Are we kidding ourselves in Sweden?

The disintegration of the welfare state - The Globe and Mail: "Democracies produced Nazi Germany and Fascist Italy, fulfilling the expectation of Socrates and Machiavelli that democracies end in tyranny. Now democracies are fulfilling the complementary expectation of Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman that democracies end in bankruptcy."

I was not impressed by Socrates' political philosophy and I did not like Machiavelli either. It is of course interesting that Friedman said what he said these days of the European debt crisis but I belong to those thinking that governments should intervene in the economy. The New York Times Friedman is very self-depreciating these days. From his articles it seems like the days of the US are over.

It is of course OK that Greece is in trouble but when people start to say that Italy is in for a bankruptcy, like Neil Reynolds above, perhaps it is time to react and wonder if the Western civilization is about to end? If you currently live in Sweden, however, things are just fine. According to the government Sweden is "föregångslandet", ie a country that others follow. The economy of Sweden is the best in Europe and there will be plenty of money for our pensions if we just work a little longer. The problem with that one might be that we have the greatest youth unemployment in Europe so there are many in line for the jobs we are going to stay onto longer.

Part of the lack of gloom might be that we are in for an election of government soon. The debate of how Europe is going to escape the imminent doom is simply absent from the election campaigns. There is not even the talk about austerity that the British heard prior to their recent election. It is interesting though, because what I find politically on my screen reading around on the internet for information on what goes on in the world is argumentation that seems to aim at convincing me that China's new path is the way to go.

Personally I don't think China has an idea of what they are getting themselves into with the speed that they are developing. The West, on the contrary, has had their problems. I'm a firm believer of democracy. To operate a country with an opposition. If you don't, things will catch up on you.

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