Odds and Ends
3 3, 12:10pm
We've recently had a right-wing government that reduced the states income from taxes by 140 billions. On top of that we spend about 20 billion in benefits so people can renovate their kitchens or get their homes cleaned.
In comparison I can tell you that 20 billion is what the entire Swedish police force cost to run per year.
Yes - that's right:
Tax-payer money spent on benefits so people can renovate or have someone come and clean their personal homes costs us much as the entire Swedish police force each year.
That's the 20 billion.
The 140 billion could pay for 7 more entire police forces.
That's the priorities of the right-wing government we had that - in my opinion - unfortunately the new government has taken over, refusing to raise taxes for fear of losing votes.
There is a serious shortage of money in a lot of government programs - but Sweden has never been richer as a nation.
What's lacking is the will to pay for the things we actually need - or the political courage to admit that we have to completely give up parts of our well fare system.
Blaming immigrants is - according to most economers - simply not going to solve this as they are in fact a benefit and not a drain on the system in many ways.
If you've ever been to a hospital or old peoples home or seen person assistants with disabled people out on the town and so it's often if not mostly immigrants doing those kind of basic care works today.
They are physically demanding and the pay is low and most Swedes don't actually want to take them.
If we didn't have immigrants willing to take the low paying jobs we'd have to raise taxes to pay Swedes enough to take those jobs.
And if we wanted to improve the quality of care by adding more staff we'd have to raise them even more.
I'd personally be OK with that, but I know many people won't and that's one of the reasons immigrants are actually a benefit to Sweden.
It's hard to see the actual benefits from an individual view, because we as citizens don't know every detail of how our society works. That's mostly our own responsibility as nothing about this is actually secret - we could all research and learn about this if we wanted too.
But, I also think that our political parties are doing the Swedish people a disservice of simplifying things to much. These questions are complicated and a nation isn't run as your personal budget. A nation has too look at it's projected income and expenses for decades. Something that will cost money now can actually be a great investment in the long run, for instance.
But to believe SD's rhetoric you have to believe that all other parties and the experts and the media is all part of this giant conspiracy to hide the fact that immigration is actually a disastrous deal for Sweden. Now does that sound plausible?
Is it likely that all these thousands of people who actually know much better then you or I how our country works, would all support as policy they know is bad for the country?
Or that they are all such complete idiots that they can't counts on the costs and benefits of immigration and see that it is bad?
No, SD's claim that they are the only ones who are right and we should all just trust them doesn't add up if you ask me.
Well you don't have to worry about the wages dropping at least. In general terms wages have nothing with the state budget to do but are set by the unions and the market. The market needs workers and Swedish union rules make sure wages aren't undercut by people working for lower pay.
The housing crisis is bad and immigration will add to that problem of course since everybody have to have somewhere to live of course.
But that said we'd still have a housing shortage without immigrants because the main problem is that we as a nation hasn't built enough in decades.
Historically we've had a housing crisis in this country all through our modern history - with the exception of one time, and that was right after the Million-program was finished in the 70's.
Before that and after that in the 80's and growing ever since we've had a lack of housing - and consecutive governments have done to little to address this.
Again I personally believe that the right-wing political parties ideological demands for privatization of publicly owned rented housing and conversion to individually owned apartments are a bit part of the problem.
Even the apartments we do produce today are so expensive that most people can't afford them because the private companies of course have no interest in keeping prices down - they of course want as much profit as they can!
Which is why the private market will NEVER solve the housing crisis as they want their to be a housing crisis, because that of course drives the prices up - increasing their own profit.
No, if we want to actually solve the housing crisis we have to do the only thing we know have worked the only time we actually solved the problem before - which is to build the houses ourselves, with our tax money.