Contributor Post Created with Sketch. We Used to be Warriors

 
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By User: David Newton – Swedish War Flag and Naval Ensign

We used to be warriors. We used to make things, and break things, and fight for our lives. We used to have farms here, the people were quiet but proud and never asked anything of anyone. They took pride in the type of honesty that never really got you anywhere fancy but made sure you ended up right. But that was a long time ago.

Last week, the Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, was interviewed in the Financial Times and the old union-boss-turned-Social-Democrat-powerhouse used this international platform to complain about the Swedish voters and what he sees as their “surreal outlook” on government finances. “All the numbers are going in the right direction,” Löfven said, and went on to say that he couldn’t fathom why everyone is obsessed with immigration when the Swedish economy is strong and immigration is far from the cataclysm we saw a few months ago.

At first glance, the Prime Minister is right, but the problem is that the numbers are a castle built upon — and hiding — a deep pit. According to the latest numbers from the Swedish Migration Agency, 163,000 refugees arrived in Sweden in 2015. The added cost for this mass-immigration is estimated to 30 billion SEK ($3.5B USD). Within two years, that cost is expected rise to 73 billion SEK ($8.6B USD). The Swedish government is financing this through loans and municipal taxes, which artificially inflate the economy, presenting false growth built on stimulus packages and miniscule interest-rates that cannot sustain themselves but make for good reports when presenting a government budget.

Within the next term, over a million people — 10 percent of the population — will be living off government benefits. The fact that fewer and fewer people are paying taxes has meant that those who actually do pay a significantly higher percentage, causing a halt in production, investment, small business-growth, and spending. Big businesses are moving their production abroad and the costs for these losses are slowly but surely being pushed onto the states to create an image of federal-level net-gain while the smaller municipalities bleed money, frantically trying to deliver the services that Sweden is known for at a level we haven’t afforded since 1985.

We used to be warriors, but now we are a country falling beneath the weight of many failed ventures and too many truths untold. Sweden was built on high taxes and high rewards and the mutual understanding that everyone contributes and everyone benefits in equal measure. This is the socialism US Senator Bernie Sanders likes to speak of in such glowing terms. The system functioned as long as the social contract was upheld, but now that the terms of the deal have been violated, the government refuses to adjust the books accordingly.

We used to be warriors, we used to be Vikings, but we also used to be closed-off and remote. The country lauded by American liberals has not existed in a very long time and what they see now is a shell being held up by an impossible tax-burden and an ideology deemed obsolete in most parts of the industrialized world.

We used to be warriors, and that distant memory is the Sweden hailed by some on the Left, omitting that what they view as the future has been the past for us for quite some time. The Swedish model, built by a loyal and diligent working-class has broken apart in the meeting with the outside world.

Memories are beautiful, as is idealism, but one cannot build a country on snapshots of yesteryear nor a society on lies excused by misty-eyed sentimentality.

There are 12 comments.

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  1. Tree Rat Member

    It is a shining example of the future that hasn’t failed yet.

    • #1
    • April 19, 2016, at 5:24 AM PDT
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  2. I Walton Member

    “Sweden was built on high taxes and high rewards and the mutual understanding that everyone contributes and everyone benefits in equal measure. This is the socialism US Senator Bernie Sanders likes to speak of in such glowing terms.”

    Wasn’t it built on a strong work ethic, low taxes and not become a high tax welfare state until it was already industrialized and relatively wealthy? Taxes and Welfare are ways to spend wealth, not create it.

    • #2
    • April 19, 2016, at 5:39 AM PDT
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  3. Paula Lynn Johnson Inactive

    Annika Hernroth-Rothstein: The fact that fewer and fewer people are paying taxes has meant that those who actually do pay a significantly higher percentage, causing a halt in production, investment, small business-growth, and spending.

    Plus more people living off government benefits? That sounds disturbingly familiar . . .

    Thank you for this. I’m sharing it with my two teenagers, who like to talk about how the European “social democracies” function so much better than here.

    • #3
    • April 19, 2016, at 5:43 AM PDT
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  4. OldDanRhody's speakeasy Member

    Annika Hernroth-Rothstein:Last week, the Swedish Prime Minister, Stefan Löfven, was interviewed in the Financial Times and the old union-boss-turned-Social-Democrat-powerhouse used this international platform to complain about the Swedish voters …

    We used to be warriors, but now we are a country falling beneath the weight of many failed ventures and too many truths untold. Sweden was built on high taxes and high rewards and the mutual understanding that everyone contributes and everyone benefits in equal measure. …

    It would appear that in Sweden, just like here, we get what we (collectively) vote for. Our castle stands over a $19,000,000,000,000 pit as well.

    • #4
    • April 19, 2016, at 5:58 AM PDT
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  5. BrentB67 Inactive

    Apparently the film industry there is quite robust as evidenced by this masterpiece.

    • #5
    • April 19, 2016, at 6:10 AM PDT
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  6. SkipSul Coolidge
    SkipSul Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Makes me glad my great-grandparents booked it out of there over a century ago, and my distant cousins (Swede-Finns) are happily living in Finland instead, which seems a bit less self-destructive (the proximity to, and danger of Russia tends to focus the mind a bit more I think).

    • #6
    • April 19, 2016, at 7:01 AM PDT
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  7. Canadian Cincinnatus Member

    Don’t be too hard on yourself Annika.

    While Sweden is groaning under the weight of a high taxes and a rampant welfare state, and is crippled by the straight-jacket of Political Correctness, it still has world-beater industries like Volvo and Husqvarna. And with a population of 10 million, it is the world’s smallest country to build its own jet fighter (the Saab Gripen). Even Israel can’t accomplish that!

    Perhaps under the beta-male socialist, the Viking is still lurking underneath.

    • #7
    • April 19, 2016, at 7:44 AM PDT
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  8. Johnny Dubya Inactive

    1878HarpersMar16There is so much wisdom contained in the two children’s stories The Goose That Laid The Golden Eggs and The Little Red Hen. They contain all one really needs to know about the greed of socialism, which leads to (a) plundering and destruction – for short-term gain – of the engines of economic growth, and (b) envy and unjustified grasping of the fruits of others’ labor.

    Bernie Sanders and other progressives often speak of the “greed” of capitalism. As William F. Buckley, Jr. stated, the problem with socialism is socialism, and the problem with capitalism is capitalists. Individual greed can be ugly, even as it is productive, but institutionalized, systematic greed is by far the worse evil.

    • #8
    • April 19, 2016, at 8:07 AM PDT
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  9. Hartmann von Aue Member

    Takk skall du ha for bidragen. Men fraget aer, vad kunne/skulle vi har gora for att hjalpa var vanner i norden? Jag vill inte bara lasa, att finns problemer med svensk politik- det vet jag redan!

    • #9
    • April 19, 2016, at 11:57 AM PDT
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  10. Hartmann von Aue Member

    Sorry to everyone else for the Swedish and to Annika for the lack of special characters (and any errors that would be there without them anyway). Use or loose it applies to active command of languages, too, and this is one of my few chances. Your kind indulgence is appreciated.

    • #10
    • April 19, 2016, at 11:59 AM PDT
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  11. The Cloaked Gaijin Member

    Ricochet podcast contributor Kevin D. Williamson wrote the book The Politically Incorrect Guide to Socialism which includes a chapter entitled “Why Sweden Stinks.”

    1. As of statistics from about 10 years ago and before Obama, if Sweden were a state in the United States, it would be the poorest and the poorest demographic behind African Americans.
    2. In 1970, Sweden had the 4th-highest average income. By 2000, it was in 14th place.
    3. Sweden has one of the highest disparities between immigrants’ unemployment and native-born unemployment in the developed world. Apparently there are about 25,000 Somalis in Minneapolis who run 800 businesses as compared to about 50,000 Somalis in Sweden who run 38 businesses. I guess that means a Somali in Minneapolis is about 40 times more likely to be successful as a businessman.
    4. About 16% of the national government’s expenditures goes to subsidizing worker’s sick days. “How is it that one of the healthiest group of citizens on the planet are so frequently disabled and so often sick to work?”

    In another decade or two, a person (or robot) could be writing a book with a chapter entitled “Why America Stinks.”

    • #11
    • April 19, 2016, at 5:36 PM PDT
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  12. The Cloaked Gaijin Member

    To say something nice about Sweden, they don’t seem to have the crazy divorce laws that America has. Apparently, things like alimony and child support have to be sorted out before the marriage.

    I was also reading something on the Daily Caller that Sweden has some nice combat airplanes that could be used to replace the white elephant planes that United States has which require “42 man-hours of maintenance for each hour in the air.”

    http://dailycaller.com/2016/01/22/american-gripen-the-solution-to-the-f-35-nightmare/

    • #12
    • April 19, 2016, at 5:42 PM PDT
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