Five economic lessons from Sweden, the rock star of the recovery this article was fascinating. the item that interested me the most was the item on providing services to the unemployed, as well as, not fighting about who paid for it. why does the US have such an aversion to helping people in need? sure, there are some bad apples that milk the system, but they are the minority. is it a fear that without the threat of ruin americans will stop innovating? stop being the country that invents things like the automotive industry and the internet? we are already losing in terms of noble prize worthy research. so it kind of seems like whatever did drive that innovation has already disappeared from american society. is that the welfare state? because that really came into place with LBJ. sweden invented some cool stuff…the celsius scale, seat belts, hemodialysis, encryption machines, dynamite. they also had several inventors that were critical in computer development. ok, perhaps they haven’t come up with things so widely used as cars and the internet, but it certainly seems we needed what they invented. of course, a lot of these were a long time ago. but sweden has had benefit societies since the 1700s (they were governmentally institutionalized in the 1960s). that seems to suggest that the welfare support of sweden has NOT prohibited the country from being prosperous and offering the rest of the world the fruits of its best and brightest. it seems to me, though i admit this isn’t a scientific analysis, that everyone doing better would be better for everyone. would the ultra-rich have less money? maybe? but maybe by paying more taxes they would get more because the rest of society would get more? productivity would go up because everyone had an easier time? is the US so different than sweden? the US seems to make itself out as special, allowing us to invent and create bigger and better things. but is that true? or would it be any less true if we had a better governmental support system for those in need? there is this idea floating around in my head and i can’t quite get it to gel. the US is averse to higher taxes. it is averse to people getting services “for free”. it is profitable and has been very innovative in the past. sweden learned from its financial crisis of the 90s in terms of banking and has supported its people with services since the 1700s. granted they haven’t produced as earth shattering things as the US (with the possible exception of dynamite, no pun intended) but maybe that is related to other things…like the weather. i dunno. i just think that the US could learn from sweden and really wonder why it is we can’t get over this aversion and repulsion to helping those in need, with help, that would dig them out of their position (sliding scale UI/rent subsidies anyone?)
i’ve noticed i have NO interest in dresses with sleeves these days. not even capped sleeves. it is sleeveless or nothing. have i mentioned that i am considering wearing colour again?