Death of Utopia: Sweden Falling Apart?

Walter Williams has written a good article detailing the plight of Sweden: enormous amounts of practically unfiltered immigration and unbridled distribution of welfare benefits are driving the country into bankruptcy.

Sweden, and the other Nordic nations in general, have always fancied themselves to be the humanitarian capitals of the world, importing mass amounts of poor Africans and Arabs from third-world dumps and presenting them with unrestricted access to welfare benefits. But these concepts are mutually exclusive. If the Swedes want to import mass amounts of poor immigrants, they cannot allow them access to unrestricted welfare. Conversely, if they want to hand out unrestricted welfare to anyone who enters the country, they cannot allow unrestricted immigration. Welfare systems already lose enough money by their very nature as it is (think “Ponzi Scheme”); you cannot add millions of people who have never paid into the system, and who may never pay. This is the surest way to bankrupt the system quickly.

Unfortunately for Sweden, this is exactly what has happened. Swedish journalist Ingrid Carlqvist describes it this way:

During the last few decades, Swedes have had to get used to the government (left and right wing parties alike) prioritizing refugees and migrants above native Swedes. The high tax level (the average worker pays 42% income tax) was been accepted in the past, because people knew that if they got sick, or when they retired or otherwise needed government aid, they would get it.

Now, Swedes see the welfare system failing them. More and more senior citizens fall into the “indigent” category; close to 800,000 of Sweden’s 2.1 million retirees, despite having worked their whole lives, are forced to live on between 4,500 and 5,500 kronor ($545 – $665) a month. Meanwhile, seniors who immigrate to Sweden receive the so-called “elderly support subsidy” — usually a higher amount — even though they have never paid any taxes in Sweden.

Worse, in 2013 the government decided that people staying in the country illegally have a right to virtually free health and dental care. So while the destitute Swedish senior citizen must choose between paying 100,000 kronor ($12,000) to get new teeth or living toothless, a person who does not even have the right to stay in Sweden can get his teeth fixed for 50 kronor ($6).

This shows the totally bass-ackwards mentality of the Swedish Government: a complete sacrificing of Swedish taxpayers who have spent their whole lives paying into the system in favor of giving money to new arrivals from third-world countries. Presumably, they do this to tickle their humanitarian bone.

This has given the Swedes more than they bargained for. At first, it seemed nice; white liberals in Sweden could swell with patronizing warmth as they bent down and patted the heads of smiling Africans and Arabs while handing them a welfare check. Suckling poor immigrants by the teat of their generosity made the white liberals of Sweden just feel so good.

As it turns out, the poor immigrants of Sweden are not satisfied with just being “feel-good” moral jewelry for ethnic Swedes, which has had a predictable result:

Sweden, seen by many American progressives as the model of multiculturalism and tolerance, has been experiencing increasingly violent unrest involving immigrants in its three largest cities, Stockholm, Gothenburg and Malmo.

…Hundreds of cars were torched, shops had their windows smashed, a police station was set ablaze and fire departments kept from a major blaze by rock-throwing mobs in May 2013. Violent protests erupted again in 2014 and then in late September 2015. The latest violence has included grenade attacks in clashes between Turkish and Kurdish immigrants, who have carried over their ancient rivalry inside their new adopted country of Sweden.

…Protests turned violent Sunday in a northwestern Stockholm suburb of Husby – where more than 80 percent of the residents are from overseas, mostly Turkey, Somalia and the Middle East, the British daily reported, adding that “Trouble then spread to some of the city’s most deprived areas, shattering the country’s proud claim that it is a template for a successful and ethnically diverse society.”

It gets worse:

Lars Bystrom, a Stockholm police spokesman, told the Mail that “fires are mainly lit to lure the police to the scene, who are then attacked.”

He admitted officers have been forced to change their tactics, saying: “Now if there is a small fire that is not likely to spread, and there is no risk to life, we will send out a patrol and keep an eye on it from a distance.

“But we are not going to bring in the fire brigade unless it’s really dangerous.”

The attacks on emergency service workers have led to private security companies telling employees to stay at home, as mobs have started attacking anyone wearing a uniform.

Several public transport routes have also been canceled after rioters started hurling petrol bombs at buses.

The Foreign Office and the U.S. Embassy have warned visitors to stay away

The situation in Sweden is what the Progressives of the West are loathe to talk about. For decades, American Progressives insisted that Sweden was an example of a working socialist society guided by the light of bureaucratic genius. Recent events are throwing that image into question.

It stinks to see things falling apart this way. But libertarians have been warning for years that these policies would eventually lead Sweden to societal catastrophe. It’s always good to see a prediction come true.

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