US has accomplished and also pretty proud of it as well.

    But I have to say that your argument against socialism is actually very similar to my main objections to it as well. While I'm not sure it is necessarily socialism per se that is to blame -I feel at some level government is merely a reflection of a culture back upon itself - but I do believe that a 'lets take care of everyone - or Swedish 'lagom folkhemmet' ideal can lead to a cramping of creativity and innovation.

    In particular my questions relate to artists and the creation of art and music, but of course one can extend that to more forms of innovation.

    And while Swedes have given us more than cheap furniture (TNT anyone?) group think does change things.

    Also in the US the opposite is almost true - many people who just want a nice safe and comfortable life with their family cannot achieve it - do to crazy working hours and the must be the best attitude.

    Personally I think the best system would be something in between.

    1. Funny you would mention music, Sweden has a phenomenally successful music industry.

    2. Mixed economies do not work because they go against human nature. There will always be a primal gravitation back to the Self vs the Collective. It would be great if the person in the US is working the 40 hour work week and could afford what the previous generation could--car, house, wife, kids but that's not how labor economics works in a capitalist society. If a person works hard and still cannot get the quality of life they deserve, they need to go into another line of work that is in line with labor economics... otherwise, they can move to another type of economy. Markets are living organisms whereas social democracy and capitalism are designed by man. Both have their inefficiencies so it is left up to the individual to decide what system works for their needs.

  6. tres bien svenska economy
    i must admitt that they are doing them extremelly well

    on the contrary great britain and greece are living a period of political anomaly

    great britain and london is being centers of terror acts and violence, with an unexistent government which takes antipopular measures
    with out any reasonable reason and this has as an impact the reaction of the british nation that the newspapers of great britain called them as anarchists;;;;

    is the british nation all anarchists;;;

    all the people who react to unfair economic measures are anarchists ;;;;
    i have serious doubts

    anyone who protests is an anarchist;;;

    on the other side pangalos the vice president of the greek government accused tsipras as his political oponent and moral assasinator
    tsipras is a leader of a political party syn
    pangalos accused them as fascists recalling on ny memory the assasination of matteoti in italy in 1924 by musolini

    it is very heavy to accuse a political leader as an assasinator and a member of the greek parliament because this if it is true then the greek nation elects murderers and common criminals as representatives

    great britain is in the middle for general revolution and so greece for different reasons

    it is because they have so many talented leaders and they care so much for the good of their nations

    they did many well things
    erotonomicon suitable not for all ages