Unemployment Benefits

Swedes Ship the Unemployed Off to Norway (Watch Out, Canada)

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Kicked out

Open, as I am, to creative innovations from elsewhere, color me impressed by the crafty Swedes. Rather than keep a nagging problem at home, where it drinks all the beer and leaves dirty dishes in the sink, Mikael, Lisbeth and friends shipped it off to a neighbor. Specifically, national and local officials are paying some of the jobless in the more afflicted regions of the country to take a hike to Norway.

From the London Daily Telegraph:

Under a scheme organised by the local authorities in the town of Soderhamn and by Sweden's national employment office, anyone aged between 18 and 28 can volunteer to take a "Job Journey" to Oslo and attempt track down gainful employment.

Those who sign up get a ticket to the Norwegian capital and are put up in an Oslo youth hostel for a month, with Soderhamn council picking up the £20 a night bill. The package also includes on-the-spot guidance on how to get a job in Sweden's northern neighbour.

Soderhamn apparently has an unemployment rate of 25 percent which does seem a bit stiff. Old-fashioned countries might ease labor and business regulations so that it's easier to start new firms that create jobs and are willing to take a chance on hires. But why change anything when you can hand out train tickets to your at-loose-ends labor?

Based on that outside-the-box reasoning, I can think of a host of truly challenging problems that could be resolved through the purchase of bus tickets to Mexico City or Toronto. In particular, there are a couple of shiftless political types wandering the landscape who we could put out of our misery by sending them out for some poutine.