Leftists in the United States have long pointed at the “Nordic Model” welfare state epitomised by Sweden as the type of system they would like to implement in the US.
They think that by raising taxes and enabling collective bargaining between employers and trade unions they will obtain the same results in a country with a historical aversion to socialism, and one still divided in many areas along racial lines.
The second point matters, because although socialism of the type in Sweden worked well while it was still a racially and culturally homogenous country – beginning after WW2 – society began to gradually fragment with the influx of immigrants beginning in the 1970’s, resulting in government mistrust and in-group strategies, which have left the weight of propping up the failing system on a dwindling core of mostly white Swedes.
An article in The Economist has the following to say regarding this:
TENSIONS were running high when your correspondent visited Sweden at the height of Europe’s migrant crisis, in late 2015. Although most Swedes happily accepted the 163,000 asylum-seekers who arrived in their country that year, others were far less welcoming. In Malmo, a heavily immigrant city in the south, one cashier in a local shop was particularly angry. “They are just here for welfare and benefits,” he said, before telling your correspondent to “get out”. Such language was once the preserve of politicians from the far-right Sweden Democrats party, which has capitalised on the crisis to boost its support. Since then the government has been trying to adapt the Swedish welfare state to suit the times: both to accommodate hundreds of thousands of refugees and to try to diminish such right-wing sentiment. What is changing?
The first response by the centre-left coalition government to the overwhelming influx of refugees in 2015 was to close the border with Denmark. This was seen as an extreme measure: the deputy prime minister, Asa Romson, cried when announcing the move at a press conference. Since then it has also tried to tweak welfare spending. Previously, failed asylum-seekers received a monthly cash benefit of around 1,200 SEK ($140) and housing; this was scrapped last year. On May 31st the government voted to limit paid parental leave for immigrants: previously, refugees could claim the full amount of paid leave (480 days per child under the age of eight). Now they can only do so if the child is under one year old. For big families the benefits will be limited further.
At first the thought of the deputy prime minister crying about closing the border with Denmark to stop the influx of refugees seemed like a joke, but alas not.
It’s no wonder that “refugees” were uninterested in settling in Eastern European nations if they could make their way to Sweden – and likely Germany also – and get cash and housing even if their bid for asylum failed.
Those Swedes worried about becoming a minority in their own country can draw some encouragement from the government decision to limit paid parental leave for immigrants – one imagines a recently settled “refugee” using his free government provided iPhone 7 to call his three wives in Afghanistan telling them to pack the bags for themselves and their 17 children under eight – however the fact that it’s still applicable for children under one will only encourage them to find the first Swedish girl they can get their hands on and try their luck.
In truth the only solution to this is a complete collapse and reboot of the system, something which doesn’t seem too far off judging by the talk of civil war from the Swedish National Police Chief. It remains to be seen if Swedish men still have the fighting spirit of their viking ancestors lying dormant somewhere inside them, which will save their women and their country, but not their once idealised welfare state.