Monday, August 08, 2005

Swedish Welfare State Cracking?

Are we seeing some major cracks in the Swedish welfare state, with its 25% real unemployment rate? If so, what happens when it collapses? Isn't it likely that this will trigger a flood of "welfare tourists" to neighboring countries? Given that Finland is beyond political correctness and hardly accepts any immigration at all, and that Denmark is increasingly fed up, the weakest link among Sweden's neighbors is Norway. We share a very long border with Sweden, which is among the least protected borders in the world. Our significant oil wealth and naive politics make us an attractive destination. How are we going to respond to tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of people suddenly moving here? This question hasn't even been asked, much less debated, by a single political leader in this country:

Persson: new state jobs will fix unemployment

High unemployment in Sweden will be tackled by creating more public sector jobs, even if that means breaking the government’sspending limits. That was the message from Göran Persson, Swedish prime minister, in a speech in Björkvik on Sunday. The jobs will be targeted mainly at young people and the long-term unemployed. They will be given jobs in government agencies, mainly doing desk jobs or looking after old people. Some of the jobs will be new, while others will be created by replacing exisiting employees who retire. Proposals that were highlighted by Persson included using the long-term unemployed to “help old people to hang curtains,” while some of the younger recruits could be employed to investigate benefits fraud. This was condemned as populistic by public service union.

Sweden aims to halve sick leave

Sweden is struggling to pay the bills for the tens of thousands of workers on long-term disability and an expanding group of young people leaving the workforce altogether on so-called "early retirement." "Twenty-five percent of early retirees today are under 55. This is a huge problem ... When you retire at the age of 55 that's one thing, but if you retire at 30, it's going to cost society a lot of money," Odmark said. According to a report in Swedish daily Aftonbladet last June, a 35-year-old on early retirement can cost the state five million kronor by the time he or she reaches the official retirement age of 65. Quoting official numbers, the paper said that 500,000 people are on early retirement in Sweden today, 68,000 of whom are between the ages of 20 and 40. By the time the entire half million early retirees turn 65, Sweden will have dished out a whopping 700 billion kronor in compensation. There are many theories on why the country, with its cradle-to-grave health coverage, is facing such a large sick-leave problem, with many observers insisting that Swedes are in fact no sicker than other Europeans. "If the sick-leave levels in Sweden really were an indicator of how sick we are, we would be facing a plague here," Thorslund said.


At August 09, 2005 1:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Are we seeing some major cracks in the Swedish welfare state, with its 25% real unemployment rate? If so, what happens when it collapses?

Chaos and civil upheaval. The only reason the west has not experienced this is due to the money that hides the entire mess. Mass immigration and a welfare state are NOT compatible. If a nation was inclined to allow immigration of third world immigrants ( which I obviously strongly oppose), then welfare should be the first on the list to be abolished. Though with that, one wouldn't be getting a tremendous amount of third world immigration. Kind of like a vicious cycle in reverse, or a "pleasant cycle".

Just how much are Swedes willing to be taxed in order to keep the peace? 75%? 80%? 100%? It will come to that.

At August 09, 2005 4:34 AM, Blogger Mike said...

When Norwegians make their liquor runs to Sweden to stock up on (relatively) cheap booze, the will be sent home with one complimentary immigrant per visit.

At August 09, 2005 6:44 AM, Blogger Dick Onander said...


You get it right again! I am a Swede in exile and I can only agree with you. Norway is in grave danger when the last pillars of the Swedish society come tumbling down. In fact, Sweden has effectively ceased to function. Its skyrocketing crime is but one of many signs of this.

At August 09, 2005 7:50 AM, Blogger Don Miguel said...

"High unemployment in Sweden will be tackled by creating more public sector jobs."

Wow! That is a winning economic strategy sure to bring growth the Swedish economy.


If these auto posts keep on coming, I'm going to be able come here and do all of my online shopping! Just in this thread I can get my infertility treated, a massage and new ceiling fans.

At August 09, 2005 10:09 AM, Blogger Ole said...

Wow! This is a good blog. I've been looking all over the net for "ceiling fan related stuff". Whatever the hell that is.

At August 09, 2005 10:30 AM, Blogger Ole said...

I just don't understand why our Democratic Party, here in the states, keeps wanting to emulate Europe and their welfare systems. We are having enough problems with our own welfare system, especially with all the illegal immigrants we have crossing our southern border. Of course, I can't blame all that on the Democrats. Our so called "Republican" president has done nothing to help close our borders to illegal immigration,

At August 09, 2005 10:52 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

I take great pleasure in deleting these shopping comments.

At August 09, 2005 4:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


At August 09, 2005 6:41 PM, Blogger simulev said...

No, this is really scary....

"Humane? The truth is that our asylum politics are legally disgusting"

(The views yesterday from some of the cultural elite -regarding the Swedish "inhumane" asylum politics, mainly against Muslim Arabs from the Middle East)


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