Socialism

Scandinavia is a Collectivist Paradise? Not So Much.

A touch too much in the way of conformity, high taxes, and "benign totalitarianism"

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In the imagination of the American Left, Scandinavia, that cluster of northern European countries defined by sky-high taxes, expansive welfare policies, and seemingly limitless enthusiasm for snow-related activities, presents the ideal alternative to the rough-and-tumble of American capitalism. They're peaceful. They're prosperous. And they routinely dominate the top spots in global "happiness rankings."

Enter The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia, a cover-to-cover delight from English journalist Michael Booth puncturing the caricature of the region as a semi-socialist paradise. The book, which has just been published in the U.S., is especially powerful in its dissection of the culturally corrosive effects of Scandinavia's expansive state power, which seems to "smother its people's motivation, ambition, and spirit."

A full fifth of Danish adults don't work and live exclusively on public benefits. Norwegian media is so deeply dull that one of its most popular television shows ever is—this is for real—a seven-hour real-time feed from a camera mounted on a train traversing mountains. Booth calls the prevailing Swedish political norms "benign totalitarianism." 

And yet, Booth's book is not a takedown. It's just a realistic portrait. And plenty of other things he details about these countries are genuinely admirable. Sweden has spent the last couple decades on a Thatcher-like crusade to privatize large swaths of its public sector and now boasts one of the more business-friendly tax and regulatory environments in the world. Denmark has remarkably high levels of social trust: it's common for diners to leave their toddlers in strollers outside the restaurant. There's also Finland's exceptional gender equality, Norway's savvy management of its massive oil wealth, and Iceland's…uhh…muscle mass?

Reason recently chatted with Booth about his book's core insights.

One of your overriding observations is that Scandinavian cultures tend to breed what Americans would perceive as a stultifying conformity. You give this impression of Denmark, for instance, as a nation filled with dull Ned Flander-types—a bunch of public sector retirees that spend their summers at communal singing retreats.

In other cultures, you have "tall poppy syndrome," where if a reality star makes a record or buys a Lamborghini, they'll get pilloried in the media. The difference in Scandinavia is that tall poppy syndrome applies to everyone all the time. So if you show naked ambition or arrogance, you will get cut down to size. "Don't think you are that special, don't show off, don't boast." No one wears a suit and tie in parliament. It's extraordinary.

If you want an incredibly equal, socially cohesive society, you definitely lose something by way of individuality, eccentricity, diversity. Often I'm asked, "Could the Nordic template be applied to Britain or America?" And the answer is no. You can't just hope that people will suddenly become conformist and driven by equality. It doesn't work that way.

On the other hand, I live here in Denmark, almost out of my own free will. [He's married to a Dane.] And I appreciate so much about it right now. But yeah, there are reservations of course. To put it really brutally simply: living here can be a bit boring.

And that emphasis on equality saturates Scandinavia's much-vaunted public schools, right?

We sent our kids to a mainstream state school, which is based on the principles of raising the lower ability children up to the median. It's all-inclusive, so you can't exclude children if they're badly behaved or have special needs or that kind of thing. That didn't work from our point of view. Our children didn't take well to having chairs thrown at them and teachers not turning up.

I was in Copenhagen a while ago and I saw two or three kids have an impromptu running race on the pavement and one of the kids won and did an American-football-style celebration. His mother grabbed him by the arm and scolded him for that.

My son's class did a production of Treasure Island. The teachers rotated the class so that in every scene someone different played Long John Silver or Jack Hawkins or whatever. It made absolute nonsense of any sense of drama or narrative. But again, it was this idea: Everyone should have their turn. Everyone should be treated equally, rather than celebrate one student who was a great singer or actor.

You seem to have mixed feelings about Denmark's tax rates.

We literally have the highest taxes in the world. They're not just quite high: They're the absolute highest.

I don't see that mirrored in quality of services. The education system ranks about level with the United Kingdom, which is not great shakes and nothing to be proud of. Similarly, the health service is struggling and creaking. Its not commensurate with the highest taxes in the world.

A quick detour to the semi-feral people of Iceland: Their distinctive traits seem to be this overbearing need to try to channel an ancient Viking machismo and the fact that there are so few of them.

If you meet an Icelander, you should consider it as if you've seen a snow leopard. They are kind of an endangered species—well, they're not endangered, actually, because they're good at breeding. They're all quite closely interrelated, which is a bit awkward when it comes to breeding. So there's an app so if you're in a bar in Reykjavík and you meet another Icelander you take a fancy to, you can both use this app to make sure you're not too closely related before you pair off.

Some of these Scandinavian countries have tightly restrictive immigration policies driven by radical right-wing parties that are quickly growing in popularity. You point out that Anders Breivik, the neo-nazi psychopath behind the 2011 mass shooting in Norway, was a member of a political party that now controls something like 15 percent of the Norwegian parliament.

Scandinavian immigration policies are very different depending on what country you're talking about. Sweden has an amazingly humanitarian, open-door policy, which has been extremely beneficial to their economy over the last few years. Norway has been very closed off, with record numbers of repatriations recently.

Breivik left that party because he didn't find them extreme enough, in their defense. But after his attacks, in which 77 people died, the biggest mass killing in the history of Norway, the party actually for the first time was elected into a coalition government. And their leader is the finance minister now. You could call it a mixed message about how Norwegians feel about immigration and integration.

Sweden's immigration policies are obviously admirable, but you detail the serious problems it's had with integration.

Sweden has tended toward ghettoization. Sweden has all sorts of problems because it makes this whole conversation a bit of a taboo. There's a kind of self-censorship in the Swedish media. For the last 100 years, it has considered itself the modernist, progressive country, a moral guiding light for Europe, if not the world. It's an uncomfortable truth to have to face up to that maybe they've got it a little bit wrong.

Now that you've immersed yourself in Scandinavian culture, what most sticks out to you when you visit the United States?

The obvious thing is the diversity—ethnic diversity, economic diversity, cultural diversity. They're exponentially larger in the States. And a superficial things but it means a lot: People are just so friendly and chatty and nice, which you do not get in Scandinavia. Coming to the U.S. is like a warm bath. People talk to you on the street.  

As far as politics, you have such an extremely polarized political landscape. It's totally anathema to the coalition, consensus-built model that works in Scandinavia.

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  1. In many “happiness” surveys, it seems that we’re reminded that happiness is a factor of whether or not one sees himself as doing better or worse than his neighbors. Thus, in Somalia, my $10,000 per year salary may be enough to make me happy. In NYC? Not so much. I think this explains why Scandinavians consider themselves happy.

    And, judging by the number of them living on the dole, I can certainly see why 20% of them are happy — it’s a built-in baseline.

    1. And let’s not forget that we’re talking about a relatively small group of people–in some cases sharing a large amount of oil revenue.

      There are only 5 million people in Norway.

      They have a nominal GDP per capita of $80,749 U.S.

      That’s because of oil.

      Before that oil was discovered, they were a relatively poor country.

      That kind of system is going to translate to a nation like the U.S. with 350 million people and accomplish the same results–not without adding tens of thousands of dollars per capita to the GDP per capita number from oil like Norway does.

      1. Progs never mention the Scandinavians having oil money. Are you sure it’s true that they’re willing to accept evil oil money? Never known the Progs to lie by withholding information.

        1. “Progs never mention the Scandinavians having oil money.”

          You are talking to the wrong progs. Denmark has a $20 minimum wage, free health care, child care and education, and a 33 hour work week, according to my sources on Facebook. The happiest nation on earth according to the UN.

          What do your progs friends say about Libya? They probably are aware of its oil, but under Col. Khaddafy, it was roughly comparable to Denmark, and led Africa in terms of education and other similar indicators – highest female literacy rate in the continent, for example.

          1. “There is no legally stipulated minimum wage in Denmark.”

            The 20$ “minimum wage” in Denmark is actually an average of union negotiated minimum wages.

            1. $20 an hour and NO minimum wage? Something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

              1. So you admit, then, thanks to the example of Denmark, that minimum wages aren’t the solution to poverty?

                Incidentally, Switzerland also does not have a minimum wage – coincidentally it is one of the only countries in Europe (the others being Luxembourg and Norway) with a higher median income than the US.

          2. You forgot the lack of opportunity and terrible standard of living in both those countries.

          3. Denmark does not have a minimum wage. At all. And a 38 hour work week.

            Education is not “free”, it’s taxpayer funded. Same with health care, but it’s of poor (and getting worse) quality. Dental care is not free, and extremely expensive because of taxes, sales taxes, etc.

            Child care is not free at all, in fact it’s probably one of the main expenses for Danish families with small children. It costs $500 or more per month, per child.

            It’s also interesting to note that Denmark has less restrictive business regulation than the US, and campaign finance is largely opaque. A party or candidate have to report donors, but not how much they received beyond a small amount of money, like $5000.

            Your FaceBook sources need to crawl back under their bridges.

            Sincerely,
            A Dane

            1. “Education is not “free”, it’s taxpayer funded…”

              You one of these ‘prog friends’ by any chance? Education in Denmark is oil funded, just as it was in Libya.

              CNN:
              http://money.cnn.com/gallery/n…..eks/2.html

              33 hour work week, 5 week paid vacation. Any of your prog friends get dental work done in Thailand?

              1. And how does oil money find it’s way from the drilling platforms in the North Sea, to the coffers of the Danish education system?

                When I lived and worked in Denmark (my birth country, where I spent more than 30 years of my life) the work week was 38 hours, and I got 4 weeks (then later 5 weeks) paid vacation.

                The work week and paid vacation days (and minimum wage) are done via agreements between the Danish unions and the Danish employers. Not by law.

                What is keeping you from negotiating the same conditions with your employer? How is this a validation of the superiority of the Danish system?

                1. “And how does oil money find it’s way from the drilling platforms in the North Sea, to the coffers of the Danish education system?”

                  There are different ways to channel oil money into an education system. Danes like to use their tax code, Libyans managed the same feat without using a tax code. Point is that oil is the source of wealth in both cases.

                  “How is this a validation of the superiority of the Danish system?”

                  Higher wages without draconian laws? How is it not a validation of Denmark’s ways? I’m sure there are those who prefer America’s lawerly ways and lower lowest wages, but if you don’t stand to cash in on the legal disputes or are struggling at the bottom of the social ladder, Denmark doesn’t look too bad. Better than Libya now at any rate.

                  1. Higher wages mean nothing. You have to count the money left over once you’re done paying your mortgage, car loan, income taxes, sales taxes, child care, etc.

                    I make less money in the US, than I did in Denmark, doing the same work with more experience even.

                    In Denmark I made around $80k a year, 15 years ago, I couldn’t afford to own a house, had to rent a studio apartment in the suspect part of town, and drive 10-20 year old cars until they broke down.

                    Here I own a house in an affluent suburb, drive a new car that most of my Danish friends could never hope to afford because it costs 4 times as much there. When I’m sick I get a doctors appointment immediately and every test imaginable, just in case.

                    I still have 2-3 times the disposable income left over after that, than I did in Denmark. There most of that money was spent on expensive groceries, here I can afford to save up, or spend money on something I actually just “want”, not “need”.

                    Sure, poor people in Denmark have it pretty great. They may not be able to afford to eat out (well, most people can’t), but they have enough money coming from tax payers to get their daily 12-pack of beer, feed their rottweiler, and be incredibly picky about what kind of employment they seek (if they’re required to look for a job at all.)

                    The real cost of that is that the Danes who actually work, produce, and pay taxes are getting more and more scarce, as they flee or give up and enter the welfare system.

                    1. “Higher wages mean nothing.”

                      You make a valid point. But more consumer goods and disposible income obviously don’t add up to happiness. Neither does diversity. Who has more free time on their hands, who has the greater sense of security? It’s certainly not the Libyans, and it’s not the Americans, either.

                    2. “But more consumer goods and disposible income obviously don’t add up to happiness.”

                      They do up to a certain point, and what good is a greater sense of security if it’s largely a false sense of security? My friend’s father who almost died because government run hospital doctors kept dithering over his (in the end very simple) diagnosis because they didn’t want to waste resources on tests, might tell you that just having a sense of security isn’t worth much. And it’s only going to get worse, as it has been for decades there.

                      I’m supremely confident that he would pay less in insurance here, than the portion of his taxes that go to the healthcare system there, and still receive much better treatment.

                      I certainly don’t feel much less secure here, and the lack of security is more than made up with by the abundance of individual free agency I now possess.

                      There are also several different kinds of security. I don’t doubt for a second that my American friends and family have my back in a tight spot. In Denmark where upper middle class people actually have to worry about how much they spend on groceries, I couldn’t expect the same security from my immediate community.

                      Ultimately, having tried both, I’ll take liberty over security any day. If you feel otherwise there are plenty of alternatives to liberty in the world, not so much the other way around.

                    3. “I certainly don’t feel much less secure here,”

                      You’re an immigrant. They are a special class of people, willing to take great risks, leave behind everything and trade it in for the unknown. Your run of the mill Dane is not the same. They have different ideas of what makes them feel secure and arrange their society accordingly. I put it down to having different priorities rather than some moral failing on their part.

                      I agree that Americans are super friendly and open people as a rule, compared to Scandinavians or just about any other nation. Still I’ve found that Americans tend to harbour more fear and less hope about the future even compared to people living in horridly authoritarian (but family-centric) societies like China. Just my personal observations…

                    4. “They have different ideas of what makes them feel secure and arrange their society accordingly. I put it down to having different priorities rather than some moral failing on their part.”

                      So do the Amish, but I don’t have to declare it a moral failing to point out that I’d rather not go through my life that way, since I enjoy things like dentists, and consuming butter that I don’t have to churn myself.

                      But, like the Amish, if that’s what they want, then I wish them well, as long as they leave me out of it.

                    5. He doesn’t feel much less secure because if worst comes to worst, he can just go back, and enjoy the full social safety net of Denmark.

                    6. “I’m supremely confident that he would pay less in insurance here, than the portion of his taxes that go to the healthcare system there, and still receive much better treatment.”

                      You are also quite wrong. He would pay more in taxes towards government healthcare in the US than Denmark. And unless he was in the 28 % of the population that benefits from said government healthcare he would then have to pay even more for insurance, whether out of pocket or as lost wages.

                      Det sl?r meg ogs? som merkelig at leger skal ha holdt igjen pr?ver for din far p? grunn av resursser. S?vidt meg bekjent er det ikke leger som begrenser resurssene i noen Beveridge-modell.

                      Danish hospitals don’t really work that way. Private ones do though.

                    7. On freedom…Ive tried Scandinavia and I’ve tried America. Scandinavians enjoy a level of freedom only wealthy Americans do.

                      Healthcare and free universities. You can study what you have the desire and ability to. Pick a job without having to choose between your dream job and one with health insurance. Have a baby when it is right for you as a family. Take a year off for personal reasons if you got the cash. Start your own business if you feel you’ve come as far as you can working for someone else. Tetrie when you have the funds. The level of freedom…education, work, familiy, free time, career…just from health care and education.

                      There is a reason why Scandinavia is the region where it is easiest to work you way up, have so many more startups per head there.

                      If you really are Danish…that is why you are doing well in the US. The system basically makes you a Prince in Exile. You grew up with free healthcare and free education. You had years of experience when you got to the US, so the system supported you through the first lean years in your profession.

                      And you can take risks in the US that the Americans would think twice about. Because you can always -just go back. The system will be there for you if you get a chronic medical condition, go bankerupt or otherwise crash.

                      Of course you don’t feel insecure.

                      Give an American the advantages you got, and the odds are, he’d be doing damn well too.

                    8. The system basically makes you a Prince in Exile. You grew up with free healthcare and free education.

                      Because only princes get healthcare and educations.

                    9. Well, the advantage set he gets from being Danish -the combination of healthcare, education, and the safety net represented by the option of just going home- is something you basically have to be a member of the wealth aristocacy in the US to equal.

                      I confess that “Baron in Exile” or “Count in Exile” didn’t have quite the same right though.

                    10. Would a salesperson do better at their job if they worked on salary (safety net) or commission?

                    11. Well, the advantage set he gets from being Danish -the combination of healthcare, education, and the safety net represented by the option of just going home- is something you basically have to be a member of the wealth aristocacy in the US to equal.

                      Yeah, if you’re crazy, and you don’t realize that people in the US who are not, in fact, aristocrats, have healthcare and education.

                      Is that the selling point? Let’s become good Scandinavian socialists so that we can do whatever we want, all the time, without having to worry about our basic needs, like rich trust fund babies? So, basically, the philosophy of a child who wants to be spoiled?

                      Keep dreaming.

                    12. Loke, Jeg er virkelig Dansker.

                      And I don’t agree with you about the risk taking. I’m in fact a pretty risk-averse person. The risk I took in moving was because I’m in love with an American woman, not because I had an American dream. In fact I was scared shitless over losing the security I’d come to depend on, I secretly hoped that my wife would eventually want to move back to Denmark with me.

                      The first few years here I didn’t deal very well with the change and the insecurity inherent in American life, but I learned that individual freedom cannot exist without individual responsibility for your own life. Something you’re not afforded in Denmark.

                      Yes, I can always go back, just like you can always commit a crime and go to prison and have all your needs taken care of. It doesn’t mean I would want to. I’m on my way to becoming an American citizen, and would have done so sooner if my wife hadn’t asked me to wait. Until very recently that would have meant giving up my Danish citizenship. Something I was willing to do.

                      The security in Denmark comes with a hefty price. Since responsibility is diffused throughout society for reasons of security, no-one is allowed real individual freedom. Self defense for instance is frowned upon, the law allows it but more than likely will get you charged with a violent crime. Let that sink in, you don’t even have the basic freedom to protect your life. What does that say about a society?

                    13. Continued.

                      If I can come to these conclusions, any Dane can. What they are lacking is perspective and experience, not some kind of mythical special immigrant stuff, that I can assure you I don’t have.

                      Denmark is not a free society, it doesn’t matter if the average Dane think it is. The Bill of Rights would be laughed at there because people have learned that individual rights don’t trump group rights. There are anti free speech laws. There are codified violations of the Danish version of the 4th Amendment abound.

                      People are punished worse for tax evasion than for a first time violent offense. Possession of a contraband weapon (even a crossbow, slingshot, or pocket knife with certain attributes) in your own home will likely get you a harsher punishment than actually, physically punching someone in the face. Because they are seen as crimes against society, which are often deemed worse than crimes against individuals.

                    14. I always thought you were an idiot…..and here you go and remove all doubt.

                      Well done.

                    15. Do the welfare bums get free Legos in Denmark?

                    16. Seriously. Good post by the way.

                    17. “Do the welfare bums get free Legos in Denmark?”

                      Nah, LEGO (being a success) are hoarders and wreckers in the Danish mind. They were so successful that a city sprang up around their production plant, airport, and LEGO-land theme park.

                      Once it became unfeasible to actually have any kind of real production in Denmark because of taxes, wages, etc. they did the unthinkable and outsourced most of their production and completely roboticized their Danish facility.

                      Obviously the Danish government would never reward such behavior by giving their products to welfare bums 😉

                    18. Sooner or later, you run out of other people’s money.

              2. I don’t get what your point is regarding oil money. Are you suggesting that US should solve it’s economic problems by following the nordic model of magically having more oil in our territory? You don’t seem to realize the oil refutes the “progressives'” point: Denmark and Norway owe their prosperity largely to good luck rather than to pseudo-socialist economic systems.

            2. According to everything I have ever read, Danish men have the largest penises. Which would go a long way toward a happy population.

        2. “Scandinavians” don’t have oil money. Norwegians have oil money. WHich has all been saved up in a sovereign wealth fund for decades, rather than spent. Danes have a tiny weeny amount of oil money, less per person than the UK, US or Canada. Sweden has no oil money. Finland has no oil money. Iceland has no oil money.

          Its not the oil. You can make the “oil” argument for Norway, but not for Scandinavia.

          1. I doubt your Scandinavian bona fides if you think Finland is Scandinavia.

          2. Actually, the ratio of Danish oil production to population is almost twice that of the US, and the US isn’t exactly insignificant in oil production, so it is not irrelevant.

            Second, the US has a higher median income than Denmark as measured by purchasing power parity.

            So, remind me again why American progs look at Denmark and see utopia?

      2. And have a massive national wealth fund because none of the oil money is used to pay for anything, but has been saved up for decades.

        1. Hoarders ruin everything.

        2. So what you’re saying is they need more stimulus, or their economy will summarily fail?

          /krugman

      3. They also don’t mention that the abortion restrictions in Scandinavian countries are also faarr more restrictive than the most conservative state in the US. They’d flip out if most of them were even suggested by a Republican.

        Most also have a form of Lutheranism as tax subsidized state religions.

        And in Iceland whale hunting is still a thing. A few years ago Icelanders flipped out because they couldn’t get whale meat in the grocery stores for a time.

    2. That was just one study, and it was methodologically flawed.

      1. Yeah, I believe the Scandinavians are #1 when it comes to anti-depressant usage. Funny that they’re the happiest and the most depressed at the same time.

        1. If you lived up there in the cold, with those long nights, and the current crop of womyn, you would be depressed too.

          1. Oh, I lived in Alaska for a while so I know all about the long nights. Didn’t get on the anti-depressants though, unless lots of ice cream and chocolate count.

        2. Seems to be a tie between Iceland and the US.

    3. And, judging by the number of them living on the dole, I can certainly see why 20% of them are happy — it’s a built-in baseline.

      Actually, living on the dole tends to make people unhappy. Jobs are important for happiness.

      These “happiness” surveys just don’t account for cultural differences. In many cultures, people are conditioned to say, and even fool themselves into believing, that they are happy.

      It’s the same with various “press freedom” surveys: the results don’t tell you how different countries compare, they tell you what people in a country believe they should say about their own country.

      1. I live in NM, by every metric we are so poorly off we just regularly say a prayer of thanks for Mississippi. But ask one of us how we’re doing and you will get a “getting by” or “doing great”. We have a FB page in my city for free items or trade and we have people asking for diapers or food and we will get posts saying “where can I bring you a box”? Everyone is getting by and everyone has hard times here, but go to the parks on Saturday and there will be picnic tables full of families. Money isn’t the biggest part of the happiness score, it’s perception of how well you’re doing compared to those around you. I think we look at the lifestyle of Sweden and we feel they are doing so well, we must just suck.

    4. In other reviews of the book, Booth points out that being unhappy in Denmark is un-Danish and most Danes know that the surveys that show that Danes are the happiest people in the world are full of crap.

      To say you are unhappy would be to stand out from the crowd and people are afraid they will be identified as the person who said that they are unhappy because it’s against the Law of Jante. Basically, because everyone knows everyone in Scandinavia, the Scandinavian countries work like a small town.

      1. Yeah, “Jante-loven” is a real thing, and admitting you’re unhappy or that Denmark is not totally amazing, is the same as admitting that your progressive utopia doesn’t actually work that great.

        Add to that the lack of a frame of reference. If you live your whole life being told you exist in the best, most equal, funnest place in the world, you’re going to think that way. Especially when the media and everyone around you, tell you how horrible America and other individually minded places are.

        I’m a million times happier and more generous, now that I’m an individual in the United States, rather than just another ant in the Danish hive.

        It’s like taking the red pill. The only frustrating part is that it’s impossible to impart this knowledge on my fellow Danes who are still there, or progressive Americans here who don’t understand exactly how stultifying Danish society is.

        1. You’ll get some of the same sort of thing in US — America is the greatest country in the world and if you don’t agree everything’s perfect, you can leave.

          1. Comparatively, Americans at least have something to back it up with.

      2. And the review of the book in the NY Post is about 4 times the length of the Reason review and 10 times as informative.

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  2. Yeah, diversity. The Scandinavians had practically none until relatively recently–and I think that’s mostly come from asylum seekers–people the Scandinavian governments couldn’t turn away, basically, no matter how hard they tried.

    The more people are forced to pay for each other, the pickier they are about those for whom they’re paying. Up until recently, the people the Scandinavians have been paying for were people who were just like them. And, yeah, they’ve had much more restrictive immigration polices than ours to keep it that way.

    Incidentally, I think that’s the way it works in the U.S., too. The more people are forced to pay for each other, the less tolerant they are of immigrants. The less tolerant they are of other minorities on social assistance, too. If you want a truly diverse and tolerant society, you should push for a society in which people aren’t forced to pay for each other.

    Or another way to look at it might be that the more diverse a society is, the more resistant it is likely to be to move towards democratic socialism.

    1. This a thousand times. Relatively small population (less than NYC), homogenous, and with ample natural resources. Of course it works for them, but it’s near insane to think the model can be ported to completely different countries.

      1. “Works for them” = poor, no opportunity

        1. Well, they are pretty rich and have the highest social mobility and startup rates in the world…

          1. Lower corporate tax rates probably help. It’s also worth noting that northern European countries often lack regulations we have in the US. Denmark, Switzerland, and until recently Germany had no minimum wage; many of these countries have no equovalent to the Glass-Steagall act, often they have fewer lincensing strictures than the US has (or than US state governments tend to have). Part of the reason Germany fared better than most other countries in the thick of the recession was not because of large, government sanctioned or insured monopolies but because of a relatively high volume of small and medium sized (usually family-owned) companies that were in highly competitive and comparatively unregulated niche markets and were able to compete on in the global market. So these countries are by no stretch uniformly ‘more socialist’ than the US; higher income tax and more gov spending, but lower corporate tax and in some industries even less regulation.

            In short, the “Europe=socialist, US=capitalist; Europe is doing better than the US, ergo socialism capitalism” type argument is nonsense. Or replace ‘socialism’ with ‘social democracy’ if you will, same thing.

  3. Well, that’s just, like, his opinion!

    Sort of interesting. I think I’d commit suicide if I lived in an environment like he describes – of course, that’s biased by a lifetime of valuing merit and results.

    You know who else pushed the value of homogeneity and national identity…

    1. John Dewey?

    2. Papa Smurf?

    3. Sylvester McMonkey McBean?

    4. Teddy Roosevelt?

    5. Genghis Khan?

    6. Iosep Vissarionivich Dzugashvilli?

    7. You know who else pushed the value of homogeneity and national identity…

      And wanted the nation to function like a small town.

    8. Rammstein?

    9. Josef Mengele?

  4. He’s a straight white male. His agenda is, of course, therefore to disparage and smear the example of wildly successful socialism that is only not immediately followed in the US due to our unique history of white hatred and patriarchy.

    Also, he writes for a magazine called Monocle. I’m not making that shit up, look at his wiki entry.

    1. They have Monocle at the corner grocery. Always looks pretty intriguing to me. And not just because I run the only Scottish monocle polishing factory.

      1. I’ve always wondered who polishes all those repurposed military surplus German officer’s monocles.

    2. From the Monocle website:

      In Toronto recently, editor in chief Tyler Br?l? bumped into a young reader of the magazine. It got him thinking about misguided opinions regarding the state of the print market and even more enthused about our new project…

      Sounds like a boring doctor’s waiting room magazine on Prozac.

  5. Often I’m asked, “Could the Nordic template be applied to Britain or America?” And the answer is no. You can’t just hope that people will suddenly become conformist and driven by equality. It doesn’t work that way.

    Uh oh. If Tony sees that he’ll have his knife out for sure.

    1. Exactly that. They won’t just hope. They want to take over the government and shoot or imprison anyone who doesn’t conform. You read their comments on KOS or DU or even the Times or Post and you can just feel how badly they want to start killing people or locking them up.

      1. Reason number 20,002,398 why 2A is so important.

      2. Leftists worship force and violence. After all, they worship the government, right? And what is the government other than force and violence. Everything the government does, without exception, is predicated on a very real threat of force and violence. So it’s no surprise that leftists would want to use force and violence on anyone who disagrees with them. It’s their creed.

        1. The various flavors of socialists have only murdered a couple hundred million humans spread out over the past hundred years. Take your pick, the Koch brothers or the Christians, they both murder that many people by lunch time every day.

          1. The socialist movements all had good intentions, while the Koch brothers are motivated by greed. That makes socialists good people and the Koch brothers evil.

            1. The only thing that matters is whether people have good in their hearts or not.

              1. Actually all that matters is if they are members of the right team. You can still be evil and totally wrong even if you accept and believe in a large portion of the nanny state shit the left believes in these days as recent history has shown us all.

                Tribalism…

            2. The Social Justice Principle (SJP). As opposed to the NAP.

      3. Yeah, I actually used to post comments on KOS and it’s interesting how violent their comments can get sometimes. This, from the peaceful intellectual giants of our society! Heh.

        1. Yeah, I actually used to post comments on KOS and it’s interesting how violent their comments can get sometimes.

          I’ve seen leftists tell 2nd Amendment defenders that they’d feel differently if their own family was shot. I’ll point out how telling it is that they’re harboring these violent fantasies about the families of their political opponents being murdered and they inevitably shut their piehole.

          1. Which… is supposed to be an inducement to give up their firearms?

            1. ^^^^This.

          2. My father was shot to death during a robbery of his pharmacy, I am smart enough to know that the weapon used was not obtained legally, and thus has absolutely nothing to do with the second amendment. I wish my father had had a gun and knew how to use it.

    2. People won’t spontaneously become conformist, but you can train them to be. Germany instituted widespread public education in the 19th century to teach the next generation to obey the state and unify the diverse German states and language into a single big German nation under Prussian leadership (with disastrous consequences a few decades later). That’s the model and attitude the Nordic countries copied. And it does work that way, unfortunately.

      1. We still use a form of the Prussian model in the education system.

      2. Germans still speak their regional languages and make comments when Americans go speak Hochdeutsch in Germany.

        1. +1 Viva Colonia

        2. I fondly remember thumbing my nose at Bavarians who couldn’t speak proper German. Damned hicks.

          No, I love Bavaria, more than anywhere in the US in fact, but damn it, that hillbilly German dialect is such a mindfuck.

      3. This system sounds strangely familiar…..

  6. I guess it depends on your definition of paradise. The leftists I know would consider, “conformity, high taxes and benign totalitarianism” paradise or close to it. They don’t even pretend to care about freedom anymore. They don’t even mouth the words. They are open about hating freedom, loving conformity and desiring total control over everyone’s thoughts and actions. They are fucking pod people most of them.

    1. They want those stultifying conformity for flyover states, high taxes for the very wealthy (defined at some absurdly low benchmark), and benign totalitarianism for their ethnic client populations. Those are good things to be imposed on others.

    2. Freedom? ! That is worship word! Yang worship! You will not speak it!

      1. And your friend with the pointy ears has no heart!

  7. This article strikes me as a bit defensive. I’m sure there are some people that don’t want to live in prosperous, healthy, peaceful, and harmonious societies. Some people are into kink so it’s not surprising that there are at least a few malcontents that want to live in countries where 10,000 people die every year from homicides and there is incredible, third-world variety poverty.

    I’ve spent a lot of time in Copenhagen. I see a lot more people out at the bars and clubs in Copenhagen than I do in, say, boston. So, I’m not too sure about the whole boring thing. I did some moly with a couple of Danes and we had a perfectly exquisite night out.

    1. I’ve spent a lot of time in Copenhagen. I see a lot more people out at the bars and clubs in Copenhagen than I do in, say, boston

      So they’re drunks with time on their hands. What’s your point?

      1. Yeah because the measure of how just and tolerant a society is is how busy its club scene is. Just ignore the fact that anyone who deviates from the expected norm gets crushed, look how busy the bars are!!

    2. By boring he meant there is no diversity, difference of opinion, or difference of values. Not that there isn’t anything to do. Basically everyone has the same background and opinions which makes for an incredibly boring and you could argue less innovative society. Why don’t you try and color inside the lines, child.

    3. That is because you are fucking moron who has no idea how actual people are. You no doubt wake up every day and abide by the rules and love the rules because that is what you do. Like every other leftist, you lack the intellectual capacity or imagination to understand that idea that someone might not be the same way and for whatever reason won’t abide by the rules. So people like you spend your entire life trying to pass laws and enforce conformity. Meanwhile, those on the outside of society, the poor, the troubled, the people who for whatever reason lack judgement or just refuse to live the perfect and structured life fall under the boot of your ideals.

      People like you make war on the poor. You do this by supporting a law as a solution to everything. People drive too fast, just make the traffic fines really high and put in speed cameras. People don’t raise their kids to your standard, create a CPS to go out and make sure they do. And fine and imprison anyone who doesn’t comply. You go to bed every night certain in the belief of how right and compassionate you are. Meanwhile, your political beliefs help to create a monstrous and utterly intolerant society.

      1. To the left, individual liberty is the useless appendix of the body politic–better to remove it before it becomes inflamed.

        1. Nice……

        2. Common good before personal good!

      2. *Slow Clap* Shut the site down, this comment is perfect.

        1. I couldn’t quite get through it. Can you summarize it for me?

          1. This board is sadly not very conducive to being illiterate.

          2. Can you summarize it for me?

            You and your ilk are the modern-day embodiment of the banality of evil.

          3. I would but I don’t think I can express myself mono-syllabically enough.

          4. You’re so effen annoying with that ‘summarize it for me’ crap. Mind you, it’s pretty much in line with the lazy socialist who wants others to do the work and pay the bills ethos.

            1. He secretly yearns to be like Lazy Robert:

              http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04…..fault.html

              I’ve known quite a few “Roberts” in my former life in Denmark, happy to take other people’s money and produce nothing of value.

    4. I don’t have a problem with the way those folk live their lives. But I think the author is spot on in saying that slapping their template on the U.S. would fail. Our cultures are very different.

      1. Milton Friedman pointed out years ago that the Scandinavian model does work in the US to a certain extent – look at Minnesota and Wisconsin, lots of Scandinavian immigrants there. And P J O’Rourke pointed out years ago that socialism of this sort works fine in a tight community – look at your household.
        .
        A lot of the social cohesiveness necessary for this sort of communitarianism to work, though, relates to the lack of biological diversity. Once upon a time, there were about six families too stupid or too stubborn to get the hell out of a frozen wasteland and they found that everybody works their ass off or everybody freezes to death. Thus were born the genes for Scandinavians. Start getting some immigration and enough time for some recessive laziness genes to kick in and the gene pool starts diversifying and you’ve got a problem.

        1. Dunno about you but my family is run by a (from time to time) benevolent dictator.

          And I’ve been married to her for nearly 50 years.

    5. I take it by prosperous you mean poorer than Mississippi?

      1. Dark Lord of the Cis|4.30.15 @ 10:11AM|#
        “I take it by prosperous you mean poorer than Mississippi?”

        Yeah, but EQUALLY poor!

    6. I’m sure there are some people that don’t want to live in prosperous, healthy, peaceful, and harmonious societies.

      …that also happen to have majority white populations.

    7. I’ve spent a lot of time in Copenhagen. I see a lot more people out at the bars and clubs in Copenhagen than I do…

      So you’ve been a tourist. What you haven’t seen is the stuff that actually matters: jobs, education, health care, etc. and how they relate to people and their lives. When a kid who could have been an artist or a scientist or entrepreneur ends up in a dead-end menial or clerical job because the education system railroaded him and there were no jobs for him, you never see that. And even the Scandinavians don’t notice, because they aren’t even aware that there are alternatives.

      1. Scientists or artists are plentiful in Denmark. Both can easily get taxpayer money of some sort. Either by working in academia, or by getting a government art grant.

        Entrepreneurs, not so much.

        1. Of course they are plentiful. That doesn’t mean that if you want to become a scientist or artist you can, because the decisions on who does and doesn’t are largely made by government.

      2. You’ll see that kid a lot more frequently in the US. And I do mean a LOT. Universities that are free with entrance based on grades means all the kids that want to become artist or scientist or entrpeneurs can, if they got the drive and ability. There is literally no barrier. That is not the case in the US.

        One of the most striking things you’ll notice when living in Scandinavia is how people take their exceptional level of freedom for granted.

        1. You keep using the word ‘freedom.’ I think you mean ‘other people’s money.’ They take their exceptional level of other people’s money for granted.

        2. There’s a big difference between getting a science degree and working as a scientist. Indeed, it’s easy to study whatever you like in Northern Europe, for the simple reason that it’s a great way to keep youth unemployment down; kids don’t need either drive or ability.

          The idea that people in Northern Europe have an “exceptional level of freedom” is ludicrous; those societies are stifling.

        3. Freedom is inversely proportional to taxes.

    8. live in countries where 10,000 people die every year from homicides

      The disparity between US and European homicide rates is largely due to young African American males; it’s a consequence of our division into a majority/minority culture, some history that goes along with it, and political pandering.

      Europe doesn’t have these because historically every aggrieved minority ended up with its own nation. That’s why the Nordic countries exist in the first place, or why do you think these little nations exist? Whenever Europe tried the US model, things got far worse than that, often ending in war or genocide. The second approach in Europe is to simply forcibly integrate people into mainstream society and destroying distinctive subcultures, language, etc. Of course, as a socialist, you would like that, since the approach was particularly popular in the socialist countries of Europe.

      It’s easy not to have a lot of homicides when you turn your nation into a police state and take away the ability of individuals to make their own choices. Having lived in such a country, let me tell you from first hand experience: it’s not a good tradeoff.

      1. Guess the Roma lose out…

    9. I’m sure there are some people that don’t want to live in prosperous

      Due to oil. Who wouldn’t want to live large on oil royalties?

      healthy

      Not sure how a “society” can be healthy.

      peaceful, and harmonious societies.

      Well, not counting the rape gangs.

      http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/5195/sweden-rape

      1. That’s not rape culture!! Rape culture is in white fraternities on American college campuses!!

    10. Hi Amosoc

      Harmonious = the state using guna to impose the will of 50.1% of the people on the others.

    11. “third-world variety poverty.”
      Uhh, government transfer payments and free services alone would put anyone in the US above the third world threshold, genius. People literally have to hide from the government agencies offering them free stuff to stay in ‘third world conditions.’ Also, you might remember that the US has a higher proportion of people literally from third world countries than any country in Europe. So a bunch of people come here from third world countries and, surprise, are not instantaneously rendered first world rich, hardly reflect poorly on anyone.

      As for the rest of your comment, I can only assume you didn’t even try to read the article or the one linked to it.

  8. Nice to read a more realistic evaluation of Scandinavia than the fantasy based works of fiction one usually sees. I’ve known and worked with Scandinavian immigrants who had very low opinions of where they hailed from. Having heard their gripes I suspect finding more than a few others who don’t subscribe to the “facts” presented within various “happiness” indices wouldn’t be that difficult to do.

    1. It’s like escaping a metaphorical prison that you didn’t know you were in, until you’ve left. Where you were told your entire life of the evils of the outside and how much better it is in here. Of course we have a low opinion of the place, and of course that opinion differs from people who are still living there.

      And then when we see people wanting to expand those metaphorical prison walls to America and other free places, because they think they know what it’s all about, imagine how we feel?

      1. I have friends in Quebec who leave to work in the USA. To a person they all say the same thing. Notably they’d never come back. What they thought they ‘knew’ about America was not entirely accurate. You know it’s interesting when Quebec nurses get recruited to work in Texas and LOVE IT.

        We’re so closed up we fail to see the opportunities. My daughter is NOT staying in Quebec even if I have to kick her out. It’s a place that considers 50k a year to be ‘rich’.

        50 fucking thousand dollars! That’s like, lower middle class but in Quebec….RICHE! SO TAX IT!

    2. Have you met any immigrants that felt the place they left was much better? I mean “immigrant” is kind of a group selected for unhappiness with the place they originated.

  9. Scandinavia gives the world herring and the world’s most boring cars. I prefer the messy, ugly diversity of the US.

    1. Absolutely. Give me chaos over conformity.

    2. I agree, however not all of their cars are boring. This one, for instance.

    3. They did gives batshit insane Finnish F1 drivers and more importantly, the Scandinavian Flick.

      1. “Leaf me alone I know what I am doing”.

        K. Raikkonen

    4. Fallkniven knives and Gransfor Bruks axes are nice.

  10. Alright. I found something quite exceptional about Denmark.

  11. Milton Friedman was once questioned by a Swede who touted the superiority of Sweden by saying “in Sweden we have no poverty.” Milton responded “among Swedish immigrants in America we have no poverty either.”

    That’s the rub really. Libertarians scrambling to find reasons to hate Sweden because it is socialist (not a new phenomenon among Libertarians or Socons) miss the point. It is a good place to live, but would be much better still with more liberty and dynamism.

    And nonetheless would not be right for many people. We have resisted the temptation to move to Scandy or Switzerland. Quality of life in both places is insanely good. But the societies are kind of closed and monolithic. As immigrants to Europe, we do better in a place more international in its population makeup. Naturally there would be discontents who would prefer America there as well.

    1. Milton Friedman was right. They’ve got poverty now that they are enjoying the “extreme economic benefits” of mass third world immigration.

      http://www.swedensmostwanted.se/

      Dumb goyim.

      1. Fuck off, ‘Merican.

        1. He’s right on that point, though. Decades ago one of the arguments for pornography was: “In Scandinavia where porn is legal, there are nearly zero rapes.” Now much of Scandinavia has plenty of rapes, nearly all by immigrants.

          1. And so immigration is good….

    2. You make a good point. Sweden could be much richer if it wasn’t socialist. It would also, for the people living there, be less secure. With capitalism and freedom comes responsibility and risk. The market works the best in the aggregate. It creates the most wealth in the long term and for the country at large. It doesn’t always work out so well for individuals. In a free market society, people lost their jobs and see their business’s fail do to bad breaks or fluctuations in the economy that are no way their fault. Life is pretty harsh sometimes and anyone can be a victim of very bad luck. With that risk of course comes tremendous opportunity and also long term growth and wealth. That opportunity and wealth is only appealing if you value self reliance and opportunity more than you value security.

      Libertarians often take it for granted that everyone values freedom and self reliance the way they do. Sadly, not everyone does. Some people value security and abstract concepts like “fairness” and “equality” more than they do freedom and responsibility. And those people are never going to support the free market no matter how poor it makes them.

      1. Of course, free market societies, by promoting innovation and allowing people to keep what they sow, allow for people to assist others who truly need it. There is no reason to assume everyone will simply hoard his money or spend it in a way that doesn’t raise the living standards of others. In other words, nearly everyone’s needs can still be met, at least as much as in a socialist state, but without restraining economic liberty.

        If anything, the richer a society gets, the more individuals seem to care about what happens to others. Why can’t those individuals do something to assist others while respecting property rights?

      2. Sweden is a capitalist country. The only prosperous countries in the world are capitalist.

      3. Misery likes company. Most collectivists are far more concerned with others having more than they do than with what they have, and hence that envy can be tapped into by people that promise much but deliver very little.

        1. Yes Alex. Most collectivists are miserable envious people who are more worried about punishing others than doing anything for themselves.

    3. I’m not so sure that Libertarians scramble to “find reasons to hate Sweden because it is socialist”. It’s more that Libertarians are realistic about socialism and it’s effects on productivity, prosperity, liberty and mobility. Their people are free to choose their own government but it may not be the best thing for us. What Libertarians might “hate” is the misrepresentation of Sweden as a perfect paradise and the false impression this seeds among people who would give up some of their liberty (and yours) for a modicum of security.

      1. One thing I hate is that leftists seem to have formed their opinions of Sweden back in the ’70s. They don’t know about (or ignore) the privatization, the immigration problems, etc.

    4. Not Friedemans best moment. Swedish immigration to the US was mainly in the 19th and early 20th century. People who have had enough stability to trace their family that far back aren’t going to have a lot of poverty.

      Compare them to centuries-old Swedish families.

      You’re right about not everyone being suited for one kind of life though.

      1. Friedman’s point was actually quite valid. If you compare things like wealth, homicide rate, etc. between Europeans and Americans of European descent, you find that ‘European-Americans’ are actually about as well off as even the most prosperous of European countries (even regarding homicide rate, which leads one to question the significance of the gun control debate since it’s not like there are special gun control laws applied to the white American communities).

        The point being that many of the unique problems people see in the US and like to attribute to our economic system or whatever are in fact more due to things like the high number of immigrants from third world countries and their descendants, not to mention cultural differences between people living here.

        1. And note, I am not arguing that immigration is bad, but rather that it distorts the statistics. A bunch of poor people can move to a rich country, and become better off themselves while making the people already in that country better off (so everyone is better off), but drag gown the Gini coefficient, the median wage, and push up the homicide rate. So, when Mexicans come to the US, they bring with them some of the poverty and the higher homicide rate of Mexico; but the homicide incidence among Americans does not increase at all, and even the homicide rate among Mexican-Americans may be less than among Mexicans; so everyone is better off, both the people already here and the immigrants, but the homicide rate and the poverty rate technically go up. Just an example of how the poorly thought out comparative statistics leftists often like to engage in to demonstrate the superiority of ‘the Nordic model’ do not accurately reflect reality.

  12. Collectivism works great when everyone is of the same race, and culture. Where have I heard that before ?

    1. Collectivism works great for a little while when everyone is of the same race, and culture.

      1. And as long as everyone is still pitching in, but as soon as too many figure out how to game the system and get something from doing nothing, it falls apart. And that’s what most of these socialist Euro-paradises are experiencing these days.

    2. Works pretty great in our country.

      1. Piss off Nazi.

      2. No it doesn’t retard.

  13. The author looks like the type of guy who probably auto-asphyxiates in front of his daughters. I’m absolutely sure there are people that are better suited for living in Phnom Penh as opposed to Oslo, but so what? Public policy should– for the most part–be about thermodynamics not quantum physics.

    1. Do you always look in a mirror while you’re typing? Afraid you’re going to lose yourself? Or just that much into you?

      1. I only attempt auto-asphyxiation when I read something posted by Gilmore. It’s not in a good way

        1. Let us know when you’re successful.

        2. I have my differences with Gilmore but I completely back him on as many posts as it takes for you to consummate your “religious” experience.

    2. You really go out of your way to be boring.

    3. AMSOC. Your idea of equating public policy to thermodynamics only works in a closed system. The Universe is an open system.

      Fail.

      Have started to make payments on your mortgage yet ?

      1. Universe not adiabatic. At least not in a heterogenous society.

    4. be about thermodynamics not quantum physics

      WTF does this even mean?

      1. It means that Strangeness must always be conserved, unless your spin is the opposite direction.

      2. No one knows. Pretty sure it’s AMOC’s pathetic way of saying “I’m smart! Look at how smart I am!”

      3. I think he means public policy is not so complex and tricky, which is, of course, wrong.

      4. The zeroth law of thermo is if A = B and B= C then A = C. Perhaps some failed analogy with socialism. Though the first and second laws more or less relate to using energy increases chaos. The third law relates to thinfs being more orderly as its temperature decreases. So that supports a ordey Scandanavia.

        Quantuum is probability of where the electrons will be at a given time. You know they will be somewhere in the cloud but not exactly. Perhaps like citizens in a libertarian state or country.

    5. And now the oh so classy ad-hom. Go fuck yourself you Marxist shithead.

    6. “Public policy should– for the most part–be about thermodynamics not quantum physics.”
      Frankly, I don’t think you know what either of those terms mean.

  14. I have a friend who’s half Swedish and has spent some time living in Sweden. He’s fairly pro-Sweden, but even he has pointed out, unprompted, that, as he put it, everybody in Sweden makes the same amount of money and pays the same in taxes, everybody shops at the same place, and there is barely anything that could be described as a counterculture.

    1. Someone–Angelo Codevilla, I think?–pointed out that the kind of socialism that makes Bernie Sanders’ heart flutter can really only be enforced on a population that’s quite passive towards their government. Not to mention that a high level of ethnic and cultural homogeneity and small populations are required to ensure that the trust bonds formed in such societies aren’t degraded by deviant elements.

      In other words, Scandanavian socialism “works” when its executed by and for Scandanavian socialists. It’s telling that the people in these countries are now starting to move towards more free-market solutions and questioning the efficacy of allowing people to live on the dole for years, if not decades, and a lot of it has to do with the effects of immigration on what is a relatively small-scale society that places social conformity as its highest virtue.

      1. Scandinavia isn’t “socialist”, it has a German-style welfare state and social market economy. So, for that matter, does the US, but to a lesser degree. Places like Sweden have gone back and forth over the years between more free-market and more managed economies, fairly easy to do for them given their small size.

        1. I speculate that the viability of that model may be reaching its end. Countries like that often depend on adherence to cultural norms (such as the ‘German work ethic’ or conformity with unwritten social norms), but as the old cultures break down, and as foreign immigrants show up, more and more people start to exploit the system and take out more than they put in. More over, growth rates are declining to essentially 0 so infinite deficit spending can no longer be ignored in the context of perennial growth exceeding deficits. Factor in aging populations and increasing global competition, and I think the Nordic welfare state model may have reached its twilight. The whole set up was, in my opinion, basically an artifact of European global economic dominance, WW2, and the Cold War. But it’s a new world, and I don’t think it will be so hospitable for Scandinavian economies as the 20th century was.

    2. pays the same in taxes,

      Scandinavia has a tax non-compliance rate between 14 and 36%…

  15. A good buddy of mine is a snow leopard, I mean Icelandic. He really has nothing very good to say about the culture there. Of course, he has been living in the States for over fifteen years now so his opinion is obviously colored. Last week coming back from the range we were again discussing it and he said that due to extreme high alcohol taxes many people try and distill their own. He said if you tried to buy too much sugar you would run the real risk that someone would report you and the police would pay you a visit to find your still. his main complaints are usually that the state has its greasy big mitts on each and every aspect of existence there.

    1. America, by and large, is a country of people who wanted something better for themselves and were willing to take risks to get it. Europe, by and large, is the people who weren’t willing to take the risk. Your buddy is not typical of Icelanders if he took the risk of leaving Iceland and coming to the US. so I would guess that, yes, his opinion is highly colored. Scandinavians kind of remind me of the Amish.
      .
      There’s nothing wrong with living like the Amish if that’s what you want. The Amish allow young adults to go out and see the world and choose for themselves whether they want to return home or stay worldly, but it’s not just a matter of allowing the young adults the freedom to choose. The Amish are a very cohesive, conformist group and they think young adults should be free to be different if they so desire, but if you want to be different you ain’t gonna be different here. If you want to be different, you’re going to have to find some other place to be different.
      .
      America is the place you go when you want to be different.

      1. America is the place you go when you want to be different.

        That sure used to be the case, but the progressives are trying real hard to change that being different to mean something completely different than what it used to be….

        1. Sadly true.

      2. ‘America is the place you go when you want to be different.’

        Yeah, no kidding. Like the guy who dance to ‘Beat it’ during the riots in Baltimore.

        I forwarded that to friends and family in Europe and they were in complete utter awe.

      3. Its worth noting that Scandinavia has the higehst social mobility in the first world, and the US/UK the lowest. And Scandinavia has the most startups per head, whith the US second worst (To Lichtenstein)

        1. Based on some EuroTrash rubrik that preselects an outcome and works backwards? This one puts Scandanavia barely ahead of the US:
          http://www.verisi.com/resource…..bility.htm

        2. That’s, actually not discouraging that we would be so much like Lichtenstein. They’re pretty well off, the Lichtensteinians. Lichtensteinese? Lichtensteinish, that’s probably it.

        3. Yes, relative income mobility. It’s utterly meaningless.

  16. Now the story of four wealthy Scandinavian countries who lost everything, and the one son who had no choice but to keep them all together.

    Shading towards 50 comments and no Arrested Development references. H & R commentariat, I am disappoint.

    Bluth… Booth… get it?! I know you do.

  17. I’ll trade insane murder rates, insane wealth stratification, a brutal criminal justice system, endless warmongering, and rule by bible thumpers for “boring” any day. It’s not like the US is a vibrant magical place five minutes outside of any major city. Maybe we can’t handle as much conformity as places like Scandanavia or Japan, but surely there’s a spectrum, and surely we can learn something from societies that do specific things better than ours.

    1. Their criminal justice system looks pretty brutal to me LOL:

      http://www.swedensmostwanted.se/

    2. I’ll trade insane murder rates, insane wealth stratification, a brutal criminal justice system, endless warmongering, and rule by bible thumpers for “boring” any day.

      I’m not given to throwing around “love it or leave it” but I really have to wonder why you’re still here if this is the case? Why are any of the progressives that so love Scandinavia trying to force the rest of us to live like them instead of just moving?

      1. I could ask the same of you, but for some unfathomable reason you don’t think imposing a nationwide policy of radical laissez-faire capitalism actually counts as an imposition. I’ve given thought to leaving, for sure.

        1. Damn evil libertarians, plotting to take over the world and leave you alone!

          1. Not forcing people to do stuff constitutes “imposing” things on them!

            This is what passes for logic in the liberal mind.

            1. You are forcing people to do stuff. You’re forcing them to live a much riskier life than they would have to under a more socialized system. You do not fucking get brownie points for slapping a freedom bumper sticker on your policies. You do evade responsibility for their consequences. Why is this very simple concept so hard for you guys to understand?

              1. You’re forcing them to live a much riskier life than they would have to under a more socialized system.

                Allowing people to have cars forces people to live a much riskier life too. Let’s also not forget the internet. The internet puts all kinds of dangerous ideas in people’s heads.

              2. No, no we’re not. There is nothing about any sort of libertarian agenda that would prevent you from insuring yourself against the many horribles you claim are inevitable under such a system. The difference is that we’re not sticking a gun to your head to make you pay for them. Why is this very simple concept so hard for you to understand?

              3. Welcome to lala land, where asking people to be responsible and pull their own weight is evil and unreasonable.

              4. You are forcing people to do stuff. You’re forcing them to live a much riskier life than they would have to under a more socialized system.

                Freedom is slavery! Not giving is taking!

                If you stop forcing people to subsidize other people’s risk, you’re forcing those other people to live riskier lives! How dare you! It goes against everything you agreed to in the Social Contract!

                1. There are viable alternatives out there, and free people should be able to choose among them. Libertarians seem quite eager to force them all to live under their regime. It’s called freedom! Who could be against that?

                  1. How does one force others to be free from force?

                  2. Tony|4.30.15 @ 12:20PM|#
                    “[…]Libertarians seem quite eager to force them all to live under their regime.[…]”

                    Yep, we’ll come along with our words and coerce you into being free!

                  3. There are viable alternatives out there, and free people should be able to choose among them.

                    You’re certainly free to leave Oklahoma and move to more diverse enclaves like Baltimore, but I guess you’re making too much of that dough-ray-me in Redneckville to motivate you enough to relocate.

              5. You’re forcing them to live a much riskier life than they would have to under a more socialized system

                Actually, socialism looks more like people who don’t want to take risks, having their limited reward outcomes mitigated by redistributing from the people who take risks and reap rewards, to the people who sit still, play it safe, and whine that they never got rich that way.

                Apparently, socialism is risk mitigation for people who to heavily mitigate risk, and it’s not fair that someone should be able to play it safe and watch someone else make more money. Darn, life can be so unfair. Boo hoo.

                1. You don’t think capitalism works all the better when there are more people able to take risks because there is a safety net if they fail? If the options are succeed or starve, most people aren’t going to bother taking any of the risks that drive innovation. Just those with access to daddy’s money, I’d wager.

                  1. If the options are succeed or starve, most people aren’t going to bother taking any of the risks that drive innovation.

                    That has never been the case in America ever.

                    You don’t think capitalism works all the better when there are more people able to take risks because there is a safety net if they fail?

                    No.

                    1. If the options are succeed or starve, most people aren’t going to bother taking any of the risks that drive innovation.

                      If the options are succeed or starve, then I expect a lot of people to make sure they succeed to some degree, and if they can’t pull off starvation avoidance, then I’m somewhat skeptical that they’re about to succeed at driving innovation.

                      You act as if, all we need to do is give a guy minimum income, and, the next thing you know, he’s Steve Jobs. It doesn’t work that way.

                  2. So how did capitalism exist before the safety net?

                  3. Tony….oh you mean like big banks taking major risk thanks to govt policy cause they know government will bail them out? And what did that result in?

                  4. You don’t think capitalism works all the better when there are more people able to take risks because there is a safety net if they fail?

                    How much risk one wishes to undertake should be up to the individual. Your forced safety net is, at best, as effective at mitigating risk as uncoerced methods. In reality it is much, much less efficient. You forcing others into a narrow set of choices stifles creativity and diminishes productivity. Your whole premise of forced “safety net” is based on people being to dumb to take of themselves. Whereas capitalism is just the opposite; people’s resourcefulness and potential for innovation are unbounded. If social security is such a great system there should be no reason to force everyone to participate.

                  5. Some people may take more risk. However, what does that risk look like? Saying “Gee! Someone took risk! Pure awesome!” doesn’t mean anything.

                    For example, let’s say that the “risk” that someone took was to spend their young adult life studying art and writing, instead of something that actually, you know, might make some money. That’s a risk, and it doesn’t apparently do any good for society, by itself.

                    Then, when they don’t turn out to be any kind of artist or writer that anyone would actually pay very much to do it, they whine about how unfair the system is, and how their “risk” needs to be mitigated. And the risk they took was apparently pretending that they might make money doing something that they suck at. Of course, the world is unfair at that point, boo hoo. We definitely need to mitigate those risks. Otherwise, people might just play it safe and, you know, try to actually make money. It’s not like socialist systems are full of people trying to start their own businesses, to some greater extent.

                    Yeah, when you waste your life pursuing things that don’t make money, you could whine to the state to go ahead and mitigate that for you. Or, you could, you know, grow up and be a big boy. It’s never too late to put on your big boy pullup.

                  6. ” If the options are succeed or starve, most people aren’t going to bother taking any of the risks that drive innovation”

                    Meanwhile back in the real world, the greatest economic growth rates in the United State occurred in the time before any of the safety nets were ever created.

                  7. Holy cow, Tony and bliss on the same thread….it’s a doubleheader of stupid.

                2. They do get rich though. Individually and as nations. Risk is not intrinsically linked to rewards. Generally, anyone smart tries to minimize risk while reaping rewards.

              6. Not giving free stuff to people =/= forcing people

              7. “You are forcing people to do stuff. You’re forcing them to live a much riskier life than they would have to under a more socialized system.”

                Only if you accept that government is the only entity capable of mitigate that sort of risk. What about mutual aid societies, private insurance, etc.? It works for other insular groups, like jehova’s witnesses.

                So if Libertarianism lets you have the freedom to get together with other like-minded individuals, and together work to mitigate the risks and responsibilities that come with individual freedom, how are you forced to risk anything?

                The Libertarian solution can accommodate everyone, your solution only has room for you and people like you. So much for equality.

                1. Holger,
                  My grandfather was from Norway, and his mother was from ?rhus… I just want to thank you for your posts in this thread. Very informative.

              8. No Tony, no matter how many times you try to spin it 180 degrees, the absence of force is still not force.

                You are either applying physical force to someone or you are not. It is as simple as that.

                Regardless of whether you have enough brain cells to comprehend it or not.

                1. So we can’t have a decent society because you don’t like that decent societies require force to survive. And you wonder why I don’t bother with libertarianism.

                  1. You bother with libertarianism almost every day.

                    1. Brian

                      Tony bothers libertarians almost everyday.

                  2. We don’t like it that you justify enforcing your “decent society” at gun point. Your mask is slipping, you fascist fuck.

                    C’mon out to my neck of the woods and we can a fundraiser for a Tony hunt.

              9. Yeah, how terrible of me to want to keep other people from leading a more socialized life at my expense. I’m a real dick to the homeless, ya know, for not letting them sleep in my bed.

              10. You’re forcing them to live a much riskier life than they would have to under a more socialized system.

                Not at all. If you want low risk, you can have that in a libertarian society; you have to pay for it yourself, but you usually still come out ahead relative to paying for it through taxes.

        2. If there were a country closer to libertopia than this one I probably would leave.

        3. I had to laugh when you said “I’ve given thought” to something.

      2. Well it’s not like he could if he wanted to. Sweden doesn’t have an open border policy yet and it’s immigration system gives preference to people who happen to third world “refugees.”

      3. Because tony wants to control others…not be controlled

        Order is freedom!!!

    3. You also know that the U.S. is no free market, right? That in fact it’s socialist in quite a few ways and is replete with the consequences of socialism, like unaccountable bureaucracies and arbitrary rule by politicians and judges?

      1. I wouldn’t call it socialist… I’d call it cronyist.

      2. Well, the US is the land of “Too big to fail” and “No bid contracts” I think a lot of people who think Scandinavia “Socialist” would be surprised at just how ferociously capitalist the markets are.

        Nokia was 25 % of Finlands tax income at its peak. Nokia wasnt too big to fail.

        1. You keep refering to Finland as Scandinavia. Use Nordic if you’re going to include Finland. I only point it out because you’re acting like some sort of authority on Nordic countries.

        2. Which is why I contend, as I did up-thread, that treating the US-Europe comparison like a capitalism-socialism comparison is misguided. There are numerous ways in which the US economy is more regulated than many European ones, from regulations of certain industries, some types trade barriers, to corporate tax rates.

        3. You’re playing the equivalent of musical chairs with arguments.

          Yes, progressives in particular have been corroding the US free market system. How is that an argument for doing even more of the same?

          And Nokia didn’t “fail”, it was purchased by Microsoft. Nokia got plenty of support from the Finnish government throughout its existence. Other than that, the Scandinavian countries have been a mess of anything from free markets to nearly socialist.

    4. Just leave then.

    5. “I’ll trade insane murder rates,”

      Why don’t you ask Barry to end the drug war, for starters?

      1. Yeah, I’m not sure what “insane murder rates, insane wealth stratification, a brutal criminal justice system, endless warmongering, and rule by bible thumpers” have to do with the supposed superiority of socialism, but that’s just Toe-Knee for you.

        1. Tony is right: like any form of totalitarianism, socialism, communism, and fascism do tend to reduce or eliminate those. Most of us consider the price too high, though.

    6. rule by bible thumpers

      You’re kidding, right? Obama is a bible thumper? I don’t particularly like the bible thumpers myself, but they are at best fighting a rearguard action to maintain their independence. In any case, they’re exactly your sort of folks: conformists.

      You think conformity is great because you figure that folks who agree with you will be the ones deciding what we all conform to. If you get your conformist society you might be in for a shock.

      1. I’ve never thought of myself as a conformist, nor do I see conformity as a virtue. I’m just for a mixed economy that includes a bigger public sector than the mixed economy you prefer.

        1. Tony|4.30.15 @ 11:43AM|#
          “I’ve never thought of myself as a conformist,[…]”

          Fish don’t recognize they’re in water, either.
          You’re a moral degenerate who probably would suffocate if the gov’t didn’t grant you permission to breathe.

        2. And when the big public sector fails, just keep making it bigger, right?

        3. And just how do you think you’re going to get that “bigger public sector”? By enforcing conformity with it. You can’t separate the two. Fuck man, you’re constantly talking about using the force of the State to make people live the way you want them to. You’re perfectly willing to stick a gun in my face to make me conform.

          1. No, Tony is perfectly willing to ask someone else to stick a gun in your face. Socialists are either snivelling cowards or opportunistic goons – Tony is a coward.

      2. We frequently accuse our enemies of ruling America and oppressing us. It isn’t true, but what we really mean is that their mere existence is intolerable.

      3. All the insane and stupid rules these days seem to be coming from the left, but the left still wants to pretend it is the evil bible thumpers that are the oppresors. You can’t make up this level of stupid and deceptive.

        1. Look at how neo-Victorian the attitudes of leftist college administrations and students have become towards sexual relations and sexual behavior. I would hardly call them “bible-thumpers”, in fact they’d be the first to dispose of the Bible as a source for morality.

          1. I’d sooner trust a bible thumper to dictate my morals than an Andrea Dworkin thumper; at least the former wouldn’t immediately have me castrated.

    7. “I’ll trade” blah blah blah….

      Funny. I just made a comment about people willing to trade their freedom and yours for a modicum of security then I see this comment.

    8. I’ll trade insane murder rates, insane wealth stratification, a brutal criminal justice system, endless warmongering, and rule by bible thumpers for “boring” any day

      Don’t let the door hit you on the way out. I’ve made the reverse trade and not regretted it.

      1. “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out”

        You expect a lefty’s word to mean something? Revealed preference; do you see Sean Penn decamping to Cuba.
        Ha and ha!

        1. When Michael Moore entered an extreme weight loss facility it was in the US.

          1. When, had he not been a hypocrite, he could’ve simply moved to North Korea and got better results. Say what you want about communism, but their 5-year weight loss program is the shiznit.

    9. Tony is the best.

    10. “I’ll trade insane murder rates, insane wealth stratification, a brutal criminal justice system, endless warmongering, and rule by bible thumpers for “boring” any day.”

      You would think so, but in reality, people will trade upside and opportunity for safety. That’s why a gazillion people come here, and not to Canada. Heck, no one goes to…… Montana, even if the unemployment there is like 4% and no one gets shot.

      I’m endlessly amused when white liberals try to discuss other cultures. I’m Asian and I’m intimately familiar with their level exclusion and kowtowing to authority that *should* disgust progressives. You have to be coldly cutthroat and efficient. Needless to say, America’s willingness to go out of their way to greet strangers is shocking to them.

      Tony should spend some time as a Japanese salaryman, working 10-11 hours a day at the company’s whim. Can’t make chit chat, do all sorts of mundane jobs, get hammered on company functions whether you like it or not, and then you get to return to a crappy apartment with no built in heater.

      “Well, at least healthcare is free and I won’t get shot to death”.

      The irony is that if the likes of Tony ran the country, it would almost certainly become more white.

  18. Scandinavia is great if you don’t want to excel.

    If you do, you have to contend with Jante

  19. There’s a great Swedish metal band called Sabaton whose big theme is history, as in almost all their songs are about historical battles.

    A few years ago, they put out a great album called Carolus Rex, in which every song was specifically about Swedish history, particularly the expansionist periods of the thirty year’s war and the reign of Karl XII. For writing this album, the band was pilloried in Swedish media for promoting imperialism, despite the fact that there was no particular praise for the Swedish Empire in the album and they included songs about the disaster at Poltava and Karl XII’s demise.

    Fuck Sweden.

    1. Didn’t they try to get Abba to go on tour because they figured they could collect about $1billion from such a revival tour only to have the band members decline after their accountants pointed out that they would owe abou 110% of what they make in taxes if they did do a tour and managed to get that kind of income?

      1. Abba spelled backwards is Abba.

        Think about it.

    2. Everything I needed to know about Sweden, I learned from Amon Amarth.

  20. if you show naked ambition or arrogance, you will get cut down to size. “Don’t think you are that special, don’t show off, don’t boast.”

    So Denmark’s slogan, if the had one would be “You are not special. You’re not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You’re the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We’re all part of the same compost heap. We’re all singing, all dancing crap of the world.”

  21. You can’t just hope that people will suddenly become conformist and driven by equality. It doesn’t work that way.

    You mean you can’t make people better? I’m sure if you throw enough of them into the gulags and re-education camps you make the New Man. You just have to try harder… /AmSoc

    1. Nicely put sir.

    2. Someone else will have to try harder. He doesn’t want to get the blood and other bodily fluids on his hands.

  22. Some of these Scandinavian countries have tightly restrictive immigration policies driven by radical right-wing parties that are quickly growing in popularity. You point out that Anders Breivik, the neo-nazi psychopath behind the 2011 mass shooting in Norway, was a member of a political party that now controls something like 15 percent of the Norwegian parliament.

    Wow, what a fair and reasonable question. No bias here. I agree that any party which favors a “tightly restrictive immigration policy” is a party composed of murdering, neo-nazi, psychopaths.

    1. Two paragraphs down:

      Breivik left that party because he didn’t find them extreme enough, in their defense.

      Reading comprehension fail.

      1. Reading comprehension fail.

        I thought it was pretty clear that I was being sarcastic and the question was just a chance to smear people who disagree with the author about immigration as neo-nazis.

        1. Wait… crap.

          *grenade I was about to chuck detonates in my hand*

  23. “The difference in Scandinavia is that tall poppy syndrome applies to everyone all the time. So if you show naked ambition or arrogance, you will get cut down to size.”

    This. So much this.

    1. Who wants to live in a culture that couldn’t produce an Elvis???

    2. The idea of holding success in contempt – with profits earned from a business being the main feature – is nothing new in Western culture. There’s always been an overt hostility towards merchants and businesses; unlike the Arab/Islamic world where businessmen were probably the most respected class.

      Scandinavia, Quebec (and to lesser extent parts of Canada), France, Italy, Holland, Spain and even Germany to name a few places have all had their envious spills over the centuries.

      Usually directed at the Jews of course.

      1. Europe hostile towards Jews? Ahem. Citation missing!

  24. Scandinavia sounds rather corporatism, not socialist.

    1. Probably a distinction that is less important than many think. It’s collectivism all the way down.

  25. I learned everything I needed to know about Scandinavia listening to stupid left-wing Quebec nationalists who cum at the idea of emulating them….and Lilyhammer.

  26. Sometimes I daydream about a world where all of the American “progressives” have moved to Scandinavia to enjoy their “paradise”. Then, every election is between the libertarians and the SoCons. It would be pretty damn easy to beat them with the “progressives” out of the picture.

    1. They will feel many sadz in Scandinavia, because they are Americans.

      The native progressives, with whom they’d want to associate, would denounce them simply for being American. The advanced state, and logical end of identity politics would bite them in the ass immediately upon arrival, simply because places like Denmark have “progressed” further.

      Their only friends would ironically be Conservative or Liberal (in the real sense of the world) Danes.

      But of course they would rather want to associate with their peers, people like my former friend, whom upon meeting my American wife for the first time asked me right to my face (in English) why I’d want to have American children. Or the Danish news anchor who on 9/11, live on (government subsidized) TV exclaimed that the Americans had it coming to them, for being American. He wasn’t fired by the way.

      1. You’d be amazed at the extent to which some American progs will just enthusiastically join in the self-hatred fest. For many it wouldn’t faze them in the least; might even enhance the experience.

        I liked most of the Europeans I met in any case. But they were ‘southerners.’ Not sure the Berliners or Hamburgers would have been as hospitable. In fact when it comes to arrogance and hostility, I’ve heard Berliners are almost as bad as New Yorkers.

      2. Bruce Bawer talked about this in one of his books or articles. He noted how, upon meeting fellow expats in Norway, they’d almost reflexively start bashing the US, expecting him to join in. He said it was almost like a code between them, the “omg! -can-you-believe-how-childish-and- crude-America-is?!?” voiced into a mutual recognition of both having abandoned it for something much more sophisticated and civilized. He said they were always taken aback when he didn’t agree.

        1. Bawer’s book “While Europe Slept” was illuminating, to say the least.

  27. When the author refers to a developed nation as “semi-feral” that should be a hint that the book is tounge-in-cheek.

    Anyway, if you were to take four American nations, say the USA, Mexico, Canada and Cuba, and list all the negative things about all of them and try to pretend that each issue applies to all four countries, its going to look a lot worse tha the reality.

    Which is basically the case here.

    1. You’re a doofus if you think four insular societies bred from the same stock and with extremely similar cultures can’t be talked about as a unit. USA has such a stunningly unique genesis and history that our fuck ups are our own – we have neighborhood wide problems, sure, but USA is not to Cuba what Sweden is to Norway.

      1. This. It would be more apt to say that New Jersey is to New York, what Sweden is to Norway.

    2. Which is basically the case here.

      It’s the case here because progressives keep talking about the “Nordic model” and (more generally) “Europeans”. In their glowing assessment of Europe, they pick and choose whatever policies they like in any one country and ignore the rest.

      This book takes the four Nordic countries and shows that although there may be things people legitimately like about them, they each are paying a heavy price; just like the things that are good about each of them are different, so are the things that are bad about them.

      The point is what you just acknowledged: there is no Nordic model for the US to emulate, just a bunch of tiny countries with a bunch of idiosyncracies; countries that pay a heavy price for the few gimmicks people like you like about them.

  28. The plight of the “Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” would indicate that the author found something not so perfect in Sweden’s social services.

  29. “Sweden has an amazingly humanitarian, open-door policy, which has been extremely beneficial to their economy over the last few years.”

    Absolute nonsense. Immigration to Sweden is a huge net loss both to the welfare state and to the private sector. This guy has no idea what he is talking about.

  30. I get paid over $87 per hour working from home with 2 kids at home. I never thought I’d be able to do it but my best friend earns over 10k a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless. Heres what I’ve been doing,

    ————- http://www.work-cash.com

  31. It seems clear to me that Rob Montz ether doesn’t know what he is talking about or is deliberately trying to misinform people.

    Rob tries to insinuate that many Norwegians agree whith the views of the murderer Breivik. “Anders Breivik, the neo-nazi psychopath behind the 2011 mass shooting in Norway, was a member of a political party that now controls something like 15 percent of the Norwegian parliament” While true, 15% of the population do not in any way support or condone his actions.

    Other examples are just as misinforming.

    “Our children didn’t take well to having chairs thrown at them and teachers not turning up”
    This sort of thing is by no means common in Scandinavian schools.

    “three kids have an impromptu running race on the pavement and one of the kids won and did an American-football-style celebration. His mother grabbed him by the arm and scolded him for that.”
    Unless he was being mean about winning to the other kids no sane mother would scold any child for being happy about winning.

    “Norwegian media is so deeply dull that one of its most popular television shows ever is?this is for real?a seven-hour real-time feed from a camera mounted on a train traversing mountains”
    Was this popular.. probably, is it representative, not really, still way more entertaining than other reality shows.

    Rob brings up some issues, blows them out of proportion and twists them to fit his preconceived message. Scandinavia is a Collectivist Paradise? Of course not.

  32. I get paid over $87 per hour working from home with 2 kids at home. I never thought I’d be able to do it but my best friend earns over 10k a month doing this and she convinced me to try. The potential with this is endless. Heres what I’ve been doing,

    ————- http://www.work-cash.com

  33. Scandinavia, the Nederlands, Switzerland, Germany, are the most civilized countries on Earth. Of course not perfect, too many immigrants from cultures incapable of producing democracy, freedom, prosperity and rule of law will destroy them if policicies do not change.

    In spite of the high taxes they manage to have highly competitive high tech innovative industries able to pay high salaries to employees whospay high taxes to sustain everything.

    Trump is a desperate reaction of assimilated voters of all backgrounds and colours to save the US from the claws of the Messianic Left.

    It does not look likely Trump will succeed; too many messianic leftist now control the media, Hollywood, many large companies and many rich are suicidal anti American. I is as if their wealth makes them destructively guilty.

    American politics has gone basically nuts for decades, perhaps it started when masses of European refugees poured in after WW II. Basically in the US you have a hiperarticulate left which extremely shred at convincing millions of ordinary Americans that “America is bad and everyhing has to be taken down”. It is madness but…

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