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  • Jon Stewart: Socialism is Awesome

    [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SwXj1spgK5A[/youtube]

    Last night’s agenda on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart was: Socialism is awesome!

    As more and more Americans worry about the growth of government in their lives here in the U.S., the Daily Show travelled to Sweden to put those worries to rest. They wanted to show us that we should embrace Socialism rather than fear it. Well, by playing fast and loose with the facts, as usual, we fear even one person believed their nonsense.

    So yes, while the Daily Show is very astute to notice that President Obama is embracing a regulated labor force, high taxes, nationalized medicine, increased welfare and an economy built around government spending; they missed the point that Sweden is desperately trying to turn the opposite direction.

    Here are some things they didn’t tell you about Sweden…

    • Our Index of Economic Freedom shows that Sweden has some of the lowest scores worldwide in fiscal freedom and government size. The wealth tax has been abolished, but taxes are still a huge burden. The top income tax rate of 57% is one of the highest in the world. Total government spending is still more than half of GDP. The labor market’s inflexible regulations have caused the labor freedom score to dip below the world average.
    • Indeed, Swedes had less per capita disposable income than the average Western European in 2006 and also trailed the U.S., Canada, and several Pacific Rim nations. And, although the official jobless rate is about six percent, independent estimates suggest the real unemployment rate is between 15–20 percent.
    • But there are some bright spots in Sweden. For example, they eliminated their “Death Tax” while America’s remains at a staggering 45% rate. President Obama and Congressional leaders have delayed scheduled cuts to the death tax, and have proposed keeping it high.

    So, there you have it. Jon Stewart loves Sweden, and he loves Socialism. Too bad Stewart didn’t find a Swedish citizen to speak with; they would’ve told him that Socialism didn’t work for them, and it won’t work for the United States. Socialism is not awesome.

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    77 Responses to Jon Stewart: Socialism is Awesome

    1. Rose, Boston says:

      You left out that they DID actually talk to one of Sweden's Highest Paid Pop Stars and compared her Modest Lifestyle to 50 Cent's Luxurious Lifestyle. Her 24" LCD compared to 50 Cent's 90" Plasma..

      People need to see the show for themselves to realize that Jon Stewart is a comedian, Not a politician.

    2. jake says:

      Here's someone with no sense of humour. They were making fun of rightist morons like you who scream 'socialism' yet have no idea what it means or what it entails. I'd be suprised if you could locate Sweden on a map.

    3. Frank, Philly says:

      Wow, talk about missing the point.

      First of all, the Social Democrats lost the election largely because the leader of the Moderates, Reinhard, rebranded the party and moved it to the left.

      The "correspondent" spoke to Swedish citizens in much of part 1, and citizens were perfectly happy. Also he spoke with one of the members of ABBA, who are bazillionaires yet choose to stay in socialist Sweden where they pay incredibly high taxes. OTOH, tennis legend Bjorn Borg moved from his native country so obviously he doesn't agree.

      Either way, I don't think the Swedish political system could be explained in a two part series or by a short news article. I don't think TDS loyalists like myself are going to move to Sweden anytime soon based on this short piece, no matter how many hot, young blondes there appear to be there. The overall point was that while we prefer good ol' American capitalism, socialism, when performed properly, isn't the end of the world.

      Thank you.

    4. Rory Cooper Rory Cooper says:

      I know where Sweden is on the map, it's left of Europe and right of Russia.

    5. Luz Ontario, Can says:

      In my opinion, Americans are better off with Capitalism. If they work harder they will have a better future. They will be given a chance to better their lives. Socialism won't work for people who wants to pursue the American dream. Socialism will make lazy citizens not to look for a job, since they are being look after by the government that being collected from the hardworking citizens. They should encourage citizens to follow their dreams and live the dream. If Health care will be nationalize, the quality or the standard of care might be diminished. Although I believe that there should be a public hospitals for the needy, while they are rebuilding their lives.

    6. Fred, Washington DC says:

      While both skits were totally hillarious, the women indeed statuesque pleasure creatures, and the socialist parliamentarian in fact coming across as an idiot, it is true that the rub was that Sweden is better thanks to socialism. Still, I am optimistic that even John Stewart won't succeed in convincing his most avid viewers of the 'benefits' of socialism.

      Actually, an interesting point you guys should bring up is how their entitlement system has also led to a flood of expectant and generally hostile immigration.

    7. haha says:

      haha what hilarious stats! Pure comedy gold!

    8. James Rich, CA says:

      It's no surprise that Jon's phenomenal success is in the U.S. and not in Sweden. He's one of those typical types who loves the greenery from the other side of the street, even when that greenery is due to astro-turf and spray paint.

      Long-term demographic trends don't support the growth, prosperity, or even existence of Sweden 80-100 years hence. I guess that doesn't matter. A society and its members can throw in the existential towel and it doesn't matter to Jon one iota. So a suicidal man — who gets healthcare and paid leave — is the picture of health and should be copied. OK, Jon. Yup, you're so smart.

    9. Max, Sweden says:

      He didn't find a Swedish citizen to speak with? Did the author of this article even watch the segments?

      Anyway, I don't really get why anyone would compare the United States with Sweden. We are a relatively small country with an entirely different culture, history, economy and demographic. What works for us might not be best for you. I would think a comparison with Canada would be more suitable.

      And fyi, The Daily Show sith Jon Stewart is quite popular here. It's broadcast on tv with one weeks delay, and I know a lot of my friends watch it online.

    10. Jonte says:

      You americans do not know anything about Sweden.

      You only know what the media tells you to know.

      We got high taxes, but noone lives in a tent.

      Noone is starving.

      We do not live under bridges.

      You bail out people, who should go to prison.

      It's socialism for the rich.

      USA has become a welfare state for the rich.

    11. Socialist, Portland says:

      As a real Socialist, one who believes in the complete public ownership of the economy, the idea of either the US or Sweden as a socialist country is laughable. What they are is a mix of the two systems, something neither people on the far right or the far left are big fans of. Still, people like the author of this article ignore the fact that Swedish people are consistently found to be happier and healthier than citizens of more laissez-faire capitalist countries. Anyone who has been to Scandinavia can see this for themselves. On the subject of socialized healthcare, I for one would rather live in a society where everyone has access to care, even if it is not the best care, than have healthcare only available to those who can afford it. Even Americans who are insured often are denied services or lack preventive care because insurance companies are more concerned about profits than people. It's too bad the US lacks a strong left wing party because then maybe we could have a healthy debate about his and not just some anochronistic name calling and dubious 'fact' throwing.

    12. bbb says:

      I am an American who DOES know what it's like to live in Sweden (and yes, I can speak Swedish). You have to live there more than 6 months to start to appreciate how depressing and demotivated the people are. I'm surprised that Jon Stewart would be so popular in Sweden, because they are as a whole very nice people who don't appreciate mocking others. However, the socialism there is unbelievable. Swedes can be as smug as they want to be at how "quality" Sweden is, but I have yet to see the number of drunks I observed walking around Stockholm and Malmo anywhere in the U.S. And I'm talking the kind of drunk who's so drunk he's urinating on himself. There is no idea of customer service or competition amongst businesses, because to get ahead mean more taxes, so it's a cost-benefit analysis. Grocery stores close between 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Restaurants make you purchase something if you need to use the rest room (the public toilets are beyond disgusting). Everyone complains that everything is so expensive (which it is). Milk comes in liter sizes, and is as expensive as a gallon. Everything but corn flakes and chocolate is in miniature packaging. Most people live in apartments or townhouses, unless you are in a very rural area. Major holidays are three days where everything is closed (and I mean everything but maybe the hospital and police). Forget going to the doctor. I thought the women were beautiful, the people nice, the holidays interesting, the food tasty, but the social/economic/political climate depressing and HORRIBLE. As often as I was told how "dumb" and "ignorant" Americans were, just about every Swede I met was fascinated with the US and they all wanted to come to the States.

    13. Alan, California says:

      Oh, gosh! Thanks for alerting me! Here I was, considering myself a relatively astute fan of The Daily Show, and could distinguish comedy from propaganda. But now that you've opened my eyes, I get it: Jon Stewart's satire is just a masterful and subversive technique for getting me comfortable with the idea of socialism! I know now that the best way is never to let my diligence down. There can never be an attempt to either reason things out or to use political humor to question our preconceived notions. No! We have to pick either the red state or the blue state, where according to you, only the red state can ever be the right way, and the blue state must always be an insidious plot to turn us into socialists, and from there it's only a short walk to communism, as we all know.

      Or I could just lighten up a little and let people on both sides have their fun mocking the viewpoints of the other, so that we can all detach just a little and apply some clear-headed thinking. Like thinking that maybe there's a new possibility somewhere between the abusively exploitive nature of unrestrained capitalism and the wealth-redistributing disempowering nature of unabated socialism.

      Only, how come you guys aren't laughing? Might you be taking this just a teensy-weensy bit too seriously? Maybe?

      Look, guys, gals, I know you don't trust anyone who didn't vote the way you did. Which is a shame, given that the strength of the country is that we can all have differing goals and yet still make it all work, somehow. But I'm going to say it anyway: Those of us who don't think Obama is going to usher in rampant socialism really do care about our country's future, and making it possible for people to succeed (financially) very well, only, well, we'd kind of like to do it without having to crush people who don't have as many advantages, or don't really want to work harder and longer than everyone else but are willing to work as hard and long as they are asked.

      Cut us a little slack, okay? Make good points, not whiney snipey ones like this, and learn to have a little sense of humor. We all want the best, as much as you do.

    14. Jason Dayton OH says:

      Here's a novel idea: Why doesn't Jon Stewart and every citizen/celebrity/politician that promotes socialism as a good thing, just move??…If you don't like capitalism in America, why don't they just get the hell out?

      The same thing goes for eggheads like Sean Penn, who frequently travels down to Mexico and South America. He tells terrorist, murderous dictators like Hugo Chavez how terrible America is. If you think the United States of America is so bad–why not move?

    15. angrypatriot says:

      Socialism, like Stewart, is laughable. For all of the clowns out there who sing its praises; MOVE OUT OF AMERICA! Since you hate the capitalist way of our country, go somewhere else and scratch out your living.

      It's always those with extra large mouths and extra small brains who hide behind our First Amendment and lack the courage of their convictions to actually leave this great country and move to one that espouses their beliefs. What a joke!

    16. Ivan, Montreal says:

      Alan, you are an complete idiot. The guys in article are talking about exact results of the system Stewart and similar brainwashed left wing morons are preaching to American public. You don't know anything about what they are talking about in article, because otherwise you would manage to refute any of the facts and assertions they produced. Instead, only thing you were able to do is to repeat a couple of standard moronic left wing talking point.

      "Those of us who don’t think Obama is going to usher in rampant socialism really do care about our country’s future, and making it possible for people to succeed (financially) very well, only, well, we’d kind of like to do it without having to crush people who don’t have as many advantages, or don’t really want to work harder and longer than everyone else but are willing to work as hard and long as they are asked."

      This passage clearly shows what an hilarious ignorant you are. You want the people to succeed financially who don't wanna to work harder. This is your wonderful socialist world. If you have read the article you would see that policies in Sweden aimed at producing outcome you want for America (lifting up those who want more money for less work) resulted actually in less overall economic progress and specially less economic progress for the poor, than in other countries with more liberal regimes. But, it would be completely futile to explain to moron like you how and why high taxes and heavy regulation discourage investment of capital, and that way decrease productivity, and that way depress the real wages, and that way worsen condition of poor worker. And why, therefore, socialism (in Swedish or in Soviet form) kills prosperity of the poor primarily. And how the "spreading the wealth around" destroys overall wealth and hence diminish even the slice of pie to be redistributed to the poor. And why only free market capitalism was able to lift masses of poor people out of dire poverty throughout recorded history.

    17. Grace, Florida says:

      Alan, I believe some of you want the best for the country and our people, but I really take offense with you point that you want people with less advantages and who don't want to work as hard to have the same as everyone else. That is not the way our country was founded. Do you think that all the people who have done well grew up with advantages over others? I don't think so – it was hard work on their part – they created their own wealth. I think you are missing the point. We are a society of people who can do anything we want to do but we have to put in the hard work. If I'm reading your blog right you think everyone should have the same opportunity without working hard because they don't really want to. I'll bet the people who have succeded didn't always feel like working hard but thy were smart enough to see the end of their hard work. Liberals, like yourself, want everything equal – Not me – I'll continue to work hard and reap the benefits – even if I don't feel like it some days.

      You may all want the best – but that's all it is for you – a wish – not a reality.

    18. Manlo saldanas, Mia says:

      Please read ADAM SMITH and DAVID HUME.

      It is not from the benevolence of the butcher, the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own self-interest. We address ourselves, not to their humanity but to their self-love, and never talk to them of our own necessities but of their advantages.

    19. Paige, Bossier City, says:

      Alan, from California:

      You refered to "…abusively exploitive nature of unrestrained capitalism…"

      Tell me what companies you have seen that exploit its employees! I'll bet you would bring up Wal-Mart since they are hated by the left and are to blame for "putting Mom and Pop" out of business. But then forget that Wal-Mart employees are pretty happy working for them and actually got some pretty big bonuses earlier this year.

      Who do you think takes the risk when starting up and running a company? I'll give you a clue, its not the employees. Who looses money if there is no profit at the end of the quarter, not the employee!

      The underscored point here in the article is that if Sweden (and all other socialist countries) are so great why aren't people flocking to their shores rather than our's? The answer is real easy, people want to live in freedom. We want a government that serves us not the other way around. IMHO our government is becoming the very thing that our forefathers fought against in 1776. The very reason they wrote the constitution the way they did, giving the power to the people rather than the central government. I know there are certain things the government must have the power to do in order to protect the nation and certain limits to our freedom for everyones' good. However limited government is the best one.

      • Tina says:

        Democracy means giving power to the people. The people in Sweden (in larger part from americans, as I understand it) decide who governs their country. We had the socialist democrats running for more than half a decade.
        We actually find it reassuring to know that no one in the country goes hungry, sick, or is missing a roof over their head (which does happen however highly unusual). Hopefully everyone works out of pride for the communities greater good.
        The reason people come to your country (and let me tell you…. we have a huge amount of immigrants in Sweden, a country you have to travel far through Europe to get to)is that they are seeking the dream you hand out of great money and great success. However, that dream comes at a cost for others around you or not at all. And then what do you have?
        Don't get me wrong, I love america and americans, they are spirited and fun. Just don't complain about my country. You have no clue what Sweden is like.

    20. European Conservativ says:

      You American libertarians won't ever get it, will you?

      High taxes are not a problem if they are spent well. Which is, by and large, the case of Scandinavia and much of Continental Europe.

      Scandinavians and Europeans in general are happy to pay high taxes because they value what they get in exchange – universal healthcare coverage, far better infrastructure than there is in US, nice and well-kept landscape, no shantytowns…

      Moreover, it is laughable to think there is "socialism" in Sweden or enywhere else in Europe. Just different shades of free-market capitalism.

      And the Swedish conservatives now in power certainly do NOT propose moving to the U.S. direction.

      Get real.

    21. Phyllis, CT says:

      Socialist in Portland wrote, "I for one would rather live in a society where everyone has access to care, even if it is not the best care, than have healthcare only available to those who can afford it." I am curious about where your threshold of "not the best care" might be? If everyone had equal care and your mother needed a pacemaker, but had to wait 10 months for it, would that be agreeable to you? If you had a child that needed chemo for cancer, but the wait time on that was 6 months or more, would that be ok? As long as everyone else had to wait just like your loved ones? I did not pull these out of a hat. These are real scenarios from friends in Canada. The mother died as a result of the wait and the child was brought to the US for our supposed "subpar" healthcare. I do think there should be something for the "1 in 7" without healthcare, but don't touch the healthcare the rest of us are willing to pay for.

      On another note, I am related to a medical professional that works in a very large hospital in PA. They have had in their care, since January, an illegal alien. His bill is now well over 2 million dollars with no end in sight. The gentleman in the room next door has worked all his life, paying into SS, Medicare, etc. He has been informed that he will need to sell his home and his car in order to continue receiving the medical care he needs. He must be at poverty level. The hospital will not take any action on the illegal alien because they fear the bad PR. Everything is wrong with this picture! Hospitals, and taxpayers cannot afford to pay this kind of bill! It was in the news that 2 years ago 60 hospitals along the southern border had to close because they were never paid for all the medical care illegal aliens received. I wonder how many more have closed since then?

      Please understand that it is proven in every place that has socialized medicine that there are less doctors, less hospitals, less of everything. The greatest medical breakthroughs happen in the US because we reward people for it! If we create a climate in which a person is rewarded for NOT being productive, then what is the incentive to work?

      Mr. Socialist in Portland, maybe you are fine with subpar medical care, but I am not. I am willing to work hard and to pay for what I need, but I expect quality and the freedom to choose, when I pay.

    22. Tom Iowa says:

      Jon Stewart: Just another HOLLYWOOD idiot running his mouth without ingaging his brain. DUH….

    23. Terry (Tucson, AZ says:

      Terry (Tucson, AZ writes:

      Your comment is currently undergoing moderation

      I have friends in Sweden, they wait months to get into see a doctor, the taxes are so high, a lot of them make their own liquor or get on the ferry boat to Helsinki where they can buy liquor cheap….They got off the boat totally drunk, so many were drunk it was sad…They were getting off with cases of liquor to take home…To make a meal, you usually have to go to several stores, one for meat, fish, flowers, liquor, etc…A lot of very young people are drunks or on the streets. All these people who are embracing socialism, why don’t they just leave America and go to a country that has it. Jon Stewart, if he loves Sweden so much he should move there…Okay liberals, leave America and go to a Socialistic country…Why do you think so many people come to America. My great grandfather immigrated from Norway, my great grandmother immigrated from Sweden, my grandfather immigrated from Italy, my other grandfather immigrated from Denmark, they loved America and all did well in this country. TW

      • oscar johansson says:

        Uhm, the boat you talk about is a "mini crusie". Becuse pepole buy alot of beer o spirits on that boat is becuse the arent much taxes on it. We have high tax on alchohol becuse alchohol kills you. Wait months for a doctor, please. Now you just making that up, what you are referring to is when you have to sheduel a operation, like fixing a knee or something in that way, but you dont have do wait longer then 3 months, We pay 27 dollars for each visit at the hospitals. We are ranked 5 in the top of hospitals and you are ranked 44. So dont come here and say that your hospitals are better, we dont even need insuernce.. And what are America now ? you are Chinas bitc

    24. Joe, London says:

      Sweden is not a socialist country – it's a capitalist country, heavily influenced by social-democratic thought; and it's all the better for it.

      You can look at most statistics and see for yourself how well Sweden – and indeed all the other Scandinavian countries – is performing across any index regarding health, wealth and happiness.

      Why don't you try to relax a little and accept that there are other ways to build and run a society than in the US? Perhaps you might even learn something.

    25. Sue Warner says:

      Tell me (just cant say, or type president)What does it take to be an American during your term? I will tell you- Hate the great USA, Love your enemies, forget your allies,you wont have to quit your job-chances are it will close,sit back collect welfare! Conform to the socialist coountry! NEVER

    26. Richard, Spring, TX says:

      Jon Stewart can't even spell Sweden. He wouldn't know capitalism from socialism. The man is a Hollywood liberal that promotes the lies of the left. Why do you expect him to be any different. What you need to do is put some skits on TV that shows Stewart for the fool that he is. Do to him what he does to conservatives.

    27. Henrik Scheller, Cal says:

      Sweden has its problems, no doubt about that. But the 'facts' in the article are not correct. Sweden is not #18 in the per capita national income. Whether you use data from International Monetary Fund, CIA or World Bank, Sweden (together with other 'socialist' countries like Denmark, Finland and Netherlands) come out ahead of US. You can check it here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by
      There can be many reasons for that – and having a social democratic welfare state in these countries, does not necessarily explain the difference.

    28. Fox Berlin says:

      Funny how you conservatives are unable to tell the difference between serious political commentary and satire.

    29. Blue Dog Roseville U says:

      How can capitalism in the USA be considered exploitative when one can rise to any height he or she desires given their abilities, talent and desire to be sucessful? The only thing limiting one in the US is their personal mind set.

    30. Honus McGee says:

      Way to go, Heritage Foundation! You are exposing Jon Stewart and his cohorts for what they are — laugh machines!! Keep up the good work. With your diligence and determination, maybe all humor can be wrung out of every situation. Except of course for Fox News. Nothing will ever be funnier than the babes of Fox News.

    31. Spiritof76, New Hamp says:

      If socialism is so great, Jon Stewart and all his socialist cohorts can send every penny of their pay check to the treasury voluntarily or move to Sweden or any other socialist hellhole.

      It is not a contest here to prove the merit of socialism. The US is founded on life, liberty and property-all individual. Capitalism is the natural outcome of that philosophy of life. We like it that way. We won't stand in the way of any body wanting to worship collectivism by providing them a one-way ticket to their socialist paradise. Who knows, they may found another Soviet Union to resurrect its glory days as a socialist empire.

      • Tina says:

        Socialism – communism. Sliiiight bit of difference there… But who cares when you're just trying to make a point?

    32. Ron Thompson, Albuq says:

      These "useful idiots" go to places and are shown around to only the spot the media want them to. they probably didn't know anything more about Sweden, than they manufacture Volvo, and Saabs. As far as satire and political commentary, Comrade Daily is in the tank for the illustrious potentate! You notice that all of these spokes people, always see and say the grass is greener on the other side, yet none of them want to move there. It will only be a matter of time when Obama turns on the rich in the entertainment area.

    33. Alan, California says:

      Ivan of Montreal: May I ever-so-lightly recommend that you apply yourself a little "pull the stick outta your behind" therapy. The reason I am not refuting assertions is that IT'S BESIDE THE POINT. The point of this entry is not about proving how not-so-good socialism is (well, kind of it is). Mostly it's about trying to alert unwary readers that Jon Stewart is allegedly promoting it.

      Ivan, and Grace of Florida:

      BOTH of you need to slow down and READ instead of knee-jerk reacting to what you think I said because I didn't ditto-speak everything.

      Let's try this again.

      Ivan, you said I said this: "You want the people to succeed financially who don’t wanna to work harder." No, I didn't say that at all. Quite the opposite, in fact. Go back, try again.

      Grace, you said "you point that you want people with less advantages and who don’t want to work as hard to have the same as everyone else." No! I didn't say that either!

      I didn't expect to have to explain reading comprehension, but I guess this is what happens when you watch too much Fox News. And I choose to speak condescendingly because it amuses me, and I'm certain you won't read this rebuttal thoroughly but will still condemn me, so I might as well be guilty of something.

      THIS is what I mean: Just because someone says they think Heritage got it wrong, you automatically READ INTO what was said and then retaliate, all barrels blazing!

      Here's EXACTLY what I said: "…we’d kind of like to do it without having to crush people who don’t have as many advantages, or don’t really want to work harder and longer than everyone else but are willing to work as hard and long as they are asked."

      Now STOP. You didn't read this right the first time, so I'll explain what it means, because I don't trust you to do it correctly.

      It means that those of US who "get" that ownership of assets is a good thing and worth the risk (read "capitalists") are willing to work harder and longer than most other people. Not everyone, just most. And if you think advantages don't really help you succeed, then you need to go look up the definition of "advantage." You may be a little surprised, IF you actually read it.

      So, what, are you thinking American capitalism isn't safe until absolutely EVERYONE becomes a business owner? If so, I guess we better start calling our Amway reps.

      Let's get real. There are a ton of people who are willing to work a job, for eight hours a day, five days a week. They don't want handouts, and I'm not proposing we give them one. But when you, the business owner, lay off these people because their health insurance is costing you too much, do you think we should tell them, "Hey, it's your fault you're unemployed and have no revenue-generating asset, instead of a risk-taking capitalist business owner like myself?"

      Now let's talk about the people you mistakenly thought I was talking about. I was not talking about people who do not want to work as hard or as long as everyone else. I do not think they have a "right" to reap unearned rewards equal to yours or mine. READ THIS PARAGRAPH AGAIN until you understand I am not promoting communism by any stretch of the imagination.

      That you honestly think so many people who don't wholeheartedly agree with all of your viewpoints would espouse such a pointless idea … well, it shocks me! Have you learned nothing from McCarthyism? Are you still fighting the Red Scare? Perhaps you're still teaching your children to "duck and cover?"

      That said, I also think it's un-Christian and pointlessly cruel to promote a work-or-die mentality. I do not think that all people who won't or don't work 40-hour work weeks should be kicked to the gutter. Even Jesus encouraged the rich to give to the poor, and said "I am the least of these." Nobody said we had to make them financial equals. But don't you think we should make sure they nobody has to suffer homelessness, famine, and disease from our unwillingness to part with our hard-earned salary?

      And before you start telling me about filling this need with worthwhile charities rather than welfare from taxes, I'll point out to you that we've been there, done that, and lost the t-shirt right off our backs. Life was cheap at the beginning of the US industrial revolution. And there were plenty of charities then, but capitalism was largely unregulated and running amok. Many, many people died and suffered agony, but when you are the business owner, well, you have your competition to worry about, and the people still on your payroll and your stockholders need you to look after them, not the guy looking for a meal on the street.

      Paige, from Bossier City, LA:

      I'll direct you to re-read what I wrote. Wal-Mart is an example of RESTRAINED capitalism, not unrestrained. All legally operating companies in the USA are examples of restrained capitalism. They don't have a choice about minimum wage, safe working conditions, health insurance, and so on. And before you say "But everyone knows it's just good business to promote good working conditions," remember this: your competitor knows that it's better business to put YOU and your employees out of business and to TAKE your business. Take away the restraints, and all the "we love our employees" bit will fly right out the window.

      Those restraints, those regulations, all smack of so-called socialism to knee-jerk conservative ditto-heads (your term, not mine). They are not intended to bring about socialism in our time. They are there because capitalism NEEDS restraints or else it goes bad.

      HERE

      IS

      MY

      POINT:

      It does not have to be EITHER full-on capitalism OR full-on socialism. Neither way is the solution. Not your way. Not the way you thought (wrongly) was mine.

      We are all smart enough and big-hearted enough to find a solution which accomodates BOTH our desire to reward most those who work the hardest and take the biggest risks, AND does so without forcing everyone who is unemployable (whether through choice or not) to rot to death.

      Or do you fancy yourselves some kind of avenging angel put on earth to bring about the destruction of all people who don't think they should work for as many unregulated hours and at whatever the smallest unregulated wage you could get awy with? OF COURSE YOU DO NOT. And I know you do not because I know you truly do want the best for all of us. AND SO DO I.

      What we need is a NEW course. Let's put our heads together! Let's listen to each other! Let's try to pay attention to what is truly important–honoring our humanity–rather than some tired and defunct ideology (by which I mean both full socialism and full capitalism).

      And, seriously, everyone (I mean you, angrypatriot, Tom from Iowa, Sue Warner and Richard from Spring, TX): Ad hominem attacks work AGAINST YOU. PLEASE learn this.

    34. Pingback: Messing around where I probably shouldn't. Pouring fuel on fires - RedCrystal

    35. dan taylor U.S.A. says:

      Henrik Scheller,if you want reliable info then I would advise you not to fact check with Wikipedia.They are not known for being accurate.

    36. Byron, Florida says:

      Funny how lefties get their panties all wadded up and cry out "I was just kidding" when a Conservative shines a light on their collectivist schemes. Kinda like cockroaches. They run and scurry.

      The Constitution was predicated on a principle of "limited government." The Constitution is not a "living document." It is a set of rules for the national government. Would you play cards with someone who demanded the "right" to change the rules of the game ad hoc, any time he wanted?

      Freedom, not economic prosperity is the lodestone of the Founding Document. Having said that, if you have the former, you will have the latter.

      In less than 300 years, America rocketed past nations and cultures thousands of years older. We are the immigrant destination of the world, yes even now. Please don't try to pretend that socialism of ANY kind had ANYTHING

    37. Byron, Florida says:

      con't….

      to do with our success. And please, slavery was rampant in all of the nations of the world. Don't drag up that tired old argument. The USSR lasted how long? Sixty years? And produced what? We all know the truth.

      Sweden can do what it does for several reasons, they have the North Sea oil beds to cover themselves. They also have a small and homogeneous race/culture. That is changing fast and soon the few workers that work will tire of supporting those on eternal sick leave or those on holiday. And soon sharia will change what we know to be as Sweden. We all know what economic dynamos muslim nations are.

      Did Sweden put a man on the moon? Stop Hitler? Tojo? End all strife in Africa?

      Stop making Sweden out to be a political/cultural/economic wonder. Small country with geographic advantages and cute blonde women. Feh!

    38. Byron, Florida says:

      "The Constitution is not a suicide pact"

    39. Greg, St Louis says:

      Why doesn't jon stewart move to Sweden? Because he would not get to keep most of his 2 million annual salary and the millions from book deals. When this clown is pressed on the issues with facts, he gives the "Aw shucks it's just a comedy show" nonsense. Stewart should grow a pair, tell the truth and admit he is trying to be a ploitical pundit, but he does not have the intelligence or the poise of Juan Williams or Heraldo Rivera, so he resorts to name calling when someone, usually from the right, exposes his lack of knowledge in political affairs. Stewart is for kids silly rabbit!!

    40. Johan Olsson, Malmoe says:

      I’m just a normal guy from Sweden trying to pay his bills. I have absolutely nothing in common with 50 cent or any other millionaires/billionaires – and I don’t care either. I think EVERYONE should have same basic rights to a good life!

      This is how I see it

      People who need health care should get it. People should have a home and food on the table. When all the people of the country have these fundamental things we can discuss everything else.

      People are greedy

      People are greedy and set themselves first. I think Sweden is no exception. The exception is when the government says: hello people we do not tolerate this behavior! In our country everyone should have the same basic rights! These rights should include the human basic needs. Food, home, healthcare for EVERYONE!

      Not perfect

      Sweden is far from perfect and it’s a shame that we have such long queue for healthcare! But everyone has the same rights! Here we don’t care if you are a billionaire or a normal guy like me.

      USA

      The media also dictates what we think about USA in Sweden. Whatever the media says I think that you have a great country and hope that you take care of it and all of its inhabitants. Your new administration seems to be the best one for all times hope to see some more justice in the USA.

    41. Janet, Colorado says:

      Research yourself on the topic of socialism and it's history. Find out what country is currently using socialism and you'll find that it isn't so good for the economy nor personal freedoms. Briton is socialistic. It's health care system has massive delays of care. Sharia law is there. The radical islamic forces are encroaching on the European nations so fast that only a war will help them now. Until we oust the "progressives" in both parties we will not be able to save the Union from economic and moral devastation. Join http://teapartynation.com/ and let's get active to save our nation!

    42. Martin, Sweden says:

      This is ridiculous. Sweden, while much more left-wing than the USA has ever been, is not a socialist country. Complaints about the high taxes are rare. The USA is definitely NOT seen as an ideal by most people. And Sweden usually ends up higher in every index, such as human development (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Development_Index), quality of life (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quality-of-life_index) and corruption (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_index).

    43. Mick Malkemus, Riga, says:

      Have you ever been to Sweden? Even a quick glance around shows the higher average standard of living that the average standard of living in the US.

      It's hard for many to accept that the US system isn't the best, it's only the best for a small percentage of the population.

      Capitalism used to be wonderful for the majority. Sadly, those days are gone.

    44. Stephanie, Kansas says:

      I agree with Rose and others, you miss the larger point. The nit-picky facts you provide still do not undermine The Daily Show's larger point: the freedom of the top 1% to live like 50 cent should not be seen as a more important freedom than the right of every citizen to get adequate health care. Even if Sweden is slowly reintroducing some privatized aspects to their national health care system, I highly doubt they would ever dismantle the system completely. It's not like that Swedish pop star couldn't just move if she wanted to live like 50 cent, but she chose to stay in Sweden. If businesses really want to take advantage of market opportunities, they will forgo the ridiculous lifestyle and use that income to improve their business. The Daily Show is critiquing our culture's assumptions that socialism is evil by highlighting the Swedish quality of life that by far exceeds the United States.

      The deregulation that anti-socialists cherish is what has caused the economic crisis we are in today. If you believe in the power of the free market to correct problems, this crisis is such a correction. The money those Wall St. elites were "making" is really no more real than Monopoly dollars. The money was not real, and the "free market" is correcting this issue with a crisis, because the downturn is really just a reality check. The problem is the burden of this reality check is falling on the shoulders of those who did not profit from the crimes of those Wall St. elites. Whether the consequences are the company goes out of business, or the tax payers bail the company out, either way those select few are profiting like 50 cent at the expense of the masses. If the company dies, all those jobs are lost, and the American economy harmed. Other companies who relied on those companies to pay for things like health care for their employees are suffering. If we bail out these companies with tax dollars, we are limiting the government's ability to serve Americans in other ways. Either way, the correction by the "free market" has produced intense consequences that allow the few who benefited from the crimes to live it up at the expense of the masses. So, you may be right about the ability of the "free market" to regulate itself. However, the real fundamental political question we all need to ask is: Should the masses have to bear the burden of the "free market" as it regulates itself? I think you will have a hard time arguing that public should suffer that burden, especially when you decry the burden the elites bear when they pay high taxes that pay for universal health care. If regulations prevent the "free market" from having to correct itself in ways that only harm the masses, then it is the job of the government to protect its people. The masses need to be protected by more than just terrorists attacks, we need to be protected from those criminals who are capable of destroying the economy.

      So you are right, Stewart seems to have over looked the evidence you provide. However, that wasn't his goal, and your arguments are impotent against the larger fundamental issue Stewart is trying to address.

    45. Barb -mn says:

      No one can ever be too sure, Fox Berlin.

      Socialism is sexist! Not allowed in America.

    46. Michael Karnerfors, says:

      Well, as has already been pointed out, this blog post completely missed the point of Jon Stewart et al's skit: pointing and laughing at the silly fearmongers who try to scare people with…. uhm… Sweden?!

      I mean, come on… it's laughable! Sweden is a single state country of 9 million people… the US is a federal nation of 280 million! The US is a global super power, Sweden went out of that gig 300 years ago. You have a budget defitict that's bigger than our entire national budget!

      In essence, we're both democracies… just slightly different flavours. Saying we're "socialist" and using that to argue US domestic politics is as silly as claiming Germany is a religious fundamental nation whenever CDU is on the government coalition… or Sweden for that matter since currently the Christian Democrats are up there too.

      I'm not gonna argue the pros and cons of our respecive nations because it's pointless and is beside the point. You're happy where you are, I'm happy where I am, and we're both living in free nations and enjoying the benefits of them whilst moaning and complaining at the respective inadequacies.

      So look at Jon Stewarts skit for what it is: a jab at those that try to *scare* people by using *Sweden* as an example. He's just deconstructing their stupid argument… not promoting socialism.

    47. susan Tallassee Alab says:

      Just the statement "having a social democratic welfare states" in America scares the "bejeebies" out of me. This is a very serious matter–one not to be taken likely by anyone. Let's look into our history books and see how Russia fared under a "socialism" society (also known as communism) between 1927 and 1990:

      1. Country was in a total economic breakdown(1920's)….The government took control of all land…banks…and major industries. Workers were forced to join government-controlled trade unions and were not allowed to go on strike for improved conditions. Any uprise was considered "enemy of the state" and either put in prison or executed. Human life had no value.

      2. Food and goods were distributed by the government as it saw fit. All individual business ownership was prohibited.

      3. All church lands were taken by the government and were closed. All religious institutions were closed immediately. If anyone was caught performing any religious acts were put to death or put in prison.

      4.True Socialism creates cruel dictators or tyrants who tell the people that they are free but does not allow them to have any freedoms or liberties.

      5. Medical Care was free and available to everyone including the poor. It as a major disaster in the Soviet Union….Russian citizens had to wait hours and even days to see an overworked doctor in a shabby public hospital. Babies died from lack of proper care and "comrades" were encouraged to have abortions (which was free)..millions and millions had abortions and the abortions clinics were unsanitary and filthy…and a lot of women died from infection.

      6. The Soviet Union would come to aid of any country undergoing extreme terrorism…help them…than take over their country and turn it into a communist state controlled by Russia.

      7. The Middle Class was completely wiped out all together.

      8. No one owned a computer…TV….or radio….Soviet Union didn't want the people to know about countries where capitalism succeeded and people were free.

      9. The Soviet Union provided other counties with money and weapons to use against countries who practiced capitalism and free liberties. The Soviet Union supported many training camps for terrorists in the Middle East.

      10. Communist Russia placed 4 or 5 families into one apartment or townhouse to live under the worst conditions…some didn't even have bathrooms. While the privileged officials and soldiers lived in good houses and had an abundance of food and money (again….socialism?)

      11. By the mid '80s people of Russia were starving to death because of lack of food and quality of health care. Most of the working class turned into alcoholics because they were unhappy. Churches and schools were being held underground or in a secret location or those who yearned for a better life….a life with God. Russia's government tried to force the farmers to produce more food…..but the farmers eventually refused to cooperate because they wanted to own their own land.

      12. The Soviet Union had the Secret Police (the KGB) to spy on their citizens and force the socialistic ideas upon the citizens……they interrogated millions of citizens and there are "thousands" today who were never found by their families.

      13.After a horrible 10 year war with Afghanistan (oh really….) the Red Army started to question communism.

      14. Mikhail Gorbachev in the 1980's allowed free enterprise to keep the people from starving. He also encouraged businesses to "restructure" their business to be more "open" with free nations of the world. The United States sent experts and aid workers to help the starving people of Russia and to show how they could "live" on their own and run their own business.

      15. The death of the Soviet Union happened in January 1992 when the communist flag of the Soviet Union no longer flew over the Communist headquarters in Moscow…..Russia had become a "republic" again.

      16. Yeah…Russia stills has problems economically and politically….but the people said anything would be better than living in tyranny.

    48. Martin, Sweden says:

      "Let’s look into our history books and see how Russia fared under a “socialism” society (also known as communism) between 1927 and 1990:"

      Socialism isn't the same thing as communism, so you basically wasted your time arguing a point that was wrong in the first place. Well done.

    49. Marie, Sweden says:

      The people talking about Sweden here are just way off the mark.

      Yes we pay more for food and drink. No, we don't have to buy different kinds of food in different stores.

      Yes there is a drinking culture here where people get pretty drunk when they go out and drink – some even disgustingly so. No – we do not have the culture of hash and marijuana that the US have (and in fact many US artists get busted for drugs when they visit).

      Yes we pay a LOT of our income in tax. This makes everyone able to go through school and on to university without any fees – but free lunches through highschool. The maximum you pay for healthcare over a year is $90 – regardless of how many expensive treatments you need. We have government sponsored broadband and I pay about $25/month for 10 Mbit a second, up and down.

      Now, government spending is only good if it is going to good stuff – investment in people and education, infrastructure, jobs, housing et.c. I am not so certain that bailouts of the already wealthy is anything other than bad for your country. Bring home the troops and put them to work on infrastructure and greener neighbourhoods instead. THAT is worth spending on.

      In my experience people tend to feel more confidence in the economy if they have a secure salary so employing lots of people would actually help spending more than just giving those money to big buisness in the hope that they will spend it wisely. But well, what do I know – I just live in one of the least poor countries on Earth.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Poverty_Index

    50. Miriam, Sweden says:

      I just need to set one thing straight about swedish healthcare. A child in Sweden would never, ever, EVER have to wait for 6 months to get cancer treatment. And that goes for the adults to. Life threatening diseases will always be treated fast.

      There can sometimes, but definitely not always, be long queues for treatment of diseases that are not life threatening. However, no one will be denied treatment becuse of lack of insurance.

    51. Tim, Ohio says:

      Socialism as a whole leads to extended government power (through financial control) and oppression (through financial control).

      More taxation, oppression, limitations, distributions and federalization are 100% against the principals that The United States of America was founded upon. Those who fought for our freedom and framed our government are rolling in their graves. Even the most liberal of them.

      Socialists from across the world try to get to America where they can be free. I pity a world in which the idea of American Freedom is squashed by the needs of the minority. Where there is nowhere to escape tyranny and oppression. The good news being that if America continues down this path, I'm sure we'll do it right and be the most oppressive government in the history of the world.

    52. Tim, Ohio says:

      BTW… Sweden has about the population of New York City.

      Let's turn NYC into a socialist experiment. Give them their own currency equivalent to the total amount of currency in Sweden and let them have a go at it. If they are successful, let's try it in L.A. and go from one liberal city to another until they are all as great as Sweden.

      Everyone agree???

    53. Tim, Ohio says:

      The truth is that without America's evil capitalist freedoms, the Swedes would be speaking Deutch today. As would most of socialist Europe. How soon we forget a world continually at war due to too much government power.

      As a whole, America still proves that freedom, democracy, and capitalism are (by far) the best combination of ideals.

      BTW.. Haven't seen any American poor living in tents. I have, however, seen them pulling up to pick up their food stamps and unemployment checks in their SUVs. It's not so bad here.

    54. Martha Green says:

      It's called humor. Satire. Irony. And this makes it even funnier! Oh my goodness gracious…

    55. Byron, Florida says:

      Oh my goodness gracious…..how satire drenched. Indeed, how ironic!

      I notice that when defenders of American/free market values speak up, the left launches the twin attacks: mockery and false history.

      Go ahead and make fun of America folks, but remember that the first duty of a federal government is to protect the borders. No borders, no country. Get it?

      England, France, Germany, Sweden et al could afford to build "democratic socialist" polities after WWII since America garrisoned the place. Each of these nations fielded an army so puny and weak that the National Guard of Alabama could beat them on the battlefield.

      So?

      So, the national governments of these European nations could afford to be generous to their people. Why not? The US taxpayer was paying the US Army to keep the peace. Not only that, but American soldier paychecks spent in European made the place run too.

      What America get in return? Snotty little elitists from Sweden bragging about how great life is there. Take away the North Sea oil and force the government to take its primary duty seriously and voila! paradise is shattered.

      Oh yes, tell me, there is no poverty in Sweden? Tell that to the oppressed muslim immigrants living there in the shadows.

      What a load of leftist re-writing of history we have today.

      Anyway, the free ride is over kids. Reality is back in vogue. America can no longer pay for your free ride in "free" health care or "free" education or "free" housing. I read the British and German online business webzines.

      You non-Americans that have been living off of the American worker's taxes need to get this memo: we are broke. We can no longer support you.

      Don't believe me? You will. Already European governments are announcing cutbacks in everything and brothers and sisters…..your Euro taxes are going way up.

      Go ahead. Tell me I am just another uninformed American. My taxes pay the lion's share of the U.N. expenses. I don't have time to be offended. I have to go to work.

      • Tina says:

        It is a bit presumptuous to compare economy in the USA to economy in Europe (including Scandinavia) as we all have different economic systems and not even all of us have the same currency.

        Are you talking about american money spent in Europe during the 1930-1940s? We thank you for that but… that was a while ago.
        It seems to me america is the lender now. As you are broke. Your system failed it seemed.

        I don't have time to listen to a response. I have to enjoy life.

    56. american expatriate says:

      i'm an american who's been living in sweden for five years now, and you couldn't DRAG me back to the states. i don't care what the webzines you read tell you or what numbers someone is twisting at the moment, or what you think you know about so-called 'oppressed minorities'… i LIVE here, and i'm telling you life is great. this article is ridiculous and reeks of fear, as do most of the reader comments.

    57. HR, Malmo says:

      Calling sweden socialist after 1991, is just plain ignorance.

    58. Guy in Europe, Europ says:

      a quick point on taxes that most americans fail to understand is the PROPERTY TAX issue.. look up how much property tax cost in the USA and how much it costs in, (insert any country). In the USA you dont ever truly own a property, you lease it from your government. In europe that is not the case.. This is important because add up all the property tax you've spent over the years and the amount you've paid for taxes is about the same as in europe, minus the healthcare, and minus the feeling of true land/home ownership..

    59. Alexander denmark says:

      Someone commented that SWEEEEDEN did'nt go to the moon. What the hell does that have to do with anything? Sweden is the equivalent of ONE state of the United States of America.

      Teeeeexas didnt go to the moon.

      Also what does this have to do with socialism? Russia was goddamn communist and they had the first man IN SPACE.

    60. Pilot, Gothenburg says:

      Sweden sucks trust me. I have lived here for more than 23 years. It was better 20-15 years ago but not now. It is now the country of the poor and immigrants from Africa and Middle East. And since the average guy is in the same level as the poorest and the immigrants you will see them all mixed in any neighborhood.

      You will hardly see any people smile in this country, if you find 1 out of 1000; you are lucky. You will soon find out that there are a lot of depressing people living here, which also explains the high number of suicides in this country. The weather conditions can be described as the worst you will ever experience, especially during winter where there is hardly any sunlight.

      There is also a lot of hate among the people, if you are above someone, good at something or have something that others do not, you should expect a lot of tension and jealousy from the citizens living here (due to the politics in this where everybody should be at the same level). If you do well in life and have a big heart, this will get into your nerves sooner or later…

      The only thing you may miss about Sweden is there women which are known for beauty (exaggerated a bit), however they lack lots of intelligence so there is some truth to the blonde jokes.

      If you are intelligent, have a big heart and you are doing well in life, you should not live in Sweden. Because your money that you deserve will go to the immigrant Africans and Muslims, which I personally know that there are many among them who steal this money from the government without having the legal rights for that money… so the system here is far from working…

      On the other hand, if you are the average guy who does not do too well in life then Sweden is for you, as you will probably get married with one of those Swedish blondes, personality match. Americans also tend to walk over anything or anybody for some money, which is not acceptable, not all of them though. America is for the person doing well or has a goal in life, because if you do well you could start build something for yourself. There you go.

      In reality no place is perfect. But there may be someplace that is perfect for you.

      America, was close to perfect in the start of 20th century. Now, since then so many immigrants have moved there that stuff has becomed too overpriced for your contry, especially real estate.

      If these 2 countries were the only countries in the world I would choose USA. But thank God they are not…

    61. Andrew MLM Newbie says:

      Hi everybody, How do I become a distributor for Amway.

    62. Thomas, Canada says:

      OK. I just read every single comment on here and I think everyone is taking this Daily Show segment too seriously. I mean, go to hulu and watch the 12/1/2009 segment, where he mocks the scientists who tried to conceal evidence against global warming. His job is satire, not politics, and while he definitely has liberal leanings, more often than not he simply skewers politicians in general. Which might be why his show is on COMEDY CENTRAL.

      I also want to say that I agree with Alan in that simply because someone holds different political views, that does not mean that should breed distrust. The beauty of democracy is that of free speech, and it seems more often than not we just get angry at the opposition for expressing their opinion. Ultimately, we all just want what's good for the country, right?

      By the way, I've lived in Sweden and the U.S. for at least ten years each. Two very different countries, and I enjoyed the time I spent in both immensely. Sweden really isn't a very socialist country, at least not in the extreme sense. Just like the measures Obama and Bush passed weren't socialism. It was merely a mix of free-market capitalism and corporate socialism.

    63. Pete, Glasgow says:

      you realise that the gap between rich and poor in UK is bigger now that it was 100 years ago?

    64. Lars Sweden says:

      I read all the comments which was interessting . I have lived in this country for 60 years now and most american comments are really not about this country only one in your nightmares . There where some with great insigt thou like susan kansas and Joe London . I was a bit anoyed with bbb claiming stores not open here most of the sundays etc I mean this was true 30 years ago . I questien the sincerety of som americans who claim they have lived here and speaks swedish try this bbb du har väll inte bott i det här landet ? skulle inte tro det . So much for his swedish .Pilot sweden is a also someone who I suggest newer left america no swede would have thos ideeas .his comments all seams a bit fabricated .

      I think what is causing this debate is the americans having driven individualim where one only relys on one self to the extrem .and a modern society needs a lot of big goverment to work properly . I think we shoild blaim Daniell Boone and Davy Crocket for part of it . I like Daniell Boone but this is 21 century coming on and it seams america has problems leaving all that in the past . your stuck in 1835 . If you think that you have allready found the secret to succes in all areaas of society throu your free market system that you have a superiur tool by which to drive america forward you have something coming to you . All the conservative retoric in america will not give you any edge ower the rest of the world .there are som awsome americans but the american conservetives are a big problem for your sociatys progress . They are still like Davy Crocket .

    65. Amanda, Linköping, Sweden says:

      To begin with, Sweden wasn’t invaded in WWII, so there is no way they would be speaking German without the help of the USA. That is just ridiculous. I currently live here and love it ( Jag kan svenska, Lars). I like it even more now because I know it has problems, just like all other countries. The way it’s problems have been twisted and turned by writers such as this one is deplorable. Lastly, Sweden’s Social democrats are still the largest party in the parliament. The author makes it sound like they were kicked out completely.

    66. Lars, Sweden says:

      Sorry, what did you say about Sweden? I couldn't hear you over my health care plan.

    67. Sosialist Joe, New Y says:

      Hahaha, how nice it is to see people being so damn affected by the word socialism. I will tell you what, who ever believes that socialism breeds laziness needs to read up a little bit more on the subject.

      Take a look at Norway, Sweden neighbor country they are socialists and still they have probably one of the best standards in both health care and salary in the world. Ask anyone in Norway if they would like to switch their free health care plan, for one they would have to rely on the mercy of the insurance company and they would probably laugh at the ridiculous suggestion.

      Yes taxes are high but so is your income, the average income for a full-time working individual is in 2010, 77000 $ dollars a year.

      I have lived in both the USA and Norway and i could say this enough, if there is one thing the states need is a wake up call. Lets stop being greedy and start thinking smart cause in the long run we all are gonna benefit from it.

    68. Gina says:

      Jon is free to share his money with the rest of us. So are all the people who like socialism. I'll wait for their check to come in my mail. What? No check? Oh wait, I guess they only like to spend other people's money.

    69. Come on says:

      Geez, you're missing the point.. Of course they have low income. They pay 57% of their income in Tax.. But guess what? They're happy! They live in a society, and they contribute to it. And that society gives back. They've got free healthcare, school; you may say it's not "free" given that they pay for it in taxes, but they never, EVER have to worry about not being able to afford a life-saving operation, or about sending their children to school. Even the poorest of them could get life-saving treatment: because since taxes are a percentage of your income, not a flat rate, you will always be able to afford them (given you have an income). That's why they have a flourishing, happy society.

      And that 'government spending' you speak of is called USING the Taxes people pay to make the country BETTER. Better schools, hospitals, public facilities; even clean energy. Your whole argument is based on the fact that they don't earn much individually. Really? Is that all that matters? When you live in a country like Sweden, you don't even need that much money to get by. You have public services. And you feel happy that you do, because you helped pay for those services.

      And to people saying all the 'bad things' about Socialism: That's Communism. The USSR was communist, not socialist. Communism doesn't work. And Capitalism doesn't work to well either. Socialism is a happy medium :)

    70. Commentor says:

      This article scores high on my Heritage-Foundation-Is-Stupid Index.

    71. Swede says:

      Stunning fact-bending!
      First of all, the effective income tax on work is about 23%. And the salery is in fact better here in many cases then in the US. In retail for example the 10% with the lowest income earn nearly double as much as the ten bottom percent in america (17000 sek (swe) 9000 sek (US) ) and awerage income is also higher (20000 sek (swe) 15000 sek (US) ). And you made a point that "the income of the poorest 10% of the population grew by only 10% in Sweden, compared to 59% in Britain. Well it all depends on where you start counting from. Since Sweden is #123 on the income inequality list and United Kingdom is #74, of course its easier for them to have a larger growth in percentage terms when their income is much smaller to start with! USA is #52 by the way. http://www.nationmaster.com/graph/eco_inc_equ_un_

      You claim that Swedens wealth decreased from the 1970s becouse of the expansion of the welfare state. And then in your next breath claim "President Obama campaigned on a tax plan that would give us a higher top rate than Sweden’s 57%. And these sorts of tax rates clearly slow the economy, which is why Sweden cut their taxes from the punitive 1970’s level of 87%". Cause and effect anyone??
      The paid sick-leave is just awesome! You dont have to worry about losing your income or your job you just have to worry about getting better. And we have NOTt started bringing in the private sector in healthcare becouse we realize that its better. It has a highly ideological background. After the center-right government took over they started selling out the hospitals and old folks homes which was not part of their campaign. And as a result we have had lots of scandals in the private care sector resently with neglect and abuse of the elderly.
      In conclusion we are a very different country than yours and you could not understand how it is to live here if you were not swedish. So stop spewing psudo-facts to further your right wing cause!
      Cheers
      Niklas

    72. Øystein Støylen says:

      Hahah! I own an apartment in Oslo and a house in Sweden, two of the worlds most heavily-taxed countries, apparently … and I love USA, have been there 5 times, but the last time I visited USA, I met some people selling cookies so that they could buy chemotherapy for their friend. Since I have, like EVERYONE else, lost family members to cancer, I was very, very happy that my family were never forced to blow all their savings on cancer treatments.

      Norway is probably slightly less socialist than Sweden (we are a huge coast, have always been strongly connected to USA because of poverty-driven emigration in the 1800s, and have a strong tradition for a concept similar to "the american dream"). But to work properly, capitalism does need limitations, to avoid that five monster corporations own and monopolize the world. That's not capitalism, that's not free market. The second a corporation grows big enough to rule the market, it will.

      And health care is one of those areas that should not be commercialized. We have issues, but according to this thing, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Happy_Planet_Index – Sweden and Norway are still happier countries – at an average – than my beloved US of A. I love the american drive to win, though. That IS lacking here in safe Scandinavia. But the shadow side of that is the american desperation of losing – and I do believe USA would be closer to "the american dream" if it was POSSIBLE to be born poor and still rise across the class gap through hard work.

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