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Capitalism: Sweden fake socialism aka welfare state
  • "To speak of Sweden as socialist today is pretty far off the mark. Neo-liberal reforms have gone much further here in some sectors than in the US. Sweden has become a sort of laboratory for privatization", commented Brian Palmer, a professor of anthropology at Sweden’s Uppsala University. Olle Wästberg, a liberal and the former Consul-General to New York, boasted that: "In many fields, we [Sweden] have more private ownership compared to other European countries, and to America. About 80 percent of all new schools are privately run, as are the railroads and the subway system."

    The proportion of private sector employees involved in - privatised or subcontracted - municipal services more than doubled during the 1990s and has kept rising since. The state sector too experienced the same development. The number of state employees halved - from 400,000 in 1997 to 200,000 20 years later. State assets worth 116 billion krona (16.4 billion U.S. dollars) were sold by the social democratic governments that ruled from 1994 to 2006. In many aspects social democrat-ruled Sweden took the lead in implementing the "market reforms" and neo-liberal agenda of the European Union (EU).

    School choice system had been introduced in 1992 and paved the way for an upsurge in private schools. In 1991, the share of secondary pupils in privately run schools was 1.5 percent - today’s figure is 17 percent. In the 1990s, the health sector too was opened to private alternatives. The taxes paid in Sweden should entitle citizens to social security, healthcare and so on. But that is only on Paper. In addition to taxes you must also pay fees when visiting a doctor, for being hospitalised, and so on - fees that have increased over the years. It now costs 140 krona (20 U.S. dollars) to visit a doctor in Stockholm, and 300 krona (more than 40 U.S. dollars) to see a specialist. A visit to the dentist costs a fortune, usually more than 600 krona (85 U.S. dollars) for a check up, while a simple filling costs more. 850,000 Swedes can no longer afford to see a dentist, according to a recent study.