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Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Nuclear Fusion, Aug 10, 2018.
Even by Europe’s standards.
What was it about the culture to develop this way?
Because they can afford it, Sweden was neutral during WWII (no need to massive rebuild) and Norway has oil. Example both Finland and Denmark are more conservative when compared to Sweden. All have (excluding Denmark in some sense) quite large natural resources and low population.
And all are extremely culturally homogenous
What, what,... Tall and blonde you say? Good thing you put "culturally" there. Other ways that would be less progressive.
Perhaps a combination of non-patriarchal family structure, climate, topography, location and population density. It helps when you aren't heavily resource-constrained, have shared challenges, look outward, and have full female participation.
One year at secondary school I was in a geography class that was taught by a Danish teacher. (She spoke perfect English, of course) She noted when introducing herself to the class that being short and black-haired she was far from the Scandinavian stereotype.
Serious opinion from a native Swede living in Norway: because during the entire 20th century, except for maybe the first two decades, our countries were politically steered by social democrats. Social democracy is socialism without communism, socialist ideology within a highly regulated capitalistic system. Neither any of the authoritarianism of fascism or communism, but nor the corrupt, special-interst controlled, "free market" obsessed, two-party systems of places like the US or Brittain. (Two parties in a democracy is only one party more than North Korea).
The funniest (saddest) thing is people think China, North Korea & Stalinist Soviet Union are communist countries....because the label stated such. The N in NAZI stood for socialism....
You mixed up your acronyms. Nazi wasn't an acronym. The party was the NSDAP.
The N in Nazi stood for Nationalists. The Sozis were the Socialists.
NSDA kind of covered all the bases populists like to cover: Nationalism, Socialism, Democracy, Workers.
But now we're getting terribly close to invoking Godwin's Law...
Point being a label means nothing
Well, while for whatever reasons I can't say I've never seen a communist country actually being run according to actual communist ideology (as per Marx and Engels) I have seen countries run according to social democratic ideology and it works very well, thank you very much.
Technically, communism means an absence of government
The Nordic Countries decided to value equality. Other western countries like the US have yet to mature that far....
Yeah, income inequality is becoming a greater & greater issue in so many western democracies.
It frustrates me intensely how so many poorer people vote against their own economic interest
I'm not sure how they arrived at such a progressive mindset culturally when you consider how violent their history has been (vikings!). Perhaps it's one of those times where the swing goes completely opposite.
As to how they afford it, that's down to 2 things.
One: their taxes are very, very high.
The UK's tax rates are 47% Income, 20% Value added, 19% Corporate.
Norway's tax rates are 53.5% Income, 25% Value added, 23% Corporate
Denmark's tax rates are 55.56% Income, 25% Value added, 22% Corporate
Finland's tax rates are 67% Income, 24% Value added, 20% Corporate.
Sweden's tax rates are 67% Income, 25% Value added, 22% Corporate.
Two: like many European countries they rely on America to pay for their defence. The UK is one of the few countries that meets NATOs 2% spending requirement for defence.
"Most EU countries still miss NATO’s defence spending guideline, even with an overall boost in expenditures, according to the alliance’s annual report* for 2017, released Thursday. Of NATO’s EU allies, only Greece, Estonia and the U.K. hit the target of spending 2 percent of their gross domestic product on defence." -- Most EU countries still miss NATO spending target
For example if the UK were spending the same levels as say Norway on defence, we'd be saving £11,239,450,000 a year.
If the UK were spending the same levels as Sweden on defence, we'd be saving £20,704,250,000 a year.
If we were spending that sort of money (increased tax rates and decreased defence spending) on citizen healthcare, education programmes and the like, then we could afford to be at such a progressive level as you see in Sweden, Norway etc.
With America's recent reticence to continue paying for someone else and pushing for increased defence spending, I can see many of these progressive countries finding it increasingly difficult to maintain such high levels of public fund outlay.
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Labels are like brands, like flags, like uniforms. They are profoundly important to a group’s self-image and values and actions.
They aren’t progressive because they have high taxes, they have high taxes because they are progressive.
Low taxes are the result of an “every man for himself” mindset.
Progressive countries have a “no man left behind” mindset, where everyone chips in for universal health care, a welfare safety net and so on.
Both have their problems and advantages.
*insert long bow drawn gif here*
America is an irrational, fear &war mongering nation (eg Vietnam, Iraq). Trillions would be saved if this attitude changed, including the costs of refugees from invaded nations.
One of the most nauseating things about American culture, even on more progressive shows like Bill Maher, is the ongoing drivel about ‘patriotism’. “Are you a patriot”, “he’s a patriot” & on & on & on & on.
That wasn’t the point
I think the reason a lot of NATO countries have trouble spending the 2% is that they’re not active in any war zones.
It’s easier for Australia or the UK to spend, because we are actually firing shells and crashing helicopters.