The Welfare State: The Root of Europe’s Problems

I have heard comments from people who thought Fjordman was from Sweden, because I write at least as much about Sweden as I do about my own country, Norway. There are several reasons for this. The most important one is that Sweden is probably one of the worst, if not the worst, country in the Western world when it comes to Political Correctness. Norway is pretty bad, Sweden is absolutely insane. Which makes it fun to write about.

The other reason is that Sweden is the largest and best known of the Scandinavian countries. When people in Canada or the USA discuss the Scandinavian welfare state, they usually talk about the “Swedish model,” not the “Norwegian model.” The Swedish welfare state was presented during the Cold War as a middle way between capitalism and Communism. When this model of a society collapses – and it will collapse – it is thus not just the Swedish welfare state that will collapse but the symbol of Sweden, the showcase of an entire ideological world view.

Besides, Norway is a special case in the Western world since it is the world’s third largest exporter of oil, next to Saudi Arabia and Russia. Norway’s considerable oil wealth will keep the welfare state artificially afloat for years to come. I will thus mainly concentrate on Sweden in my writings below.

Let me first say that there are positive aspects to the welfare state model. It would be hypocritical of me to say anything else, as I have enjoyed some of its benefits by growing up in one. It is also not entirely incorrect to say that it has worked better in Scandinavia than anywhere else. Still, my view is that there are critical flaws to this model. Although they may not bring the system down right away, they will do so over time. My bet is that we are approaching the point where the Swedish welfare state will cease to function.

Even if you consider a national welfare state to be a totally closed system without migration in or out and without international competition – which isn’t possible, of course – there are internal flaws that will, over time, weaken the structure.

Judging from the experiences in Scandinavia, the welfare state worked to some extent because it was based in small and ethnically homogenous nations, with a strong cultural and religious (Protestant) work ethic which had just experienced several generations of a booming capitalist economy. These traits kept the system afloat for decades, but the work ethic and the sense of duty slowly got eroded and replaced by a sense of rights, while the high taxation and the passivity bred by the system eroded initiative and the will to take risks. Again, these flaws are inherent to the model. They make time to develop, but they will, eventually.

The welfare state will also be subject to external pressures. International competition will make a welfare state economy less competitive because the high tax rates in the will stifle economic growth.

Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew points this out: “In the end, the workers, whether they like it or not, will realize, that the cosy European world which they created after the war has come to an end. [...] “The social contract that led to workers sitting on the boards of companies and everybody being happy rested on this condition: I work hard, I restore Germany’s prosperity, and you, the state, you have to look after me. I’m entitled to go to Baden Baden for spa recuperation one month every year. This old system was gone in the blink of an eye when two to three billion people joined the race – one billion in China, one billion in India and over half-a-billion in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.”

One study warned that Europe risks becoming a “second- or third-world region” within a generation because strict labor laws are preventing companies from restructuring properly. David Lewin, who co-wrote the study, said European countries were falling behind the United States because of a lack of investment in information and communication technology (ICT). Companies in Europe had to pursue a policy of “creative destruction” to change the way they do business and learn from the “hire and fire” culture of the US to compete with emerging Asian companies. Mr Lewin added: “It is all down to employment law. In the US if you are made redundant three or four times that is normal, but in Europe there is a stigma.”

Another factor is immigration, and welfare states tend to attract the “wrong” kind of immigrants, those who would be likely to piggyback on the system, while the most dynamic immigrants tend naturally to travel to countries where they pay less tax and thus receive more in return for their work and efforts.

A Danish think tank has estimated that the net cost of immigration was up to 50 billion kroner every year, and those were cautious estimates. A study found that every other immigrant from the Third World – especially from Muslim countries – lacked the qualifications for even the most menial jobs on the organized Danish labor market.

In Norway, social benefits and salaries for low-skilled workers are among the highest in the world. At the same time, the salaries for highly skilled workers are comparatively lower and the taxes are high. This compressed salary structure is the result of decades of Socialist policies in Scandinavia. It leads to attracting people with lower skills and little education, who tend to become a burden on the welfare state, but also makes the countries less attractive for researchers and scientists.

The Western European welfare states thus get crushed by two opposing forces of globalization: The success of the Asian countries, which push us out of global markets, and the failure of Africa and the Islamic world, which send much of their excess population to us and push us out of our own cities.

A welfare state such as the Swedish one will thus experience a long, slow decline due to its inherent flaws, and a faster and more dangerous disintegration with the introduction of mass immigration of persons who do not share any group loyalty with that nation state and do not have the cultural background necessary to uphold the welfare state. The natives will, at the same time, become less willing to pay huge sums if this is seen as supporting other ethnic groups, and may eventually decide to leave the country. A welfare state can only work in an ethnically homogenous society with high levels of mutual trust. Immigration will remove much of this trust.

Nima Sanandaji, an Iranian who has lived for some years in Sweden, describes how during the 1870s Sweden was an impoverished nation. All this changed as capitalism was introduced in the country. “Free markets, property rights and the rule of law created an environment where the Swedish people could achieve a long period of rapid economic development.” After WW2, the Social Democrats initiated a large-scale expansion of the welfare state. Income taxes doubled between 1960 and 1990, rising from approximately 30 to 60 percent.

“P.J. O’Rourke once wrote that no American would work if they lived in a system such as the Swedish welfare state, where government is ‘generous’ with benefits to the unemployed, those on sick leave and those that have retired. What makes Sweden interesting is that for a long time people were very reluctant to take advantage of the system. The Swedish population had a strong tradition of entrepreneurship and hard work and continued to work hard even though they now had the option to live off government. But people do adapt their morality to maximize their benefits in the economic system in which they live, although this might take a generation or so.”

“According to the Institute for Labour Policies the average salary of a person who has studied at a university for three years is only five percent higher of somebody who is uneducated. [...] The European welfare systems have functioned because of strong work ethics that made people reluctant to exploit them,” according to Sanandaji

I have criticized Johan Norberg, a free-market champion and Libertarian, for having a naïve view of immigration. He does. But he can still have some insights into flaws of the welfare state. “The architects of the cradle-to-grave Swedish system said that if it couldn’t work there, it wouldn’t work anywhere. Well, it didn’t and it doesn’t. [...] For a while, it performed well for the very reason that its master planners, Nobel Prize winners Gunnar and Alva Myrdal, thought it would: that Sweden was the ideal country to try the welfare state experiment. [...] The Swedish population was small and homogeneous, with high levels of trust in one another and the government,” Johan Norberg explains. It also had a culture with a strong Protestant work ethic, a trait it shared with the other Scandinavian countries. Even with all that, “the Swedish model is rotting from within,” Norberg writes.

Norberg says it would be unwise to abandon the work ethic, because once we have enough money to satisfy basic needs, such as food and health, what makes us happy is not the money but the activities we engage in to get it. Human beings like solving problems, planning and hoping for the future, and work and careers enable us to do this. “If government becomes too paternalistic it deprives us of the need to be responsible for ourselves,” he says. “Then two things happen. We don’t get those challenges that seem to make us happier. And after a while we might even lose our capacity to make choices, which in terms of happiness is the worst thing that can happen to a person.”

In his classic The True Believer, Eric Hoffer writes something similar: “The poor on the borderline of starvation live purposeful lives. To be engaged in a desperate struggle for food and shelter is to be wholly free from a sense of futility. The goals are concrete and immediate. Every meal is a fulfillment; to go to sleep on a full stomach is a triumph; and every windfall a miracle. What need could they have for ‘an inspiring super individual goal which could give meaning and dignity to their lives?’ They are immune to the appeal of a mass movement. [...] There is perhaps no more reliable indicator of a society’s ripeness for a mass movement than the prevalence of unrelieved boredom. In almost all the descriptions of the periods preceding the rise of mass movements there is reference to vast ennui; and in their earliest stages mass movements are more likely to find sympathizers and support among the bored than among the exploited and oppressed.”

Is this boredom, the sense of futility and the meaningless of life in the nanny state one of the causes of the famously high suicide rates in Scandinavia? Theodore Dalrymple thinks so: “One reason for the epidemic of self-destructiveness that has struck British, if not the whole of Western, society, is the avoidance of boredom. For people who have no transcendent purpose to their lives and cannot invent one through contributing to a cultural tradition (for example), in other words who have no religious belief and no intellectual interests to stimulate them, self-destruction and the creation of crises in their life is one way of warding off meaninglessness.”

Dalrymple identifies the welfare state as one of the root causes of Europe’s problems: “The principal motor of Europe’s current decline is, in my view, its obsession with social security, which has created rigid social and economic systems that are extremely resistant to change. And this obsession with social security is in turn connected with a fear of the future: for the future has now brought Europe catastrophe and relative decline for more than a century.”

“But there are other threats to Europe. The miserabilist view of the European past, in which achievement on a truly stupendous scale is disregarded in favor of massacre, oppression and injustice, deprives the population of any sense of pride or tradition to which it might contribute or which might be worth preserving. This loss of cultural confidence is particularly important at a time of mass immigration from very alien cultures.”

Observer Per Bylund notes how the welfare state corrupted Sweden: “Old people in Sweden say that to be Swedish means to supply for your own, to take care of yourself, and never be a burden on anyone else’s shoulders. Independence and hard work was the common perception of a decent life, and the common perception of morality.” The slogan in Norway was “Do your duty, demand your rights.” Over time, “duty” tends to become eroded, leaving only the sense of “rights.” According to Bylund, “The problem is that the welfare state was created and it would dramatically change people’s lives and affect their morality in a fundamental way.”

“People seem unable to enjoy life without responsibility for one’s actions and choices, and it is impossible to feel pride and independence without having the means to control one’s life. The welfare state has created a dependent people utterly incapable of finding value in life; instead, they find themselves incapable of typical human feelings such as pride, honor, and empathy. These feelings, along with the means to create meaning to life, have been taken over by the welfare state. [...] Perhaps this explains why such a large part of the young population now consumes antidepressant medication, without which they are unable to function normally in social situations. And presumably it explains why the number of suicides among very young people who never really knew their parents.”

This last point, the absence of biological parents because the state becomes your substitute mother and father, is highly significant. Bylund points out that “most of us were not raised by our parents at all. We were raised by the authorities in state daycare centers from the time of infancy; then pushed on to public schools, public high schools, and public universities; and later to employment in the public sector and more education via the powerful labor unions and their educational associations. The state is ever-present and is to many the only means of survival — and its welfare benefits the only possible way to gain independence.”

A significant number of the problems we are witnessing now in Scandinavia and in Western Europe in general have their roots in the ideology of the all-encompassing state. Education teaches people to respect the consensus, not sabotage it. As Roland Huntford demonstrated in the book The New Totalitarians, Sweden is a “peaceful utopia” controlled by a bureaucracy which actively discourages all signs of individuality and dissent.

This totalitarian impulse was implicit in the welfare state from its very inception. Marcos Cantera Carlomagno in 1995 published a PhD thesis at Lund University describing a series of letters sent by Per Albin Hansson, leader of the Swedish Social Democrats who was Prime Minister between 1932 and 1946 and worked for the establishment of “Folkhemmet,” the People’s Home, as the Swedish welfare state model became known as. The embarrassing fact was that Hansson was a very dear pen pal with Italy’s Fascist leader Mussolini during the 1930s, and praised the corporate, Fascist system where the entire economy and each individual were intimately tied to and subordinate to the state. Carlomagno’s work was totally ignored by the entire media and political establishment in Sweden when it appeared in the 1990s.

The Social Democrats have ruled Sweden, with only a few years exception, in the 74 years since 1932, and have such a dominant position in the country that some Swedes have warned against signs of a “one-party-state.” Professor Bo Rothstein at the University of Gothenburg complains that the Social Democratic government “controls in detail” much of the research going on in the country, by hand-picking which researchers who will receive funding and be hired for certain projects. Rothstein fears that this politicization of research is so widespread that it is damaging the vitality of the Swedish democracy.

This close ideological connection between Socialists and Fascists might surprise those who have been brought up to believe that these ideologies are polar opposites. In fact, they have more in common with each other than either have with classical liberalism, not the least the tendency to reduce the individual to an organic part of the state. F.A. Hayek pointed this out in The Road to Serfdom:

“In Germany and Italy the Nazis and the Fascists did indeed not have much to invent. The usages of the new political movements which pervaded all aspects of life had in both countries already been introduced by the socialists. The idea of a political party which embraces all activities of the individual from the cradle to the grave, which claims to guide his views on everything […] was first put into practice by the socialists.

It was not the Fascists but the socialists who began to collect children from the tenderest age into political organisations to make sure they grew up as good proletarians. It was not the Fascists but the socialists who first thought of organising sports and games, football and hiking, in party clubs where the members would not be infected by other views. It was the socialists who first insisted that the party member should distinguish himself from others by the modes of greeting and the forms of address. It was they who by their organisation of “cells” and devices for the permanent supervision of private life created the prototype of the totalitarian party.”

Ulf Nilson, columnist in newspaper Expressen and one of the saner voices in Sweden, thinks that: “Any idiot can see that Swedish leaders – starting with [Social Democratic PM] Palme and his gang – have been waging a war on the family, father, mother, child, since at least the 70’s. The law of individual taxation from 1971 did in reality abolish stay-at-home-moms. The overwhelming majority of families became dependent on two salaries. Thus the child was collectivized; children became the property of the state and a state responsibility.” This thinking was “exemplified by the famous citation: “You [the state] can’t possible be thinking of unloading the burden of responsibility onto the parents?”

Policy analyst Jill Kirby claims that this “Nationalisation of Childhood” is happening in welfare state Britain, too: “It builds on the Chancellor’s doctrine of ‘progressive universalism’, rooted in the belief that the state must intervene in the lives of all, for their own good. [...] The Marxist doctrine was brought up to date by Anthony Giddens, one of the architects of New Labour, in 1998. In The Third Way, Giddens explained how the ‘democratisation’ of the family demands that responsibility for childcare be shared not only between men and women but also between parents and nonparents. Giddens also proposed that in the democratic family, parents would have to ‘negotiate’ for authority over their children.”

“The role of parents would, in effect, be subsidiary to the state. [...] In the guise of a caring, child-centred administration, constantly proclaiming its desire to support parents and reduce inequality, this Government is effecting a radical change in the balance of authority between parents, children and the state. The nationalisation of childhood is no longer a Marxist dream; it is becoming a British reality.”

Øystein Djupedal, Minister of Education and Research in Norway’s current Leftist coalition government, stated in public that: “I think that it’s simply a mistaken view of child-rearing to believe that parents are the best to raise children. Children need a village, said Hillary Clinton. But we don’t have that. The village of our time is the kindergarten.” He later retracted this statement after public reactions, saying that parents have the main responsibility for raising their children, but that “kindergartens are a fantastic device for children, and it is good for children to spend time in kindergarten before [they] start school.” The Ministry of Education and Research in Norway is responsible for nursery education, primary and lower secondary education, day-care facilities for school children, upper secondary education and institutions of higher education. Basically, everything Norwegians learn from kindergarten to Universities and PhD level.

Bruce Bawer, author of the book While Europe Slept, who lives in Norway, has heard Norwegians talk a lot about “solidarity,” but when his partner was attacked in the middle of a rush-hour crowd in Oslo, nobody came to his aid. “Solidarity doesn’t just mean a spirit of community – it means a spirit of community mediated through government institutions.” “There does seem to exist in Western Europe a deadly pattern of passivity that derives from a habit – born of life in a welfare state – of expecting the government to take care of things.”

Americans say “God bless America” or “In God we trust.” Europeans giggle and think it’s funny or silly. But we have some buzzwords of our own. “Solidarity,” for instance. Is the welfare state, on some deep, subconscious level, a substitute for God? An omnipresent state instead of an omnipresent God? Europeans lost belief in God in Auschwitz and the trenches of WW1. We no longer trust in God, so we put our trust in the welfare state, to create a small oasis of security on a continent that has had such a turbulent history. The irony is that it worked well only in countries which used to have a strong religious base, a Protestant work ethic and sense of duty. As that religious heritage gets weakened, so does a necessary precondition for the welfare state.

It will do nothing to “provide security” in the face of Islamic Jihad, however. The welfare state breeds passivity. For rulers, this can be quite useful. The official reason for the welfare state is to alleviate poverty. This may be part of the reason, but we should remember that a powerful state bureaucracy which deals with all aspects of life also leaves a great deal of power to those on top of that bureaucracy, ruling people who have been pacified and emasculated by decades of state indoctrination and interference in their private lives. I suspect one of the reasons why Europeans put up with a powerful EU bureaucracy running much of Europe’s affairs is that we have already been accustomed with this on a national level.

Anna Ekelund in the newspaper Aftonbladet writes that: “We are a people who allow ourselves to be insulted by the government on a daily basis. We are not expected to be capable of thinking for ourselves, of deciding what we will read, or managing our own money. We pay up and smile in deference to the ‘better schools and healthcare’ slogan, only to be met in the autumn of our lives with a shrug of the shoulders and the final humiliation. So we direct our outrage instead towards gender hierarchy and pornography. [...] Swedes are as co-dependent as an alcoholic’s wife. Yet we do not hurry to the ballot box to remove the prevailing systems. Not because we don’t want to but because too many of us have painted ourselves into their corners.”

In Norway, people are not allowed to buy beer in shops after 8 pm. This is because, well, I don’t know why really, probably because the nanny state wants to look after us and make sure we don’t drink too much or something. An adult person can thus walk into a shop at 08.01 pm, the beer is there but you are not allowed to buy it. Norwegians accept this, just as we accept that the state keeps official lists of which names you are allowed to use for your children, what kind of toilet you have in your cottage etc. We are used to following rules, and do so too frequently without question.

To demonstrate just how far acceptance of state interference has gone, Norway will shut down private companies that refuse to recruit at least 40 percent women to their boards by 2007 under an unprecedented equality drive. Former Minister Laila Daavoey said that all state-controlled firms had already complied. “If we can recruit women to our state companies why can’t private businesses do it too?” Female directors must make up at least 40 percent of all new shareholder-owned companies’ boards of directors from January 2006. Existing stock companies will have two years to conform to the new quotas. Minister Karita Bekkemellem says “This is all about sharing power and influence and it is intervention in private ownership, but it was overdue.”

Now, what happens if this powerful state bureaucracy gets taken over by people who, say, want to push Multiculturalism and Muslim immigration? In this case, this ingrained passivity becomes extremely dangerous. The welfare state weakens the ability of citizens to protect themselves and think for themselves. It no longer provides “security,” in fact it provides insecurity, since we are financing our own, Islamic colonization. It is used to pacify the general populace by the Eurabian elites. Not only will the welfare state collapse, it probably must collapse.

Journalist and writer Kurt Lundgren notes on his blog that Sweden during the past five years has witnessed the largest mass-emigration in the country’s history since the peak of the immigration to the USA more than a century ago. The people leaving are primarily highly educated, native middle class Swedes. Common reasons cited for leaving are rampant crime and a sense of hopelessness and resignation over poor political leadership. At the same time, Sweden receives a large amount of immigrants from Third World and Islamic nations every year. Is this population replacement profitable for Sweden as a nation?

Lundgren states that it feels like “being spectator to a huge social experiment: The dismantling of an entire nation, one of the oldest in Europe, with all its traditions, its entire history for good or bad, the national awareness and the nation’s soul; all of this shall be eroded in a planned process. Nobody knows what will come instead of this, but there could be something monstrous emerging from this, something really terrifying...”

Lundgren read a book about the collapse of the Soviet Union, and believes the system collapsed when the vision of reality presented by the authorities and the media became too different from the realities people experienced in their everyday lives. He fears the same thing is now about to happen in Sweden. What makes the situation particularly serious is the constant influx of unemployed and partly unemployable immigrants

“I don’t think even a tax rate of 64 percent will do to sustain the illusion of a welfare state. Maybe it will take 70 percent or more in the future. Perhaps before the year 2010 we will reach a point where the fantasy image we are presented no longer can be reconciled with what the people are experiencing. At that point, everything will fall apart, just like in the Soviet Union, but there will be a few more years of disintegration and chaos until we reach this point.”

The Buddha tells a story about a man and a raft which is used as a simile for understanding his teachings. The raft should be used to cross over to the other shore, but not for anything more:

“Upon reaching the further shore, he might think, ‘How useful this raft has been to me! Why don’t I, having hoisted it on my head or carrying on my back, go wherever I like?’ What do you think, monks: Would the man, in doing that, be doing what should be done with the raft?”

“No, lord.” replied the monks.

“And what should the man do in order to be doing what should be done with the raft? There is the case where the man, having crossed over, would think, ‘How useful this raft has been to me! Why don’t I, having dragged it on dry land or sinking it in the water, go wherever I like?’ In doing this, he would be doing what should be done with the raft.”

That is what Western Europeans should do with the welfare state.

The welfare state wasn’t all bad, and it did indeed work better in Scandinavia than anywhere else. However, the welfare state belongs to a specific historical epoch that we are now rapidly leaving behind, and its flaws are starting to catch up with it. The welfare state creates a false sense of security in a dog-eat-dog world. It can even be quite dangerous to cling on to a raft when you are heading for a waterfall. Instead of clinging on to the raft, which may in fact drag you down with it, the sensible thing to do is to make it to the shore and continue without it.

The welfare state is dead, long live the welfare state.

Back To Reality - but not in this or the next election-period

The reason why there is no peaceful way back from a tax-based ideologic system to reality is that the solution definitely is not understood by more than five percent - that certainly is not placed in the parliament - and most of all because it implies a long run perspective of steady goal-oriented pattern of actions, and the textbooks just deal with the short run: - it is not difficult, when you know

J. E. Vig, Denmark

An unwanted system that certainly will disappear - after a war

When it comes to welfare and to the Swedish or the Danish models of welfare the far most servere facts are these:

Some are organized by principles of private insurance some are financed entirely by taxation. This implies substantial differences in respect to total consumption of welfare, re-distribution and equalization among individuals and over time, and not at least in respect to the vulnerability of the welfare now and in the future, regardless if the degree of preparedness or the willingness to face reality among the decision-makers is taken in to consideration. But it is not the worst and the end is catastrophic.

In Denmark and Sweden almost the entire welfare is financed by taxation. This implies that the consumptions of welfare is private but the finances are public/taxation-based. With a decreasing foundation to tax at the highest rates of taxation found in the world it is impossible to rise the rates further. Systems entirely financed by taxation have the characteristics and even inclines to grow according to the public budget, often decided by both an explicit and an implicit steady growing-mechanism of the taxation and most of all totally independent of peoples generations. Systems entirely financed by individual payments to private or public security-funds on the other hand are based on insurance principles, and they are meant to include considerations entirely of individual lifetime-distribution of purchasing-power without any built-in re-distribution or even equalization for example between different levels of incomes or between payers and receivers of transfers and service unlike many taxbased systems.

The voters in Denmark have never been asked if they wanted a tax-based system. And that is the point: The central argument and the starting point all the way through is and was: ”a larger labour force implies larger employment”. The labour force is the part of the population who supplies their work on the labour market. Pensioners, children and young ones in education are typical not included in the labour force. The whole way of thinking is built on Say’s Law, Keynes and Karl Marx: “Supply creates demand” and traditional welfare theoretical discourses.

When one of consequences of the system is lower fertility you just have to wait 20 years (1968-1988) to see what the tax-based system means - or perhaps project the consequences beforehand, oh, I forgot the votes were not even invited to debate this system 41 years ago. The system was designed to get to the end of all ends and first priority was to get its originators higher up than possible.

In Denmark we got a chance in 1980s to re-arrange the system, but it did not happen. The voters had forgotten that the so-called non-centralists agreed to tax-based system from the beginning in 1968.
The only possible way out of the mess will never be agreed upon: (here you also read about the consequences in figures). More interested may visit:

J. E. Vig, Denmark

more Danish goodies



I can assure you that there are lots of "European Chomsky's, Michael Moores, and Ward Churchills".  But, if I were to mention some Belgian names they wouldn't mean much to you. Most of these Europeans write and talk in different (non-English) languages, which is why you are not so aware of them. It is indicative that the two European nut cases that you mentioned, Galloway and Livingstone, are British, and therefore get your attention in 'english'.  This in no way lessens the absurdity and dishonesty of the aforementioned 'Chomsky+Moore+Churchill'. No sane informed person would confuse them with THOMAS More or WINSTON Churchill.

Danish 'goodies'

@ Snorri Godhi

You make some interesting points.  I think that our 'differences' remain largely semantic, i.e. they rest on different understandings of the concept "moral relativism" (despite my attempts at definition).

Too bad, that I haven't convinced you "even" in the case of the current war in Lebanon.  Yet, you write yourself that Israel could not have survived if it had depended on Europe.  You are right to point to the "courage and determination" of the Israelis themselves, but you ignore my assesment that Israel would not have survived without CONSTANT support from the US.  The number of times that the 'islamic conference' over the years has been ganging up against Israel in the UN (and elsewhere) is adding up.  In general, 'Europe' has tended to seek appeasement (usually under French direction), knowing full well that the US would cast its lonely veto (supported by a few other brave countries).  Just like a number of Arab dictators, European politicians have often taken pro forma  (extreme morally-relativistic) official positions, relying de facto  on the US to prevent actual implementation and to take the 'blame' on the intolerant 'street'. 


@marcfrans (my last on this thread)

OK, there are more urgent things to discuss now, but here are some concluding remarks.

You wrote:
Name any serious geopolitical issue of the day, and I can show you
that 'Europe' displays worse moral-relativism than America today.

Hold on: you have not yet convinced me even in the case of the current war
in Lebanon.

Indeed, most Europeans are not "pro-Hezbollah". Thank God,
they have not sunk that deep yet.

If they haven't, then they are not "positing absurd moral equivalencies". They are
wrong, ignorant, but not absurd.

But, you know in your heart of hearts that, if Israel's survival had
depended on 'Europe' over the past half century, it would not have survived.

I not only know it, I state it. Israel survived because of the courage and
determination of the Israeli people. If they had been like the Europeans in
the 1930s they would not have survived.

If you wanted to refer to American support, you would have done better to
mention South Korea, or indeed Western Europe. AFAIK no US soldier died
defending Israel.

I agree with you that there are just as many Hezbollah 'supporters' in
American universities than in European ones.

Actually I said that there are more in the USA. Many more. Where are the European
Chomskys, Michael Moores, Ward Churchills?
OK, there are George Galloway and Ken Livingstone, but they are British and
don't count.

I am not focused on such 'elite' nonsense, but more on the man/woman in the
street and the kind of politicians he/she elects. It is there that
moral-relativism has real consequences.

What is in academia today, will be in high school tomorrow; and what is in
high school tomorrow, will be on the street the day after.

What I experiences if not on

What I experiences if not on a daily basis so on a weekly or monthly basis is that journalist and politicians here in Denmark more and more often are looking to The Netherlands for inspiration on how to solve our problems and NOT to the other Scandinavian countries, which we earlier have identified us self with..

anti-capitalism & moral relativism

@George2: I basically agree with you, but I said that Europe is anti-capitalist, not anti-capital. You know the joke: people want to be rich, but to _become_ rich is too much work. The fact is that Europe has perhaps never been so capitalistic (economically), but the culture has not changed, and people are nostalgic for the good old times, when everything was decided by the feudal lord or the absolute monarch; they just want to substitute an elected government for the monarch.

@marcfrans: people who "frequently posit absurd moral equivalencies", I call "moral idiots". I am not at all convinced that there are more of those in Europe. The only example that you present is the current conflict. I am not sure that Europeans are as pro-Hezbollah as you imply. Sure, there are lots of Hezbollah supporters in Britain and in American universities, but in Europe? only radical Muslims and the hard left, both out of power (for now). The demo in Brussels had 8000 people, the demo in London had 20000: isn't that interesting? And anyway Israel is too far away and people are just ignorant about it. Take a better example: oikophobia. There are a lot of anti-Americans in American universities, a lot of anglophobes in England, but hardly any anti-Danes here in Denmark. Does that not show that there are fewer moral idiots here?

Danish exception

@ Snorri Godhi

I chose the example of the current war in Lebanon because it is topical, but I also said that the examples of the greater moral-relativism in Europe are endless. Name any serious geopolitical issue of the day, and I can show you that 'Europe' displays worse moral-relativism than America today.

Indeed, most Europeans are not "pro-Hezbollah". Thank God, they have not sunk that deep yet. But, you know in your heart of hearts that, if Israel's survival had depended on 'Europe' over the past half century, it would not have survived. Without America there would not be a single democracy in the Middle East. The same applies of course to democratic Taiwan today against Chinese 'etnic imperialism'. "The" Europeans wouldn't give a hoot for the survival of individual freedom over there if it would require any concrete sacrifice on their part. Indeed, they mightily seek appeasement of the dragon and join the 'masses' to seek popularity in the UN. Europe basically behaves like a 'teenager', who regularly behaves irresponsibly, well knowing that someone else (big daddy) will deal with the consequences (and preserve freedom in the world from totalitarianisms).

It would seem that Denmark, with Rasmussen, is something of a positive 'exception' in Europe today. Temporarily, perhaps? I agree with you that there are just as many Hezbollah 'supporters' in American universities than in European ones. However, I am not so sure whether we should see that primarily as a case of "moral relativism". It is, in a way, but it is even more a reflection of perverse anti-western sentiment, self-hatred really, that gets promoted in western academia, and for which there is no equivalent to be found in other civilisations. I am not focused on such 'elite' nonsense, but more on the man/woman in the street and the kind of politicians he/she elects. It is there that moral-relativism has real consequences.




You cannot say that Europe is less affected by "moral relativism" because it is more "anti-capitalistic".   I agree with you that Europe, by and large, is more "anti-capitalistic" (both in the economic and in the political sense that I described earlier), but I do not agree that Europe is less "moral-relativistic".   On the contrary, the rot of moral-relativism has progressed much farther among Europe's elites and public than in America.   The tendency to posit ABSURD MORAL EQUIVALENCIES is  much broader in Europe.  One can see this on almost every issue of geopolitics today, or also in matters of legally-accepted behavior internally.  The examples are endless.  

Take the current war in Lebanon.  Most Europeans can only see selected victims on TV.  They refuse to look at the nature of the combatants.  They posit an absurd moral equivalence between (1) a democratic polity which defends itself and which respects the basic human rights of all its citizens with (2) the actions and declared-intentions of tyrannical groups and regimes.    We could discuss at length which particular virtues (or insufficient adherence to these virtues) are here at play.  I think in this case it is largely a case of lack of courage, but there are other virtues in play.  In any case, this moral equivalency is patently absurd.

hypocritical anti-capitalism (1)

Let me tell you that each of the European states/governments is doing its utmost best to attract that disgusting US capital. Belgium is even changing its laws to attract it! Like a whore: come here, put it in here. Europe being anti-capitalist is a big pile of hypocritical PC bullshit.

Europe wants it as bad as anyone else. How else are they going to fund the social security? Just take a look at the French speaking part of Belgium, how well anti-capitalism works, how money hungry they are. The term ‘anti-capitalism’ is the politically correct term for ‘wealth distribution’. If you want to distribute wealth you first need capital. How else are you going to create the wealth you want to distribute?

hypocritical anti-capitalism (2)

So, why use the term ‘anti-capitalism’ in stead of ‘wealth distribution’? Because this allows the politically correct to point to the US: ‘look they are the capitalistic pigs; we are anti-capitalistic’. This preempts difficult questions as: ‘hey Europe, you say you are so pro-wealth-distribution; so why not distribute some of your wealth with us, African/South American/etc nations?’

Increasing taxes even more to distribute wealth with the poor countries would be economic suicide: all that so much needed capital (remember how anti-capitalistic we are!) would just go away. So what can we do? We cannot have all those people die of hunger? … you mean … distribute some of our wealth … our social security … to the poor? This actually means less social security for us in order for the really poor to live? Well we are for wealth distribution, as long as it doesn’t come out of our own pocket! No way! … We are anti-capitalistic…look at the evil capitalist demon, he is the fault of everything; death to capitalism; look at him, not at us, I’ve told you, we are anti-capitalistic.

Whisper: ‘hey big daddy demon, what do I have to do, to get your lovely capital inside of me?’

Using the term ‘anti-capitalistic’ means that the term ‘wealth-distribution-just-to-me’ does not have to be used.

Scandinavians once more

@ Snorri Godhi

Once again, one has to clarify one's terms to avoid misunderstandings.

By "moral relativism" I mean, either (a) a refusal to make (necessary) moral judgments, and/or (b) a tendency to frequently posit absurd moral equivalencies. 

A good example of (a) one can find in the cowardly behavior of the Dutch 'elites' w.r.t. the Ayaan Hirsi Ali case, or, of the British elites 15 years ago w.r.t. the Rushdie case. But it is (b) that is more commonly the problem in Europe today.

Whether European culture is "more anti-capitalistic", or not, has nothing to do with "moral relativism".  You fall in the naive-left trap of equating a certain kind of social and political ideology with "morality".  Morality has nothing directly to do with (verbally expressed) opinions about  social, political, or economic organisation, and certainly not with personalities and political parties.   Morality has to do with personal VIRTUE, i.e. with actual PERSONAL adherence to values through personal virtues like self-discipline, compassion, responsibility, friendship, work, courage, perseverence, honesty, loyalty, etc...  There obviously is much room for philosophical discussion about the content and number of personal virtues.  But do not confuse "morality" with political slogans of parties and ideologues.


To marcfrans #3

Thank you for your clarification.
You never said explicitly that the American left is less morally idiotic than the European left, but you said that there is less moral relativism in America, which for me is pretty much the same thing.

Also, I said that European culture is relatively anti-capitalistic, so when you criticized me it seemed a fair bet that you did not agree.

Actually, I believe that there is less moral relativism in Europe partly because the culture is more anti-capitalistic: European socialists do not feel the need to criticize European culture because they find in it what they like. This is of course a gross simplification but I don't want to write a long essay here.

@marcfrans #2

Hi again. When you denied that the American and British Left are more intellectually and morally idiotic than the European Left, I assumed that you either don't know Europe, or don't know America. Now, if I understand correctly, you don't accept that much of Western European culture is anti-capitalist, so I can only conclude that you don't know Western Europe. Unless perhaps you are in Switzerland or the Netherlands, but in this case how can you ignore the reality in the rest of Europe? What Frank Lee says about the Bille August movie should give you an idea of what we are up against. (I note that you only discuss terminology, not facts.)

There is much more that I'd like to discuss, some other time. For now, my question remains: what are we to do if our national culture is anti-capitalistic? Actually I know what I want to do: move to New Europe.

Scandinavians again

@ Snorri Godhi

I am a European, living in America. And, as a former international civil servant, I worked for many years on several West-European countries and on non-European countries as well. So, believe me, I know both Europe AND America. And I do sympathise, in the sense that I know what you (and all of us!!) are up against.

I fear that you are 'projecting' your own thoughts (and understandings) on others and that you read too fast. Where did I deny that the American and British left is more "idiotic" than the European one? Or where did I "not accept" that most of West-European culture is "anti-capitalist"? These are all projections on your part that have no basis in fact. So I feel like I am wrestling with 'strawmen'.

I do think that people should try to explain their terminology from time to time, because many disagreements rest on misunderstandings of what the other is saying. Take your term of "anti-capitalistic". What does that mean in the contemporary context? In a POLITICAL sense that term is often used to designate anti-western and 'unfree' countries (with dictatorial regimes). That would certainly apply to, for instance, China. In an ECONOMIC sense the term often refers to countries where the free market plays a negligable role as an economic allocation method, in which case it would perhaps not apply to China, etc....

If one listens to the many noises made by Swedish politicians and pressure groups one could be forgiven for thinking that Sweden is "anticapitalistic". Yet, the market plays a much bigger role - as an allocation method - in Sweden than in most other countries. One must make a distinction between the SIZE of government (level of taxation and government spending) and METHODS of government intervention ("marketfriendly" or not), etc... One thing is for sure: "capital" plays a central role in the economic development, or lack thereof, in ALL countries! So, who is "anti-capitalistic"?

Capitalism and religion

This is a very good article by Fjordman, as are many of his articles. However, I do have one bone to pick: Why do I have to believe in christianity or any other religion in order to be a hard-working free market capitalist who does not fall for the "deep sense of innui" that has engulfed western Europe?

I know many techno-entreprenuer types who are hard-working, have good character, yet will have nothing to do with religion, whatsoever. Why is this scenario so difficult for "conservative" types to accept?


No true conservative will ever try to convert anybody to anything. The conservative theme is to keep referring to where we come from in order to maintain the same values. This does not mean that we believe that other people with other convictions cannot be as good or even better than we are. The best people I ever met in my life were muslim and they were many, but they were all educated in the british school system in India during the british colonial time. I met several agnostics who were brilliant human beings and a joy to be with. But our common tradition and culture is judeo-christian-roman in Europe and the U.S. and the result is what we are today, with the possibility of improving on the model by rectifying the mistakes of the past. Fjordman is right when he says that with all our experience of 2000 years and more, why not improve what we have instead of demolishing it by repeating the same mistakes over and over again and returning to where we were in 1300 A.D.

The positive side of the welfare state

I agree with the article and most of the comments, but living in a welfare state also has its advantages.
Social security as we know it in Belgium can be a safetynet (losing job, sickness, (temporary) disability, ...), a trampoline to get you back on your feet (government funded training, internships, employmentprograms, benefits for employers, ...), but it can also be a hammock.
I currently enjoy being a student again at a free training (at least for me) provided by the government to improve my changes on the jobmarket and it helps me to get gradually used to a 5 day workweek again (in my case study) after a prolonged period of sickness and disability. But during that time I encountered very little carrot and even less stick to get back to work.
It is a luxury, but I've contributed for it before and will contribute for it again.
As with all things too much social security or welfare state is probably as bad as hardly no social security.

Can anyone compare the Belgian welfare state to the Norwegian or Swedish welfare state ? Is more extensive ?

A question for the author

Of all the Fjordposts that I read, this is the one I most strongly agree with. Even here in Denmark, never as socialist as Sweden, one can see how the welfare state damages the work ethic.

The question: have you noticed the irony that the welfare state is integral to the Swedish identity (as it is to the Danish identity and most other European identities)? There's a Catch-22: if you are for Swedish patriotism/nationalism, you are for the welfare state; but if you are against nationalism, then you are left-wing - and therefore you are for the welfare state. What can we do? I am sure I don't know.

Poor Scandinavians!

@ Snorri Godhi

I am sure that there are many different degrees and types of "patriotism/nationalism" and also of "welfare state". And, I would hope, that the IDEA of the individual still plays a sufficient central role in the "scandinavian identity" to allow for a diversity of adherences to these complex notions of patriotism and of welfarism. So, you are wrestling yourself to the ground by setting up absurd contradictions between simplistic LABELS.

For grownups it is quite possible to be a patriot and at the same time to adhere to a high degree of income redistribution, or to be a woolly (utopian) 'internationalist' while adhering to similar 'libertarian' views that are anti-governmental interference, or.....etc... All that is needed is (1) a bit of imagination and (2) a degree of tolerance for true 'diversity', i.e. the intellectual kind of the mind.

"The tech startup was a bit

"The tech startup was a bit more complex since it had external investors, so we had to hire a lawyer to draw up the articles of incorporation - it cost about $10K to do a "Delaware incorporation".  "


This thread is getting stale but I will respond anyway.  My complaint about California is that it seemed I was always getting sued for something or by someone I should not have been getting sued by.  Taxes are high.  Regulations are high.  You always have the right to fire people but don't be surprised when they file a complaint with the Labor Board and dip into your bank account for 10- 50 k after for no reason.  None of that in europe here but start up costs were hight JUST for the paperwork and almost nobody dares hire anyone because you will never be able to get rid of them.  Temp services are raking in big bucks. 

Tack jdm

Thanks jdm.  That was the paragraph I was asking about.  Contrary to Kurt Lundgren's argument, I can't imagine Swedes are actually emigrating owing to the fact that special interest groups are proliferating "violently,", or because the Swedish media's portrayal of them has become too uniform.  Those concerns seem quite minor.  Besides, aren't those the sorts of phenomena that one can fight against, the way the folks at Brussels Journal have done?  The increasing threat of violent crime -- that is, real violence -- seems much more important.  It's often why people move from the city to the suburbs, and from the suburbs to the exurbs.

Frank Lee

You mean this graf?

Särintressenas våldsamma utbredning i form av homosexlobby m m,
medias behandling av desamma och den uniforma politiska
åsiktsbildningen tvärs genom alla media. Detta

[Roughly translated via Danish] The "violent" spread of special interests such as the homosexual lobby et al [m.m.], the media dealings with the same, and their undifferentiated depiction across all media. This [graf just ends]

Can I safely assume he's not saying that Swedes are leaving Sweden to get away from gay people?


Do I understand correctly that he is saying that the public debate about sexual morals and related issues has been shut down by political correctness?

He's not really talking about sexual morals at all.

Your comments tangentially touch on a few of the same things in Lundgren's post. But Lundgren is primarily explaining why, in his opinion, (native) Swedes, especially the well-educated and/or rich are leaving Sweden.

Sweden's neutrality (in WWII)

sorry to go off topic but I've read that Sweden had little choice. if they did not do as they were told, it would have been simple to invade and conquer them.

of course, the Swedes may have welcomed their situation. I imagine members of this forum will have a much stronger background on the topic! 

Sweden's neutrality

That history has never been written and will never be. Some easy things: compare Sweden's crude oil consumption and the import figures during the war. Mind you, most or all the oil came from western oil companies. In my opinion we are entering here one of the darkest chapters of the 20th century: the calculated stretching of the european war to destroy the British, German, French and Russian powers and colonial empires. F.D.R. was truly the greatest Machiavelli of the 20th century but this does not relate to Fjordman's essay anymore. The topic is however worth studying

mixed bag 2


With your limiting proviso that "the effect lasted until the seventies" we appear to be not so far apart.  I think that name recognition of 'global' corporations has little to do with economic performance of countries.  But, where these corporations make their NEW investments, has of course a lot to do with that performance. 

Mixed bag

@ traveller

Perhaps, Sweden's "neutrality" during the war with nazism can tell us something about Sweden's moral character, but the temporary economic benefits Sweden derived from that 'neutrality' surely have very little relevance for Sweden's economic performance today. 

By contrast, the similarity - between (a) Sweden's neutrality then and (b) Europe's 'neutrality' today in the global war with islamofascism - is of great relevance today.  It is equally telling about Europe's poor moral character (broadly speaking) in the contemporary world.     

@ Amsterdamsky

It would appear that 'Foobarista' has dealt effectively with your anti-american prejudices.  But, I do grant you that there is great diversity among US states, and that the politics of California and of Massachusetts show greater similarity with 'Europe' than the politics of most other US states. 



yes and no. Before the war Sweden had no real financial position in the world and no real banking clouth. Immediately after the war Sweden had financial cloud in a world which was bankrupt and the Wallenberg family took an enormous chunk out of the european financial market far in excess of their real value, but they were the only ones with real money in their hands. Wallenberg is just an example and a special one, but there are plenty others. My estimate is that the effect lasted until the seventies, but for people like Wallenberg, Volvo, Alfa-Laval, Ericsson it made their name until today.


Once again you are brilliantly correct. There is one subject though the Swedes don't talk about and you touched only briefly. The Swedish holier than thou social democrats amassed an enormous amount of money for Sweden as the only industrialized country doing business "neutrally" with nazi-Germany AND with the U.S.. Without Sweden the war would have been finished earlier, which is my strong conviction. I knew several businessmen from that "golden period", for Sweden that is, and privately they all admitted to this truth. Further they supplied for several years the european countries whose industry was destroyed by the war, Germany in the first place. After that period, Sweden took enormous advantage of their raw materials: wood and iron ore. And last, but not least, as you mentioned the work and quality ethic which is practically extinct now. Again congratulations for your magnificent essays.

I've run a couple of businesses in the US

One was a computer store and another was a tech startup.  The computer store, in LA, was easy to set up - I went to the Board of Corporations, filed my fill-in-the-blank articles of incorporation that I bought in a bookstore for $20, wrote them a check for $700, and we were off.  There were a few other formalities, which took a total of about a week to get done, after which we rented space, got bank accounts, and were operating.  We hired and fired several technicians over the time we were operating - this was all quite straightforward.

The tech startup was a bit more complex since it had external investors, so we had to hire a lawyer to draw up the articles of incorporation - it cost about $10K to do a "Delaware incorporation".  The rest of the setup was similar to the computer store.  The startup lived its glorious day and died, but there weren't any issues with the government.

My current company is also a tech startup, although it isn't "mine".  Like most companies nowadays, it outsources all its personnel matters to an "HR outsourcer" company, outsources most of its IT, and only hires employees that are actually relevant to the mission of the business, with the exception of a CFO.  There is little need for any "bureaucratic" employees until you get over about 100 employees or so.

God & Welfare State

"We no longer trust in God, so we put our trust in the welfare state,"

Reminds me of German mega rock star Marius Müller Westernhagen in his song "Mit Pfefferminz bin ich dein Prinz" - "du glaubst an Gott oder an Guevara; ich glaube an die Deutsche Bank, denn die zahlt aus in bar" (you believe in God or [Che] Guevara - I believe in Deutsche Bank because it pays in kind).

Reality has that nasty habit to force one's hand, so Sweden and much of Europe is probably in for some solid civil wars this century. Tough, but it's time to chose sides!

Local pub talk seems to

Local pub talk seems to center on blaming the Marshall Plan for the current eurosickness leaving a legacy of the welfare state and expectations about what government should do for you.  The problem with this is that I don't think Sweden was a major recipient of Marshall Plan funds.  Maybe this was the general trend anyway in europe?  Holland already reached the high water Nanny mark I hope and seems to be trending more towards free market capitalism and personal responsibility unless the Pvda gains more ground in the next election.

"The US is a free economy which encourages people to do their best"

BWAHAHAHAHA! Have you ever lived in the US or better yet tried to run a business there? I agree this the is the lip service paid to free enterprise but the reality is very different. The government still controls nearly 50% of GDP compared with maybe 60% in France. Socialism lite might be a better description. Try to run a business in California or Massachusetts and you will think you are back in europe.

"Swedes are as co-dependent

"Swedes are as co-dependent as an alcoholic’s wife. Yet we do not hurry
to the ballot box to remove the prevailing systems. Not because we
don’t want to but because too many of us have painted ourselves into
their corners."

It will be sad indeed if we have to watch Swedes being harvested by more energetic populations in the future. In the US, there is a saying--be a pack not a herd. The spirit of confidence, joining together to solve problems, is alive and well. Waiting for someone else to come along and solve your problems is a strategy which is only rarely successful. 

Help with translation

Fjordman:  I can read Swedish, but without a dictionary I'm a little shaky.  Can you explain what exactly Kurt Lundgren wrote in his paragraph about the homosexual lobby and other such people ("m.m.")?  Can I safely assume he's not saying that Swedes are leaving Sweden to get away from gay people?  Do I understand correctly that he is saying that the public debate about sexual morals and related issues has been shut down by political correctness?  If so, do you really think that's a factor spurring Swedish emigration?  That hardly seems likely.  I lived in Sweden for two years, and I never got the sense that Swedes have a burning desire to challenge the political or media elites, on this matter or any other.  They seemed mighty docile to me.  I remember discussing a mediocre Bille August movie with a Swedish friend.  I said it was not a good film, and he objected to my assessment, though he had not seen the movie himself.  He had, however, read a positive review of the film in Dagens Nyheter.  I explained that I had actually seen the film and could attest to the fact that it was not very good.  My friend thought it was silly of me (and typical of my American arrogance) to insist on trusting my own ears and eyes when an official Swedish arbiter of good taste had already spoken to the contrary.  Keep in mind:  I have a Ph.D. in literature and have published some 100 critical essays about literature and film.  That was immaterial to my friend, in part because I am American and my opinions must therefore be based on ignorance, but also because the stamp of approval from a Swedish institution seemed to trump any other credentials.  Anyway, thanks for this and the previous extensive postings on Scandinavia.  They are fascinating, if somewhat depressing.

Welfare State vs Capitalism in regards to Islam

I am not convinced that a muslim with an education and a job is harmless.  Therefore I think the muslims in the US are just as dangerous as the muslims in european welfare states. 
Money and Islam are toxic mixture.  We can't cancel someone's beleifs by sending them to school and giving them a job.

Het is beter om de waarheid te verklaren en worden verworpen dan het in te houden om worden goedgekeurd.

Sweden vs. the US (2)


I wrote a reply, but I think I've managed to erase it. Hopefully it won't pop up too many times.

The interesting point is that the Muslim community is aware of this and does not really appreciate the Swedish attitude.  For example, taking the storstadsarbetet - urban regeneration programs - the immigrants felt that it was there mostly for the benefit of the Swedish civil servants and not for the local residents.  Attempts to volunteer and take initiative were usually shunted aside.

This is not to say that many immigrants did not come to Sweden specifically because of the benefits the welfare state offers.  However, as Fjordman explains above, those benefits come at a very high price.

Islam In Europe


Sweden vs. the US (2)

The US asks immigrants for a proof that they can support themselves. The US do not give freebees. However they offer something much better: if you work hard, you have a good future. If you're bright, it's even better. Just pick up your responsibility.

The Swedes promise a lot of compassion and pampering, for the rest of your life.

Now, which Iranians will be filtered to the US, and which ones will go to Sweden?

I assume that the goal of every human being is happiness. Which emigrated Iranians will be the most happy? I guess those who can achieve the most with their capabilities. Therefore, the US are more social than Sweden.

Sweden vs. the US

A recent study I read about Muslims in Sweden compared the situation of Iranians who came to Sweden vs. the situation of Iranians who came to the US.  In the US they have higher employment rates than the average native American and those jobs correspond to their level of education.  In Sweden they suffer from high unemployment rates and work in menial jobs despite having university education on a level that rivals the Swedish.

Why the difference?  The study points to exclusion by society and blames the Swedish.  However, it is wrong to compare the situation of the two countries without looking at the countries themselves.  The US is a free economy which encourages people to do their best, while Sweden is a welfare state that assumes the state knows best and many times blocks free enterprise.

Islam In Europe


Tyrone Gaines

Very well said Esther. The US is a country that rewards those who do their best. I was curious though. Did the study point out that each member of Native Americans tribes gets money from casino revenues and gov't money as well?

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