PDA

View Full Version : Why does socialism in Scandinavia work so well?




synth_floyd
01-03-2009, 10:47 AM
Is it the low corruption? Homogeneous society? Strong work ethic? But for whatever reason the Scandinavian countries are extremely socialist and extremely successful. I couldn't find any good articles to explain why.

torchbearer
01-03-2009, 10:50 AM
define successful?

how much of the population works to feed the other portion of their society?
how much of the population works to cloth the other portion of their society?
How much of their labor do they get to keep?
Is this socialism forced or is it voluntary?
Can they sustain theirselves without imports?
How much opportunity is there to become more than what your parent's were?

lodge939
01-03-2009, 10:54 AM
If you had a block of farmland and you were building a new country, capitalism would work the best

but if you have a windfall like millions of barrels of oil deposits, dictatorships and socialism can result in a high standard of living, like Norway and Dubai

Truth Warrior
01-03-2009, 11:02 AM
I guess it all just depends on how "works so well" is defined, as usual. ;)

http://i75.photobucket.com/albums/i304/Truth_Warrior/Socialism_by_miniamericanflags.jpg

Brassmouth
01-03-2009, 11:07 AM
When's the last war they've been in?

What's the last imperialistic empire they've started?

How many natural resources are they sitting on?

Etc, etc...

Great question, though. I'm sure there are more reasons.

wd4freedom
01-03-2009, 11:07 AM
Just the fact that they are overt socialists and not covert socialists helps to establish ground rules that the citizenry understand and adjust behavior accordingly.

In the US system of corporate socialism, the citizens are sold on the argument that "free markets" exist and attempt to behave as if we are in a free market when in fact we are as far from a free market as has ever been in modern history. This then leads to schizophrenic behavior on the part of the citizenry (ie- the usage of prescribed psychotropic drug use for most working adults).

ShowMeLiberty
01-03-2009, 11:21 AM
Just the fact that they are overt socialists and not covert socialists helps to establish ground rules that the citizenry understand and adjust behavior accordingly.

In the US system of corporate socialism, the citizens are sold on the argument that "free markets" exist and attempt to behave as if we are in a free market when in fact we are as far from a free market as has ever been in modern history. This then leads to schizophrenic behavior on the part of the citizenry (ie- the usage of prescribed psychotropic drug use for most working adults).

Excellent observation. May I quote you on my blog? What you describe is truly Orwellian and unfortunately very true.

I've been thinking something similar over the past couple of days. Why do we keep pretending this is (or was) a free market economy? With the ever growing list of industries begging for bailouts, why doesn't the gov't just be honest about it and admit that the US is rapidly becoming a socialist nation?

Admitting the truth would at least relieve the continuous headache many of us have from reading and hearing all the doublespeak in the MSM.

Paulitician
01-03-2009, 11:25 AM
It's not an outright socialist part of the world. Its economies are mixed, let's get that straight people!

Truth Warrior
01-03-2009, 11:25 AM
Excellent observation. May I quote you on my blog? What you describe is truly Orwellian and unfortunately very true.

I've been thinking something similar over the past couple of days. Why do we keep pretending this is (or was) a free market economy? With the ever growing list of industries begging for bailouts, why doesn't the gov't just be honest about it and admit that the US is rapidly becoming a socialist nation?

Admitting the truth would at least relieve the continuous headache many of us have from reading and hearing all the doublespeak in the MSM.

"Socialism in America will come through the ballot box."
by: Gus Hall
[Arvo Gustav Halberg ] (1910-2000) leader of the Communist Party USA and its four-time U.S. presidential candidate
Source: in an interview with the Cleveland Plain-Dealer (1996)

Kludge
01-03-2009, 11:27 AM
It's not an outright socialist part of the world. Its economies are mixed, let's get that straight people!

Heeeeeey.... When did you start discussing politics with my family?! :eek: ;)

Truth Warrior
01-03-2009, 11:46 AM
"Democracy is the road to socialism." -- Karl Marx

"Democracy is indispensable to socialism." -- Vladimir Lenin

Anti Federalist
01-03-2009, 12:08 PM
Is it the low corruption? Homogeneous society? Strong work ethic? But for whatever reason the Scandinavian countries are extremely socialist and extremely successful. I couldn't find any good articles to explain why.

Read the chapter "Good Socialism" in PJ O'Rourke's book Eat The Rich.

It's probably the best explanation I've ever read on why Swedish socialism "works" so well, for now.

Quick thumbnail, it's cultural.

The Swedes have a word, lagom, roughly meaning, "that's good, just enough, no more, thanks".

They look for and aspire to be "OK", nothing more.

In a small, homogeneous society, where extravagance is frowned upon and nobody wants or needs to do any better than "just OK", and one with plenty of natural resources, they make it work.

Especially if they don't mind or care that anything past just enough is taken by government.

Again, for now. The demographics and spending are catching up them though, they are looking at the same economic collapse that we are.

krazy kaju
01-03-2009, 12:22 PM
Socialism in Scandinavia? What are you talking about?

Denmark (http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/country.cfm?id=Denmark) has more business freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, freedom from corruption, and labor freedom than the U.S. while having comparable trade freedom, monetary freedom, and property rights to the U.S.

Sweden (http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/country.cfm?id=Sweden) has more business freedom and freedom from corruption than the United States while having comparable trade freedom, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, freedom from corruption, and property rights to the U.S.

Norway (http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/country.cfm?id=Norway) is not nearly as successful as Sweden or Denmark despite its great natural resources, and thus is not used by social democracts as a good example of social democracy. But when it is used, it is useful to point out that Norway has greater freedom from corruption while having comparable property rights, business freedom, and trade freedom to the United States.

Just use the Heritage Index of Economic Freedom (http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/countries.cfm).

synth_floyd
01-03-2009, 01:00 PM
Yeah but those countries all have tax rates that are ~50%, right? Free education, free health care, pension plans, etc. Maybe they just run it very well? France is pretty socialist but they haven't done as well. They also had a foreign empire, not homogenous society and some other factors though.

torchbearer
01-03-2009, 01:02 PM
Yeah but those countries all have tax rates that are ~50%, right? Free education, free health care, pension plans, etc. Maybe they just run it very well? France is pretty socialist but they haven't done as well. They also had a foreign empire, not homogenous society and some other factors though.

Its not free.

amonasro
01-03-2009, 01:17 PM
Maybe it has to do with the size of the country. Many European countries are smaller than most US states (albeit with greater populations) so it's easier for their governments to implement socialized programs better suited to their people. It's akin to Texas or Illinois or Michigan having their own socialized health care programs, which they do to the extent that they need it and it's cost effective and not bloated and wasteful.

Then again, European countries have to submit to a higher power, the EU, so maybe my argument is weak.

Chosen
01-03-2009, 01:25 PM
They are homogeneous societies, with less than a trickle of in migration. Norway isn't an EU member.

Norway's socialism is democratic. The people vote for the taxes in exchange for contractual services, it isn't quite as authoritarian as Sweden.

Considered a Scandanavian country, the Netherlands has a truly authoritarian stance.

The problem with the Heritage rankings is that there is heavy weighting for investment as an indicator of strong free market and no measurement for forced, non-representative taxation. Many Scandinavian countries allow open investment, most any country will take capitol...But they always seem to be in a budget balancing crisis, with very little room for growth.

Anti Federalist
01-03-2009, 01:38 PM
What you posted is less an indication of how well Scandinavia is doing and more an indication of how fucked up we have become.:mad:


Socialism in Scandinavia? What are you talking about?

Denmark (http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/country.cfm?id=Denmark) has more business freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, freedom from corruption, and labor freedom than the U.S. while having comparable trade freedom, monetary freedom, and property rights to the U.S.

Sweden (http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/country.cfm?id=Sweden) has more business freedom and freedom from corruption than the United States while having comparable trade freedom, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, freedom from corruption, and property rights to the U.S.

Norway (http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/country.cfm?id=Norway) is not nearly as successful as Sweden or Denmark despite its great natural resources, and thus is not used by social democracts as a good example of social democracy. But when it is used, it is useful to point out that Norway has greater freedom from corruption while having comparable property rights, business freedom, and trade freedom to the United States.

Just use the Heritage Index of Economic Freedom (http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/countries.cfm).

johnfloyd6675
01-03-2009, 01:50 PM
Their societies are successful in the sense of being stable and predictable, with low growth rates but also few market corrections. I saw a statistic that the average unemployed Sweded spends seven minutes a day looking for a job; they tolerate that because a Swede is a Swede, but the United States is too vast and heterogeneous for Americans not to feel swindled bankrolling that sort of sloth.

krazy kaju
01-03-2009, 02:13 PM
Really guys, regulation is a bigger harm for an economy than taxation. This is why even heavily taxed but deregulated economies like those of Sweden and Denmark do so well compared to the U.S.:


Socialism in Scandinavia? What are you talking about?

Denmark (http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/country.cfm?id=Denmark) has more business freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, freedom from corruption, and labor freedom than the U.S. while having comparable trade freedom, monetary freedom, and property rights to the U.S.

Sweden (http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/country.cfm?id=Sweden) has more business freedom and freedom from corruption than the United States while having comparable trade freedom, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, freedom from corruption, and property rights to the U.S.

Norway (http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/country.cfm?id=Norway) is not nearly as successful as Sweden or Denmark despite its great natural resources, and thus is not used by social democracts as a good example of social democracy. But when it is used, it is useful to point out that Norway has greater freedom from corruption while having comparable property rights, business freedom, and trade freedom to the United States.

Just use the Heritage Index of Economic Freedom (http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/countries.cfm).

Anti Federalist
01-03-2009, 02:38 PM
Can't argue with that.

How many pages is the Federal Register and CFRs up to now?

Do I even want to look?

Imagine a free society with little or no regulation and little or no taxation.


Really guys, regulation is a bigger harm for an economy than taxation. This is why even heavily taxed but deregulated economies like those of Sweden and Denmark do so well compared to the U.S.:

raystone
01-03-2009, 02:38 PM
Socialism working ? Never works for long..

Life's not so great in Sweden according to a couple I met over the holidays. Past Muslim immigration is starting to cause major issues. The way the wife spoke , it sounded like the Ponzi scheme was crashing. Human nature and the moral hazard has always crashes socialistic societies.


http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120570934979440167.html?mod=opinion_main_comment aries

Article excerpt....

"Why should one start a business?" they asked. [...]Especially for immigrants, the first signal from Swedish society is not that you ought to work, let alone become self-employed. The message is that the state will take care of you.


BTW, there's plenty of regulation, in addition to taxes, in Sweden.

canadian4ronpaul
01-03-2009, 05:04 PM
I remember a while ago a swedish guy posted a huge rant about how sweden isn't so great as the lefties make it out to be and had a huge list of everything that was wrong with it. i will try to find it.

mediahasyou
01-03-2009, 05:11 PM
it doesnt.

The_Orlonater
01-03-2009, 07:49 PM
Didn't we have a Swedish member of this forum say how things are messed up in Sweden and their health care system has its problems too?

krazy kaju
01-03-2009, 08:04 PM
there's plenty of regulation, in addition to taxes, in Sweden.

Less investment, business, and financial regulation.

Brassmouth
01-03-2009, 08:26 PM
Didn't we have a Swedish member of this forum say how things are messed up in Sweden and their health care system has its problems too?

You don't need the testimony of an actual victim to know that socialized medicine is to public health as public education is to our nation's critical thinking skills.

libertarian4321
01-03-2009, 09:26 PM
Didn't we have a Swedish member of this forum say how things are messed up in Sweden and their health care system has its problems too?

No country is without problems. Sweden has problems, but the USA certainly does as well.

But Sweden is a nice place. The people are generally prosperous and happy. Take a trip to Sweden- I assure you, you won't find a lot of misery and despair.

They may have higher taxes than we do, but they also have less restrictions on their personal lives and less regulation. They also don't piss away their money on foreign misadventures.

There are a lot of socialist countries that regulate the personal lives of their citizens far less than we do- Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, even countries that we think of as "buttoned up"- Germany and England- tend to have less restrictions on personal freedom than we do. I can't think of a single country in Europe where the exposure of a single female breast would cause the whole nation to go into fits and cause the government to consider greater regulation to ensure that it doesn't happen again.

A LOT of places have less business regulation than we do- in some ways, even China is more business friendly than the USA (and Hong Kong is often considered the most business friendly place in the world).

Of course, we piss away so much of our wealth on military misadventures. Most that money is just wasted. Even in peace time, we waste a huge amount of our wealth on the military. We currently spend FAR more on our military than the rest of the world combined (add up the military expenditures of every nation- China, the UK, Russia, Germany, down to the expenditures of the Vatican on its Swiss Guard- add 'em all together, and it ain't even close to what we spend).

Anytime I hear some person say that the USA is unequivocally "Number 1", I know I've met a person who has never been anywhere. We have a lot of good things here, but we are hardly the only nice place to live.

synth_floyd
01-03-2009, 11:39 PM
You can't argue that scandinavian socialism doesn't work. All those countries have historically had low unemployment, high per capita income, high wealth, healthy populations, well educated populations, etc.

It flies in the face of all the Austrian economics and capitalist theories. I'm wondering why. I searched Lewrockwell.com and couldn't really find anything. One article said how bad it was in Norway(?) because they used to have eugenics and bad stuff like that but it didn't really mention anything about the economy.

krazy kaju
01-03-2009, 11:56 PM
You can't argue that scandinavian socialism doesn't work. All those countries have historically had low unemployment, high per capita income, high wealth, healthy populations, well educated populations, etc.

It flies in the face of all the Austrian economics and capitalist theories. I'm wondering why. I searched Lewrockwell.com and couldn't really find anything. One article said how bad it was in Norway(?) because they used to have eugenics and bad stuff like that but it didn't really mention anything about the economy.

You're right, you can't argue that Scandinavian economies are that horrible, but you can argue that they aren't truly socialist:


Socialism in Scandinavia? What are you talking about?

Denmark (http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/country.cfm?id=Denmark) has more business freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, freedom from corruption, and labor freedom than the U.S. while having comparable trade freedom, monetary freedom, and property rights to the U.S.

Sweden (http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/country.cfm?id=Sweden) has more business freedom and freedom from corruption than the United States while having comparable trade freedom, monetary freedom, investment freedom, financial freedom, freedom from corruption, and property rights to the U.S.

Norway (http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/country.cfm?id=Norway) is not nearly as successful as Sweden or Denmark despite its great natural resources, and thus is not used by social democracts as a good example of social democracy. But when it is used, it is useful to point out that Norway has greater freedom from corruption while having comparable property rights, business freedom, and trade freedom to the United States.

Just use the Heritage Index of Economic Freedom (http://www.heritage.org/research/features/index/countries.cfm).

The fact of the matter is that Sweden and Denmark, the two most successful Scandinavian nations (besides Iceland before their bankruptcy), have less regulations than the United States. Isn't it amazing that unions have a greater hold in America than in Denmark? How about that? Tell that to the next leftist you see praising Denmark. Did you know it's easier to open and close a business in both Denmark and Sweden than it is in the US? Or that there is less financial regulation?

Now, there are problems with the various Scandinavian countries. Immigrant unemployment is through the roof (50% in Sweden). Their health care systems aren't what I would call "great." Obviously, high taxes slow economic growth. But by reducing their regulatory burdens, Scandinavian countries have achieved the kind of prosperity not dreamed of by other high tax-and-spend nations.

nate895
01-04-2009, 12:26 AM
Really guys, regulation is a bigger harm for an economy than taxation. This is why even heavily taxed but deregulated economies like those of Sweden and Denmark do so well compared to the U.S.:

Hence Ronald Reagan saying:

"The philosophy of government is, if it moves, tax it, if it keeps moving, regulate it, and if it stops moving, subsidize it." To paraphrase, that is.

emazur
01-04-2009, 01:42 AM
I'm getting a little off topic here but by chance I found an interview today with a Swiss banker, Ferdinand Lips, who advocates the return of the gold standard:
http://www.gold-eagle.com/editorials_05/silberinfo061805.html
http://www.fame.org/goldwars.htm
I believe that gold will already rise gradually in the forefront of a big financial collapse and then explode to the upside. I justify my perception with the fact that we live in a time today where the broad public begins to see slowly but surely. The trust in our paper money system is shrinking virtually daily. Gold is the only currency on which no debts are linked to. I wish that one day we all will live with a new and healthy currency system in which gold again is anchored as a solid fundament.

Interview also mentions an attempt by Mexico to reintroduce silver as money, which was blocked

Hiki
01-04-2009, 04:02 AM
Well, living in Finland I got to say that life is good. Sure there are problems and imo Finland has a lot of stupid laws and this and that and of course the fricking EU is driving everybody nuts here.
An important point about taxation is that how much of that money comes back at the people? There in the U.S all of the taxmoney is being spent overseas. You give billions of dollars for example to Israel, and you waste your money on wars and military. In "socialist" scandinavia that money pretty much comes back at the people. Of course the taxation is pretty harsh here and it could be a lot lower.

You cant really say that public education is bad if most of the time we're in the top 3 in the different surveys and PISA researches. We've always been one of the most well educated nations in the world, and yes it's all public education. Another nice detail to mention is free school lunch. Of course it's far from gourmet and the quality of it has gone down thanks to the price of food going up, but it sure beats British fastfood. And there's a pizza/kebab-restaurant just next to my school so if the day's menu is bad I can just go there :p

Free healthcare... Well it's a common joke around the people that the doctors in public healthcare just tell you to drink something warm and to have a painkiller :D PHC doesn't really work, or it works but it's not in good condition. There are too few nurses and doctors, and especially the doctors are greedy as hell. They say that they will only work 2-3 days a week and a minimum salary of 5000€/month. The hospitals have no other choice but to accept as there isn't enough doctors.
A couple of examples. My mother wasn't feeling well and she went to the local health clinic. They just gave her antidepressant drugs. She didn't get any better, infact she got worse and so after we moved back into this nice city of Tampere, she went to a private clinic and immediately they found out that she had a problem with her thyroid gland, and now she has the right medication.
My friend's granny was in need of operation and it really took her 5 years to get it. Everytime she was supposed to have it they either "lost" her papers or she was transferred to another hospital where they said that she needs no operation. Finally they complained to the local government and she finally got her operation.
I'm sure that everybody would use private clinics but they are expensive as hell.

Imo there is too much coddling by the government and society. There are a lot of small things that annoy pretty much everybody. For example alcohol. The age limit for drinking is 18 and for liquors it's 21. Basic drinks like beer and cider are allowed to be sold in grocery stores, but anything stronger than that is sold in "Alko" which the government owns and has a monopoly on. I guess that our nation has a drinking problem and this way the gov seeks to limit drinking by setting the price of liquors pretty high, alcohol tax is high also (they just raised it). For example a 70cl bottle of Chivas Regal whisky (:o) costs over 40€ here while in Portugal its 20€ (and their age limit is 16 for everything :mad:).

But I dont complain, it could be better but it could be a lot worse and I'd rather live in "socialist" Europe than America.

raystone
01-04-2009, 08:18 AM
Well, living in Finland I got to say that life is good. Sure there are problems and imo Finland has a lot of stupid laws and this and that and of course the fricking EU is driving everybody nuts here.
An important point about taxation is that how much of that money comes back at the people? There in the U.S all of the taxmoney is being spent overseas. You give billions of dollars for example to Israel, and you waste your money on wars and military. In "socialist" scandinavia that money pretty much comes back at the people. Of course the taxation is pretty harsh here and it could be a lot lower.

You cant really say that public education is bad if most of the time we're in the top 3 in the different surveys and PISA researches. We've always been one of the most well educated nations in the world, and yes it's all public education. Another nice detail to mention is free school lunch. Of course it's far from gourmet and the quality of it has gone down thanks to the price of food going up, but it sure beats British fastfood. And there's a pizza/kebab-restaurant just next to my school so if the day's menu is bad I can just go there :p

Free healthcare... Well it's a common joke around the people that the doctors in public healthcare just tell you to drink something warm and to have a painkiller :D PHC doesn't really work, or it works but it's not in good condition. There are too few nurses and doctors, and especially the doctors are greedy as hell. They say that they will only work 2-3 days a week and a minimum salary of 5000/month. The hospitals have no other choice but to accept as there isn't enough doctors.
A couple of examples. My mother wasn't feeling well and she went to the local health clinic. They just gave her antidepressant drugs. She didn't get any better, infact she got worse and so after we moved back into this nice city of Tampere, she went to a private clinic and immediately they found out that she had a problem with her thyroid gland, and now she has the right medication.
My friend's granny was in need of operation and it really took her 5 years to get it. Everytime she was supposed to have it they either "lost" her papers or she was transferred to another hospital where they said that she needs no operation. Finally they complained to the local government and she finally got her operation.
I'm sure that everybody would use private clinics but they are expensive as hell.

Imo there is too much coddling by the government and society. There are a lot of small things that annoy pretty much everybody. For example alcohol. The age limit for drinking is 18 and for liquors it's 21. Basic drinks like beer and cider are allowed to be sold in grocery stores, but anything stronger than that is sold in "Alko" which the government owns and has a monopoly on. I guess that our nation has a drinking problem and this way the gov seeks to limit drinking by setting the price of liquors pretty high, alcohol tax is high also (they just raised it). For example a 70cl bottle of Chivas Regal whisky (:o) costs over 40 here while in Portugal its 20 (and their age limit is 16 for everything :mad:).

But I dont complain, it could be better but it could be a lot worse and I'd rather live in "socialist" Europe than America.


Ok, you started off by saying life is good. Then almost your entire post is how life is NOT good. Please let us know how life is good and if and why socialism is working and will continue to work in Finland. :)

Brassmouth
01-04-2009, 09:27 AM
http://www.cato.org/dailypodcast/podcast-archive.php?podcast_id=293

www.cato.org/pubs/pas/pa-603.pdf

Here's some material from Cato that provides some insight. The PDF is a good read. :)

ifthenwouldi
01-04-2009, 10:19 AM
If the U.S. would stop policing the world, our economy would obliterate the Scandinavian model.

Danke
01-04-2009, 11:34 AM
I remember a while ago a swedish guy posted a huge rant about how sweden isn't so great as the lefties make it out to be and had a huge list of everything that was wrong with it. i will try to find it.

GreenCardSeeker?

http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?p=1875769#post1875769

krazy kaju
01-04-2009, 12:17 PM
I actually wrote a thread about this subject on the Mises Community (http://mises.org/Community/forums/t/5616.aspx).

Fox McCloud
01-04-2009, 01:46 PM
just because it appears to be doing well or that the people are happy doesn't make it right or correct.

MANY were happy with Hitler and WWII Germany and its economy...doesn't mean the economic policies were right or that it was the way to implement things...it just means it worked for then...as Mises postulated (and correctly too, at least I think) any intervention in the markets eventually leads to another and another and another and...well, eventually it continues on until the State controls everything...eventually.

it's the way it's been and always will be, sadly...

Brian4Liberty
01-04-2009, 03:31 PM
I have my own theories on socialism in Scandinavia. As a gross generalization, I would say that the form of "government" (whether it be any one or mix of democracy, monarchy, oligarchy, plutocracy, capitalism, socialism, communism, anarchism, theocracy, etc.) is less important than the morals and standards of the people as a whole. Certainly the political and economic systems have some effect, but "bad" people will ruin any system, and "bad" people exist in every system. When they reach a critical mass, it brings down everyone.

A society of self-sufficient and honest people will tend to have a "better" society, no matter what the system.

In most cases, we do not have enough self-sufficient and honest people. And because of this, the system which intrudes least (with the least power) is best, if for no other reason than political systems are so easily corrupted for the advantage of a corrupt few.

I had a couple of posts related to this:

http://www.ronpaulforums.com/showthread.php?t=173180


We have had two threads going that are related: the role of "greed" in society and "standard of living" (in Denmark).

First, let's make a distinction between "greed" and "self-interest". For this theory, I will use the Wikipedia definition of greed: "Greed is the selfish desire for the pursuit of money, wealth, power, food, or other possessions, especially when this denies the same goods to others. It is generally considered a vice, and is one of the seven deadly sins in Catholicism."

Let's just assume that healthy "self-interest" is universal. It's not good or bad, it just is.

It seems that lack of "greed" is what defines the "better standard of living" societies like Denmark, while excess "greed" defines the worst "standard of living" societies such as Zimbabwe.

Socialism combined with greed never works. Socialism on a large scale never works. Socialism is collectivism, with the people who propose or control it looking to take advantage of others.

In cases like Denmark, it may work to a certain extent because the culture generally dislikes greed, and will naturally limit the amount of greed wherever it occurs in their society.

On the other hand, the United Stated has gone a long way in the past 50 years in moving from "self-interest" to a "greed" oriented culture. Thus we are moving from the type of society of Denmark, towards the type of Zimbabwe.

And our socialism will continue to grow, as socialism is generally a device used by the greedy. The poor are like the suckers of a ponzi scheme who believe that they will gain from socialism, and the elite plutocracy are the greedy ones who know that they will benefit. And both of those groups feel justified in their opinions by the greed of overpaid hedge fund managers, CEO's and Wall St...

Bottom line: Greed and the perception of excess greed are a good counter-indicator of a society's standard of living (and happiness if you like). And the US is going in the wrong direction. Greed is detroying us.


Another thought on greed in a society:

Would anyone in Denmark put poison in baby formula and pet food?

The fact that Socialism/Communism and Capitalism work together so well in China is interesting...they can easily embrace both, yet China is never on the top of a list of countries with a great standard of living...but they might be rated high on the "greed" factor.

Hiki
01-04-2009, 03:42 PM
Ok, you started off by saying life is good. Then almost your entire post is how life is NOT good. Please let us know how life is good and if and why socialism is working and will continue to work in Finland. :)

Well yes life is good. Sure there are always things to complain about but considering how they are around the world, the price of a whisky bottle is hardly a big thing :D

Mahkato
01-04-2009, 03:46 PM
The New American had a good article about this (http://www.thenewamerican.com/world-mainmenu-26/europe-mainmenu-35/328-swedish-welfare) a few months ago.