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Jon Stewart: Socialism is Awesome

Posted By Rory Cooper On April 23, 2009 @ 11:02 am In Ongoing Priorities | Comments Disabled

[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 [1] 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 [2] 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. [5] 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.


Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2009/04/23/jon-stewart-socialism-is-awesome/

URLs in this post:

[1] Index of Economic Freedom: http://www.heritage.org/index/Country/Sweden

[2] Sweden was the world’s third-richest nation, but it fell: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Taxes/wm1219.cfm

[3] However, abuse is rampant and at any given moment, 10% of Sweden’s workers are on sick leave: http://www.heritage.org/Research/Economy/hl1037.cfm

[4] President Obama campaigned on a tax plan that would give us a higher top rate than Sweden’s 57%: http://www.heritage.org/Press/Commentary/ed080508a.cfm

[5] But there are some bright spots in Sweden.: http://www.heritage.org/Press/Commentary/ed011609d.cfm

[6] While corporate tax rates haven’t been cut in the United States in over a decade, Sweden recently cut theirs from 60% to 28%: http://www.heritage.org/Research/TradeandForeignAid/wm2065.cfm

[7] highly centralized, bureaucratic health care system where doctors are salaried employees of the government: http://www.heritage.org/Research/SocialSecurity/bg883.cfm

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