Swedish Vid: Pay Your Taxes or No One Will Cut the Grass and Kids Will Ride Spider Bikes; UPDATE: Other Swedish Pro-Tax PSAs Filmed in Estonia for Tax Reasons!


Reason Contributing Editor Michael C. Moynihan (now at The Daily Beast) sent me this Swedish PSA about what a world in which no taxes were paid. It is, apparently, a world in which water turns brown, roads go unpaved, and soccer fields (in Europese: football pitches) go unpaved. On the other hand, kids still ride spider bikes. So there's that.

The choice is yours, civilization.

Watching this clip reminded me that in just about every film by the great Swedish director Ingmar Bergman there's a glorious anti-tax rant (my favorite comes a propos of nothing in Scenes from a Marriage, but I'm pretty sure even Death is bitching about taxes under this breath in Seventh Seal). Bergman even left Sweden for a time after a run-in with authorities on the matter.

courtesy Swedish government.

UPDATE: Reader Drew Hjelm points to an article in the Swedish paper Expressen noting that other pro-tax commercials were filmed in Estonia…because it was cheaper to make them there.

From the Google's translation:

Ahead of this year's Tax return period produced a series of commercials to get more people to declare by sms or email. The films, sent in TV4, the "Parliament" comedian Johan Wahlstrom in the lead role.

When the [Swedish] IRS examined how much these movies would cost to do in Sweden—with the world's highest taxes—the conclusion was that it would be too expensive.

Whole bit here.

Watch Reason TV's "Taxes: The Price We Pay for Civilization":

NEXT: Second-Term Obama More Prone to Showing His Softer Side

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  1. OMG! It’s like Somalia… with white kids!

    1. Imagine there’s no taxes. It’s easy, if you try.


  3. So nice to know how thin the veneer of civilization is with Swedes.
    And here I thought they were such caring compassionate people, unlike many in America who are so mean-spirited, greedy, Gaia haters.

    1. But a lawyer in Denmark earns barely twice as much as a janitor. EQUALITY IN SCANDINAVIA!!11!!1!

    2. After watching this, it is clear that, according to the PSA, the Swedes are lazy as fuck and possess the intelligence of a microcephalic. Indeed, the Swedish brain seems not to be able to conceptualize a system of free enterprise where someone might exchange his labor, such as building and maintaining a soccer field, for other goods and services. Even other primates, like the Great Apes, have been observed bartering gathered food or grooming services.

      1. Progressivism is regressive.

  4. Obvious right-win whackjob (and Christfag and Bushpig) Astrid Lindgren wrote a short story that brought down the Swedish government when she was faced with a 102% tax bill.

    1. This is fantastic.

  5. The early 80’s Hong Kong kung-fu soundtrack makes the PSA.

  6. Who would want to play soccer on a football pitch that’s been paved?

    1. People who don’t want to be slide tackled?

  7. Seems like the perfect opportunity for the few other countries (including in Europe!) with low to no income taxes to start advertising in Sweden.

  8. ROADZ!

  9. Guys, please, this is not a swedish vid, but a norwegian one, as the url ends with .nu 😉

    1. How about .no?

      (I don’t see the joke meriting your smiley. This is a movie from the Swedish tax authority Skatteverket, not their colleagues at the Norweigan “Skatteetaten”.)

  10. Maybe there is some hope:

    He starts off with an interesting comparison of US and Sweden, looking at taxes and regulation:

  11. The swedish kids are lazy lil bastards aint they?…..The kids in my neighborhood took care of an abandoned empty lot next door to my house last summer……came in and mowed it, took the clippings and filled old ice melt bags to use as bases, hell, I donated some white enamel spray cans so they can mark there new created field…..they were out there most of the summer playing baseball…….it was pretty interesting for us neighbors to watch how a bunch of rambunctious 7 to 12 year olds organise themselves into “teams”,and also how they delegated out the responsabilities for the upkeep of the lot……might change this summer tho, as the local small town govt has questioned the “unauthorized use” of the lot already……….

  12. I had a purple flake Barracuda and my sister had a green Stingray. Best bikes ever.

  13. Wait, I am so very confused by what’s going on around the 00:34 mark. Is the Swedish urban environment really a crumbling post-apocalyptic Communist hellscape already, or is this one of the “other” videos that were filmed in Estonia?

  14. The video looks like the low-carbon utopian future. Notice the kids rode bikes? Anyone notice that? Only one car driving in the whole video, and that was probably the mayor, who can’t be expected to use public transportation.

  15. Sweden: a nation tailored for the discriminating socialist who also loves rape.

    1. Also, a country for those who kill baby pandas for fun. And eat children. In Sweden’s defence, though, we do have fairly low crime rates, strong property rights and nice musicals.

      (On a more serious note, re your rape comment: it’s a good idea to count rapes as rapes. Unless you can remedy the problem with an IMF bailout, fiddling with the statistics is a bad idea.)

  16. Sweden will need to raise taxes in order to support the permanent underclass of immigrants that the majority government has invited in (no vote by the people, just done by government fiat) to be beneficiaries of the welfare state.

    Already the crime rates have soared and the lazy assholes won’t assimilate – they hate the West…they love the Welfare though.

  17. I recall when this campaign was taking place, back when I went to high school in Sweden. All the seats in the lunch room (which everyone goes to for their school meal) had paper sheets with a colourful illustration of a town with an illustration of “x kr of your taxes go to this”.

    Googling around, I managed to find the campaign in the creative’s portfolio. Enjoy.

    Translation note: the slogan “F?r att det ska funka beh?vs det skatt” translates into “It wouldn’t work without taxes.”, with “it” (Sw: “det”) being left unspecified.

  18. It’s like “Mad Max”. Awesome.

  19. Scottish police say they have arrested 17 year old from Aberdeen, who was not named in the press for ?????? sending racisttweet to footballer Jason Brown. Youth accused of a Welsh team after Brown beat Scotland in a World Cup qualifier.

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