We are often told tales of distant lands far far away in which the effervescent people enjoy high taxes and amazing lifestyles. Our liberal politicians (I’m thinking of you in particular Helen Clark) tell us over and over how great these lands are and that we need to be like them. All we need is to pay more tax, increase the size of the government, and let the nanny state run or families and tell us what to believe.
Well shock me momma like a wagon wheel, its not all silver and gold as it first appears, tells Kyle Smith in his article: “Sorry, liberals, Scandinavian countries aren’t utopias“. Smith’s article is not a lone ranger; it comes from “The Almost Nearly Perfect People: Behind the Myth of the Scandinavian Utopia” by Michael Booth (Picador)”. Quoting:
In the American liberal compass, the needle is always pointing to places like Denmark. Everything they most fervently hope for here has already happened there.
So Danes operate on caveman principles — if you find it, share it, or be shunned. Once your date with Daisy the Sheep is over, you’d better make sure your friends get a turn. (Bestiality has traditionally been legal in Denmark, though a move to ban it is under way. Until recently, several “bestiality brothels” advertised their services in newspapers, generally charging clients $85 to $170 for what can only be termed a roll in the hay.)
Finland, which tops the charts in many surveys (they’re the least corrupt people on Earth, its per-capita income is the highest in Western Europe and Helsinki often tops polls of the best cities), is also a leader in categories like alcoholism, murder (highest rate in Western Europe), suicide and antidepressant usage. The suicide rate is 50 percent higher than in the US and more than double the UK rate.
[in] a poll in which Swedes were asked to describe themselves, the adjectives that led the pack were “envious, stiff, industrious, nature-loving, quiet, honest, dishonest and xenophobic.” In last place were these words: “masculine,” “sexy” and “artistic.”
This article from The Guardian (Jan 2014) is also a bit of fun:
Take the Danes, for instance. True, they claim to be the happiest people in the world, but why no mention of the fact they are second only to Iceland when it comes to consuming anti- depressants?……..Why do the Danes score so highly on international happiness surveys? Well, they do have high levels of trust and social cohesion….. according to the OECD they also work fewer hours per year than most of the rest of the world. As a result, productivity is worryingly sluggish. How can they afford all those expensively foraged meals and hand-knitted woollens? Simple, the Danes also have the highest level of private debt in the world (four times as much as the Italians, to put it into context; enough to warrant a warning from the IMF), while more than half of them admit to using the black market to obtain goods and services.
Perhaps the Danes’ dirtiest secret is that, according to a 2012 report from the Worldwide Fund for Nature, they have the fourth largest per capita ecological footprint in the world. Even ahead of the US. Those offshore windmills may look impressive as you land at Kastrup, but Denmark burns an awful lot of coal. Worth bearing that in mind the next time a Dane wags her finger at your patio heater.
Finland ranks third in global gun ownership behind only America and Yemen; has the highest murder rate in western Europe, double that of the UK; and by far the highest suicide rate in the Nordic countries.
Sweden: Effectively a one-party state……. for much of the 20th century, “neutral” Sweden (one of the world largest arms exporters) continues to thrive economically thanks to its distinctive brand of totalitarian modernism, which curbs freedoms, suppresses dissent in the name of consensus, and seems hell-bent on severing the bonds between wife and husband, children and parents, and elderly on their children. Think of it as the China of the north.
Youth unemployment is higher than the UK’s and higher than the EU average; integration is an ongoing challenge; and as with Norway and Denmark, the Swedish right is on the rise.
Ask the Finns and they will tell you that Swedish ultra-feminism has emasculated their men, but they will struggle to drown their sorrows. Their state-run alcohol monopoly stores, the dreaded Systembolaget, were described by Susan Sontag as “part funeral parlour, part back-room abortionist”.
Seems New Zealand is not so bad after all 🙂