DON’T PILLAGE US WITH TAXES, WE’RE VIKINGS – God preserve us from the fury of the Northmen:
With elections due on Sept. 9, polls show a slump in support for the governing Social Democrats, in power since 2014, though an alliance of four other parties may be able to form a minority government.
But with immigration and healthcare topping surveys as the biggest issues facing the country, a party with neo-Nazi roots, the Sweden Democrats, has surged and may hamper any efforts to form a functioning government. In some polls, the Sweden Democrats have even overtaken the Social Democrats as the country’s biggest party, with backing from more than 25 percent of voters.Sweden provides heavily subsidized health care, free education and more than a year of paid parental leave. If people get sick or lose their jobs, the premium they have paid into the welfare system via their taxes is returned in benefits.Most Swedes are comfortable with what they pay and what they get, though a survey by pollster Demoskop published in February showed that the proportion of respondents who thought taxes were too high jumped to 45 percent, up from just 27 percent in 2014.
As the old saying goes: democracy, welfare state, mass immigration – pick any two. As the story reminds us, Sweden, a nation of 10 million people, has accepted 600,000 refugees over the past five years. The Swedes are famously communitarian in their inclinations, but a generous Scandinavian-style welfare system can successfully function only in ethnically and culturally cohesive societies. You don’t mind paying high taxes to help “your people”; less so when you have to help strangers with whom you share little except proximity. This is a basic fact of the human nature and the group dynamics that hasn’t changed significantly since our hunting and gathering days.