Where hell is cool 12

The so-last-century World Economic Forum that still meets annually at Davos in Switzerland, recommends that the United States become “more like Sweden”.

Nations can learn from Nordic and other European countries when it comes to helping people scale up the economic ladder, and countries like China and the United States could reap billions by boosting social mobility, a report said Monday.

The World Economic Forum released its first “Global Social Mobility Index”, which analyzed 82 countries and suggests that governments should ensure a level playing field not just because it is the right thing to do, but it can benefit their economies.

“A level playing field” is a well-worn euphemism for Socialism among the globalists.

The release comes a day before the forum opens its latest annual gathering in Davos, Switzerland, where concerns about growing inequality are high in the minds of organizers.

“Inequality has become entrenched and is likely to worsen amidst an era of technological change and efforts towards a green transition,” the forum said.

In other words, “going green” would be a vast impoverishment, the forum admits. But – it believes – once the whole world has done it, there will be no more economic inequality. The greening – giving up fossil fuels and relying on the wind to blow us energy – will be accompanied by redistribution of money, so all people, all nations, will be equally poor, equally hungry. Except only the redistributors, the virtuous instigators of universal want. They will be well-fed.   

It has an index, “the forum” does. Inspired by the very same spirit that guides Bernie Sanders, it excites the elect with rosy conceptions.

The index ranked Denmark, Norway, Finland. Sweden and Iceland as its top five countries, registering over 80 points on a 100-point scale, while the United States came in at 27th, Russia was 39th, and China took 45th.

Somehow the notion that “social mobility” serves the cause of equality has arisen in its communal mind:

“If economies were able to improve their social mobility score by 10 points, gross domestic product would increase by 4.4% by 2030 on top of the societal benefits such investments would bring,” the forum said in a statement.

Redistribution aka Socialism has never increased GDP. It cannot. It is not a mechanism for increasing GDP. It is a mechanism for squandering wealth. And social mobility and economic equality are mutually exclusive. Social mobility occurs only with capitalism in a genuinely open society. Why don’t they know that? Who are they?

We come upon a name as the speaker of typically unintelligible patter:

Saadia Zahidi, a forum managing director for the new economy and society, said the report found that governments for now could make the greatest improvement in boosting social mobility by supporting [ever rising?] wages, quality of work [?], and “life-long learning systems”. [Systems?] “These are not things that are going to create a drag on growth,” Zahidi said. “These are actually things that are going to facilitate better growth. So that’s one aspect. The second aspect is that the gains can actually be quite big.”

Zahidi said she considered the index as warning sign or even a solution “to the trend towards entrenched inequality”.

How did Zahidi get there? Who is listening to her? Hers is a voice from the fog of Davoses past.

Would it be good if America became more like Sweden?

Not only socialists but all sorts of other romantics such as libertarians hold Sweden to be the model nation for prosperity, security, and happiness. As near to a utopia as earth has to show.    

So what is Sweden really like?

Bruce Bawer writes at Front Page:

Poking around YouTube the other day, I stumbled across a 2018 documentary that was written and hosted by Johan Norberg, a 46-year-old Swedish economist who is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, the libertarian think tank in Washington, and who is one of his country’s leading boosters of free trade and free markets. This was hardly Norberg’s first venture into the documentary form: in 2003, Britain’s Channel 4 aired Globalisation is Good, in which Norberg celebrated the prosperity created in Taiwan and Vietnam through the outsourcing of factory jobs from the U.S. – but neglected to breathe a word about the catastrophic impact of that outsourcing on millions of American workers.

Norberg’s 2018 documentary is entitled Sweden: Lessons for America? In it, he traces Sweden’s economic ups and downs over the last couple of centuries: once a dirt-poor land in the grip of guilds and regulations, Sweden embraced the free market and low taxes – resulting in a century of burgeoning prosperity – only to “screw it up” in the 1960s by introducing a big-government welfare state that charged Pippi Longstocking author Astrid Lindgren a 102% income rate and Ingmar Bergman 139%. (He fled to Germany.) From 1976 to 1995, Sweden went downhill; interest rates hit 500%; IKEA moved its headquarters abroad. But the story, as Norberg tells it, has a happy ending: the 1990s brought reforms – deregulation, lower taxes, school vouchers, widespread privatization of public services, no minimum wage – that resulted in a first-rate climate for entrepreneurship and innovation and a “very productive private economy” that yields enough wealth to fund generous welfare benefits and pensions. America, we’re urged in Norberg’s conclusion, should look to Sweden as a model.

Some observers would contest Norberg’s explanation of how Sweden attained economic success. “It got to be one of the richest countries in the world,” Swedish comedian Aron Flam said on a 2017 podcast, “by staying out of two world wars and selling arms to both sides” and, during the Cold War, relying on NATO (which it never joined) for free defense. But let’s put history aside for now and focus on the present. At the outset of his documentary, Norberg promises to show us “what it’s like to live in Sweden today”. When it comes to this topic, his show is a masterpiece of evasion – one that echoes much of the nonsense one often encounters in glowing libertarian accounts of the “Swedish model”. Libertarians, when they talk about Sweden, like to deny that Sweden is socialist, even though the country was ruled for decades by a party that identified as socialist; in any event, the fact remains that Swedes are, by nature, collectivist, statist, consensus-oriented, and anti-individualistic – scared to challenge received opinion and eager to join in ostracizing those who do.

They’re also, thanks to years of suicidal immigration policies, living in a social, economic, and cultural nightmare – to quote Flam, “a slow, simmering war zone“. In the cities, violent crime, shootings, gang rapes, car burnings, massive explosions, and even grenade-throwing have become routine. Just in the last couple of weeks, the chief of the National Police, Anders Thonberg, has put in an urgent request for backup from the military, and Ulf Kristersson, head of the Moderate Party, has charged the government with losing “control of what is happening in Sweden”. …

In a January 13 blog post, a cleric named Helena Edlund observed that in her hometown of Malmö it became normal some time ago “to wake up to bombs and bullets”; now, she laments, the same is the case in the most exclusive parts of central Stockholm, where she lives now. “I have lost count of the friends whose family members have been robbed, beaten, raped, or had their cars burned or stairs blown up,” she wrote. “For those who have lived in relative security in the country’s more privileged areas, this is something new, but those who live in vulnerable areas have had it this way for many years.” The same politicians whom Norberg extols unreservedly for making today’s Sweden wealthy and dynamic are accused by Edlund of having “destroyed” the country with their open-border policy and their readiness to roll out the welcome mat for “terrorists”.  Addressing those pols, Edlund asks: “What advice do you have for those of us who loved Sweden’s peace and security? Where should we go to seek asylum?”

The perpetrators of all this mayhem, of course, are Muslims, either immigrants or the children of immigrants – people to whom Sweden provided refuge and whom it has rewarded lavishly for not working. Most of them reside in no-go sharia enclaves where even the cops fear to tread. In 2016, a 60 Minutes Australia film crew was beaten by Somali migrants in Rinkeby, a no-go zone in Stockholm that is also known as “Little Mogadishu”. (“This,” said host Liz Hayes, “is a country that’s barely coping”; in an interview, an activist told her that Sweden is “on the brink of an economic and cultural disaster.”) Last September, a news team for Sweden’s SVT was targeted by stone throwers at the construction site for a new mosque in Stenhagen (“stone grove”), a no-go zone in Uppsala.

Then, last December 12, journalist Joakim Lamotte ventured, video camera in hand, into the town square of another no-go zone, Kronogården in the city of Trollhätten, thereby attracting the attention of several dozen young Muslim men, most of them masked, who (as can be seen here and here) gradually closed in on him, verbally harassed him, demanded that he leave “their” turf, and finally struck him repeatedly and stole his video equipment. Several police officers were present, but did nothing to protect Lamotte and made no arrests, even though a couple of them were also physically assaulted by the thugs.

How did Lamotte’s fellow Swedish journalists respond to this horror show? By mocking him and expressing support for his attackers. Robert Aschberg, a prominent Aftonbladet columnist, accused Lamotte of being a profiteering, self-dramatizing attention-seeker; Mathias Ståhle of Svenska Dagbladet tweeted that Lamotte’s account of being beaten and robbed made him “giggle”. The Swedish media’s take on this story was so egregious that even the BBC ran a report calling them out and treating Lamotte sympathetically.

The BBC did that? It must have been on a day when pigs were seen flying.

Fortunately, after decades of polite PC silence, more and more Swedes are finally admitting that they’re in deep trouble – hence the fast-rising support for the upstart Sweden Democrats, who call for serious immigration controls. Yet too many mainstream politicians and journalists remain in denial. Legislator Isabella Lövin asserted in 2016 that Sweden, with “the world’s first feminist government” …

It may have been the first, but most Western European countries now have them. The European Union is led by wymyn. Even where there are still some males in positions of power, the system is gynocratic – pacifist, emotional, conciliatory …

… is nothing less than a beacon of hope for the Western world; as of last November, Prime Minister Stefan Löfven was still sticking to the line that the underlying cause of all this lawlessness is high unemployment in certain neighborhoods; the felons’ cultural and religious backgrounds, he insisted, are irrelevant. In Sweden: Lessons for America?, Norberg lauds the newspaper Aftonbladet; in a bracingly blunt 2019 op-ed about elite Swedish views on immigration, Norwegian author Kjetil Rolness accused that paper (the flagship publication of the Swedish elite) of “almost pathological denial of realities, in favor of wishful thinking and virtue signaling”.

In 2016, the Spectator ran an unusually frank article by Tove Lifvendahl, the political editor of Svenska Dagbladet, about Sweden’s immigration challenges; but its subtitle was telling: “We’ve taken in far too many people and we’re letting them down badly – especially the children.” This is the Swedish establishment mentality in a nutshell: even when they’re being honest about the problem, they reflexively feel obliged to express more concern for immigrants than for native Swedes  

The anarchy in the streets is only part of the big scary picture. Norberg’s documentary portrays a Sweden where retirement homes, pensions, schools, and health care are just plain terrific. On the contrary: the immense cost of providing for immigrants (Muslims make up over 8% of Sweden’s population, the second highest figure in Europe, and the yearly bill for housing, feeding, and clothing the huge percentage of them who are on the dole is colossal) – has drained more and more money from basic services and benefits for hard-working native Swedes (this, moreover, in a country where people with jobs are so heavily taxed, supposedly to cover those basic services and benefits, that a citizen with a purportedly decent income has to struggle to get by). In recent years, while the national mainstream media have all but ignored this mass redirection of taxpayer funds, alternative news sites and local papers have told one horror story after another about retired Swedes who’ve been unceremoniously tossed out of their residences to make room for newly arrived Muslims.

Mass immigration, Swedish businessman Henrik Jönsson told Dave Rubin on a January 17 podcast, is causing Sweden to go broke “because we have the most expensive welfare system in the world”. And yet last year the Swedish parliament, the Riksdag, voted to increase the annual number of immigrants. Rolness, again, had it right when he wrote that too many Swedes prefer foreign refugees to Swedish babies; similarly, Swedish journalist Kajsa Norman assailed police and media for downplaying assaults on Swedish girls by Muslim men, maintaining that “sympathy for the refugees trumps sympathy for the girls”.

What did Sweden: Lessons for America? have to say about this crisis that seems destined to drag Sweden into anarchy, civil war, and/or sharia? Nothing whatsoever. … Does he mention that Jews are leaving Sweden in droves because of Muslim harassment (and worse)? No. For that matter, while touting Sweden as an economic success story, Norberg omits to mention its dramatic decline in GDP, GDP per capita, and current account balance during the last few years (a trend that was already clear when he made his documentary).

None of which should surprise anybody. Norberg is one of those libertarians who, for all their repeatedly professed love of liberty, refuse to oppose the disastrous immigration policies that have already done serious damage to individual freedom throughout the West – witness, for example, the prosecution in Britain, Austria, Denmark, Canada, and elsewhere of citizens accused of offending Muslims.

Watching Norberg’s documentary on Sweden, one can’t help thinking of an observation by Aron Flam: “Swedes don’t really understand the concept of liberty.

Nor do the fantasists who run the World Economic Forum.

Agreeing and not agreeing with Milo 6

Milo Yiannopoulos on Trump:

We don’t entirely share his views on Marco Rubio, but with everything else he says here we heartily agree.

But here he rants against atheists – only reason given, they have no sense of style. More of this conversation is taken up with his disgust with fellow male homosexuals (“Lesbians don’t exist,” he says) who are unkind to Christians:

Needless to say, we don’t agree with him at all about atheists and atheism, but we find what he says, as always, entertaining.

None of us here at The Atheist Conservative, by the way, looks or dresses or behaves the way he describes the appearance and behavior of his typical atheist. But we all laugh with him at the picture he draws.

Milo is a Jewish Catholic.

Posted under Commentary, Conservatism, Humor, United States, Videos by Jillian Becker on Friday, July 1, 2016

Tagged with , , ,

This post has 6 comments.

Permalink

For truth and Trump 5

 

Posted under Videos by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Tagged with ,

This post has 5 comments.

Permalink