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Is the U.S. Ready to Become Scandinavia?

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posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 05:40 AM
Came across this article and thought of sharing it here.

Is the U.S. Ready to Become Scandinavia? - Bernie Sanders and Jeb Bush look abroad for inspiration, heralding the end of American exceptionalism.

This election cycle, two candidates have dared to touch a third rail in American politics.

Not Social Security reform. Not Medicare. Not ethanol subsidies. The shibboleth that politicians are suddenly willing to discuss is the idea that America might have something to learn from other countries.

The most notable example is Bernie Sanders, who renewed his praise for Western Europe in a recent interview with Ezra Klein. “Where is the UK? Where is France? Germany is the economic powerhouse in Europe,” Sanders said. “They provide health care to all of their people, they provide free college education to their kids.”

On ABC’s This Week in May, George Stephanopoulos asked Sanders about this sort of rhetoric. “I can hear the Republican attack ad right now: ‘He wants American to look more like Scandinavia,’” the host said. Sanders didn’t flinch:

That's right. That's right. And what's wrong with that? What's wrong when you have more income and wealth equality? What's wrong when they have a stronger middle class in many ways than we do, higher minimum wage than we do, and they are stronger on the environment than we do? Look, the fact of the matter is, we do a lot in our country, which is good, but we can learn from other countries.

Personally, I have always wondered why Americans have decided for somewhat of a backwards system where in the end the main losers are the poorer class and middle class, while there are systems out there proven to work for the majority far better. It is as if there is some blind hatred towards the label "socialism" without actually knowing what social democracy actually is (considering how often it is labelled as socialism/communism).

When I first started taking more interest in the US political and social system, I wondered how is such thing even possible in the largest economy of the world, which is described as so exceptional, yet for weaker members of the society it is possibly the hardest first world nation to survive at.

To be honest, when I first about average American working over 50 hours a week, while having to pay extreme amounts for healthcare and education + the fact that minimum wage was under living wage in addition to very minimal employee rights I thought it was a joke, considering how exceptionalised America as a nation is.

Personally, I have never even worked a 40 hour work week, I just would not imagine such life, where all my life would consist of is working at some job for survival. Even at current work rate, I have not enough personal time - trainings every day, cooking, social life, family time, hobbies, personal development. Even the 2-3 month vacation, I take every year, is not enough, as it mostly goes to professional trainings and travelling. I could not imagine, how people with a family would manage like that - there just would not be enough time for family or the spouse.

Healthcare and education are another matter. Per capita US already pays more for these than any other modern nation, yet the difference lies in other nations people receiving free (or very low-cost) higher education and fully-funded healthcare, while for average these are the main reasons for bankruptcy or just paying back whole life-time...

I do not even start with the infrastructure and environmental issues.

Please do not brings arguments from Greece or pretty much any Southern Europe nation being near-bankrupt. There are so many other reasons behind the economic failure of these nations. Rather lok at nations, who have successfully implemented this without extreme debt (especially Nordic nations, who are possibly the most social democratic nations, while having some of the lowest national debts among OECD nations)

Also I do not understand arguments which imply as if people become dependent and lazy. Despite the strong social benefits system, at least round here, generally the amount of people is pretty low due to the fact that basically everyone who has a full-time job earns enough to live in, some a more luxorious life, some less, but survival or making ends meet is generally not a question, unless big family.

Of course the salaries are generally flatter, as the difference of salary between high-achievers and low-performers is lower, yet it does not mean there is no difference. In my company for example, the difference between them is around 2 times and CEO makes less per month than highest specialists. So far, there have been no problem, as the salary of specialist is more than enough to survive on and can afford a lot. In Norway even burger flippers make around 20 an hour. This does not mean for most that there is no drive to become better. You can survive on such salary, you cant afford lots of luxuries, travelling etc. In the end, ambition and drive for self-development not should not be based on financial merits. Personally, I have never learnt something or aquired a new skill just because it would make more money. In the end, I do it for myself, for personal reasons, from the want to become a better person, stronger at what I do.

My main question lies in why there is such a hate towards such social benefits, taking a look at nations who enjoy higher life quality? Why is America "exceptional" that such a system would not work there or is US ready for it?

PS. This thread is not meant to be some US-bashing. I just am interested in how a system where so many people have to suffer, is considered normal and anything that is considered normalcy in other nations is seen as some "socialist" plot to overtake American freedoms (which every person in modern nations has... )

posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 05:59 AM
a reply to: Cabin

I don't know about the U.S, but I am ready, lol.

Germany is much like your northern states, too.

From the day I found out about how much better rights and living standards your societies give their citizens I felt like a blooming UK slave. I live my life in total protest at the way we have to live in the U.K. We are treated like # quite frankly and it is hurting us in so many ways.

posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 06:03 AM
The myth of Scandinavia being a shining example of social democracy is lie.

No one in Scandinavia likes the system, the older gen is feeling ripped off and the younger disillusioned.

Sorry, on my phone, cant embedded the video properly, but this starts to explain some pf the issues with Scandinavia.

(also, Denmark may be the "happiest " nation on the planet, but we are also the population with the most prescribed anti depressants per capita)


posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 06:08 AM
a reply to: WiseThinker

It is all relative. Haha, let those disillusioned youths try a spell in work camp UK and they would be scarpering back to cosier regions.

We are treated little better than slaves in the UK. It is socially backward big time. I would live in Germany, Sweden, Norway or Finland any time if given the opportunity.

The OP has described his/her living standards. The UK for sure is barbaric in comparison. There is better wealth distribution in those countries, too.

edit on 3-8-2015 by Revolution9 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 06:12 AM
a reply to: WiseThinker

Please can we swap lives. I beg you, lol! Come and be me for a while. You would hate having to live the way we do. We have no free time. People are always tired, have no time for friends and family. Terrible legal rights, huge wealth gap, poor housing with astronomical rents. Slave to the mortgage, and that is if you are lucky.

Just say it, man, and I'll be on the plane.

ps: Holidays!!! In the UK for most of us it is statutory 3 weeks a year. A lot of companies will not pay you while you take your holidays, too. It shows in our people. People look very unhealthy now, so under the thumb. It is rampant corporation capitalism here. They have taken all our rights away to stream line us as corporation work fodder.

edit on 3-8-2015 by Revolution9 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 06:20 AM
Blondes. The U.S. is ready. (you Scands can keep those long winter nights though, except for Vegas, where night is the norm)

posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 06:21 AM
The grass is always greener, so some here saying how another country is so much better than theirs can't really say that unless it's based on factual data and evidence. A YouTube video claiming whatever biased view is required does not cut it I'm afraid.

Does it all come down to money?
Working life?
Family life?

Or, does it come down to overall QUALITY OF LIFE?

I would say it's the latter, and in all measurements worth a damn there is no denying that there are several countries in Europe which are far out-pacing the US.

If you focus on minor issues and pull them out as examples of why one country is not better after all, while ignoring the clear overall improvement through various factors, then you're being disingenuous.

There is no denying that based on data alone, the US is NOT a world leader in quality of life (and that stems from crime rates, health care, education, democracy, press freedom... every individual factor combined).

Unfortunately, America is nowhere near ready to recognize this. Any attempt to make the point will usually be shouted down by accusations of being "unpatriotic" and chants of "USA! USA! USA!"

posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 06:24 AM
The grass is always greener on the other side of the fence

It's a matter of perspective.

Are there advantages to one or the other system, sure, is it worth it on the whole to change?


What they said....

edit on 3-8-2015 by SLAYER69 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 06:26 AM
a reply to: Cabin
In UK we have been manipulated to love our enslavement in the name of security. The elite's of UK have destroyed our will by being a NANNY state for 40-50yrs. This has resulted in them cherry picking where the money goes and to whom. With complete compliance.
The policy at the moment is nothing to do with money, it is a simple investment for the future. They know they cant afford pensions in the future and have to implement some sort of Eugenics. it is a basic form but in UK we are having poor people's health ruined due to lack of basic nutrition, older generations are dying way too early because of bad medical care or basic amenities being out of their reach. I wont mention how many of our sick people have died due to government policy in the last 5 yrs alone. We in UK want the figures released but they just say no. With no explanation. It is mass murder on a massive scale.
You ask why don't they share more. The simple answer is not because there is a shortage but because there is no power in equality.
would you want the dregs of society equal to you. Because that's what we all are, DREGS OF SOCIETY.
I am personally the worse dregs around.

posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 06:30 AM
a reply to: chewi

I totally back what you have said about the monstrous UK. I can't abide what it has become.

No you are not the dregs. You have as much right to a comfortable life as Mr Rothschild.

I sincerely believe we are being totally ABUSED!

posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 06:32 AM
The combined population of the Scandinavian countries is a bit less than the US state of Texas. That's pretty key.

The system works there because of a generally homogenous demographic and very sparse overall population. Comparing the USA to the Scandinavian Nations is apples to oranges. Different demographics, different population densities. Without question the Euro-socialist style system can work, but not on a Superpower scale.
edit on 3-8-2015 by Maverick1 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 06:33 AM
And as to whether we're ready to become Scandinavia? Kind of irrelevant. But we are ready for something seriously different.

a reply to: Rocker2013

I'm with overall balance and quality of life. And the right priorities, which we seem to have gotten away from.

I think is is going to take a lot of election, government, and campaign changes and reform though.

posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 06:34 AM
a reply to: WiseThinker

(also, Denmark may be the "happiest " nation on the planet, but we are also the population with the most prescribed anti depressants per capita)

lol, that's just serotonin deficiency from the lack of sun and long winters. Doesn't say much about the actual political system.

Anyway... the US is just a result of what happens when you have the largest wealth equality in the developed world. A large majority just eat up the propaganda from the mega rich about how having over 600 billionaires and a $7.25 minimum wage is perfectly acceptable, since anyone who earns minimum wage must just be lazy and unmotivated. They blindly believe that paying people a living minimum wage would just destroy the middle class, even though every other developed country has proved this to be false.

Then there's that whole obsession with law and order, which results in the highest prison rates in the world, police shooting people left right and centre.

Also peoples rights are being striped away constantly, which is like slowly boiling a frog in water, because all people care about is there second amendment. There's that comical idea that there gun will save them when militarized police knock down there door, well releasing a smoke bomb in there house and take them to jail over some petty charge.

Its crazy... Capitalism and Government tyranny is out of control in Australia too. But in America, it's like out of control on steroids.

posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 06:53 AM
a reply to: Subaeruginosa
I agree. Its all about attitude. The AMERICAN DREAM. This symbolises that if you aren't motivated by A DREAM then you are the enemy. What I mean is, what is up with just getting by, not wanting to better but just enjoy the journey and take what we need not what we are told to want. I am willing to earn my rewards, be that money or respect. I don't want more than I can use. Enough is enough.
How many of you would, if you could, stop work after 2 days because you had earned enough to pay your bills and just enjoy life. Truth is a large % have nothing but work as a life.
Theer is more than enough to go round and 1 simple change in attitudes could solve UK problem overnight. here we have people working 60-70hrs per week. Even 40-50 hrs per week is too much. What about 20-25 hrs per week. After all 15hrs pays all the bills and the rest is disposable income. No I want another 20hrs of disposable income so I will not job share do less hrs because I have a dream.

posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 07:05 AM
a reply to: Cabin

Funny that American companies discovered some of the larger North Sea oil fields and continental shelf reserves that Norway made a state run operation.

It is quite easy to implement socialist polices when you use the proceeds from being the #8 crude oil producer in the world on only 5+ million people.

posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 07:15 AM
I don't think that American is ready for the kind of ethnic cleansing and population reduction measures that would be needed to get us down to a population that resembles the ones of the Scandinavian countries. And then we would have to start exploiting our natural resources in a nationalized manner to subsidize that population in its socialized cradle to grave society.

posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 08:50 AM
a reply to: Cabin

Yup, we are ready. My only worry is that the population is so much

Perhaps to ease the transition, the U.S. could implement it one state at a time. If people don't like it, they can move to a different, more backward state. Much like we have now with the marijuana state-by-state stuff. Working just fine, and proving to the stubborn "no-way-Jose" states that it's TOTALLY better for everyone including the state economies.

The statists should be happy, well as the majority! And then, after a few years, and more and more states go with it, it will become "normal." It is actually happening, but it will be slow going.

posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 08:56 AM
The world needs to adopt Norways style, as opposed to Australian's, of proportional democracy and their substantive equality. With price control on all essentials, food, shelter, home prices rents and ownership and energy/power. In addition, no matter what you're income or status, even on disability, you should simply go on a waiting list to own your own home with a sliding scale, that makes payments, less than 1/3 of your income with utlities included, and there should way more housing than needed. You should be able to move anywhere in the world, by signing up and choosing.

I would prefer the Venus Project version of this, but the concept is still the same.

And no Rothschild banks, national only. If you do the bank thing and not the Venus Project no money thing.

They have the highest standard of living in the world, and the best medical system and education. The price control ensures that after there is more money in their pockets to support local markets and crafts and businesses, so everyone THRIVES more.
edit on 3-8-2015 by Unity_99 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 09:17 AM
a reply to: ketsuko

Not too mention cutting off immigration. You cannot have unchecked immigration and high levels of social welfare. the math simply won't work as the US is finding out now. In addition, countries like the US basically allow smaller countries to live out their Utopian desires because we essentially bear the burden of being the world's police with our expansive military.

posted on Aug, 3 2015 @ 09:37 AM

originally posted by: Maverick1
The combined population of the Scandinavian countries is a bit less than the US state of Texas. That's pretty key.

The system works there because of a generally homogenous demographic and very sparse overall population. Comparing the USA to the Scandinavian Nations is apples to oranges. Different demographics, different population densities. Without question the Euro-socialist style system can work, but not on a Superpower scale.

Its amusing to me that people from Scandinavia can't even look at photographs of street scenes of the US and realize how incredibly different the two places are. And of course, limousine liberals looking only inward in their gated communities dream of making the US something like Norway. They know nothing of what life at the street level in fly-over country is like; they've never observed MS-13 gang members walking down the dusty streets of Del Rio, TX, intimidating passersby and police alike. West Memphis? Bernie Sanders probably think that's in Egypt.

Through a combination of failed Government experiments including the Open Borders policy, the crap school systems, the militarized police, the war on drugs and now the relocation of so-called "economic" refugees from war torn and impoverished parts of the world has turned fly-over country, from Montana to Laredo into a lawless, violent, badlands area. And Bloomberg's answer is to disarm the innocents. I'd like o see Bloomberg step out of his helicopter in Ft. Worth and tell 20 or so members of the Mexican Mafia they got to turn in their guns!

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