Saturday, 17 November 2018

Sweden: Truth, lies and manipulated narratives

There are some great projects happening in Sweden...

Whether creating carbon-neutral neighbourhoods out of former industrial areas:
Futures Forum: Retrofitting Suburbia > transforming urban life from within the urban boundary

Or doing a spot of plogging:
Futures Forum: Plogging > going for a jog/walk and picking up a bit of litter

Or getting it together over plastic:
Futures Forum: A plastic bottle deposit scheme for England >>> "Welcome as it is, such a scheme farms out responsibility to individual consumers rather than bringing into line corporations with far greater power to pioneer change"

And things seem pretty good across the Nordic countries:
Futures Forum: Sweden, Denmark and Norway have been voted the happiest countries in the world...
Futures Forum: Superwood @ Radio 4's Costing the Earth
Futures Forum: Hygge >>> "It's part of the paradigm shift away from measuring profits in terms of GDP, but more measuring success in society through quality of life, or happiness and wellbeing."
Futures Forum: Lykke: or the habits that make for a happier life
Futures Forum: Allemannsrett: the freedom to roam
Futures Forum: Aero Island in Denmark: Behind the times or way ahead?
Futures Forum: District heating systems run on waste... from Scandanavia
Futures Forum: Norway's price structuring for energy bills ... no standing charges and higher price-bands for higher use 

Which in turn seems to be about 'balancing' high levels of both freedom and taxation:
Futures Forum: Nordic countries have been voted the happiest countries in the world... again > from 'healthy amounts of both personal freedoms and social security, which outweigh residents having to pay some of the highest taxes in the world' 

Here the free-market think-tank the Foundation for Economic Education considers things:

Sweden, Sweden, Sweden. Why Is Everyone Obsessed with Sweden?

Sweden seems to simultaneously embody social democracy and vigorously pro-market policies.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018  

Sofia Svensson

From education and immigration to taxation and even road safety, there seems to be no end to the examples we Swedes offer the rest of the world. But what is it that is so uniquely fascinating about my homeland—and how relevant is the way Sweden is run to the rest of the world?

At times, you’d be forgiven for thinking outsiders were talking about two different countries. For some it is an example of multiculturalism gone wrong, a prosperous nation struggling to accommodate newcomers after accepting more refugees per capita than any other OECD country.

But others think America should follow Sweden’s lead and encourage immigrants to make its economy great again. BBC Newsnight put it most starkly with a recent report asking whether Sweden is “a Utopian dream or a multicultural nightmare”?

Analysts can’t even decide what system of government Sweden has. On the one hand Nobel laureate Paul Krugman calls the place a “socialist hellhole," while CapX contributor Tim Worstall argues persuasively that it’s nothing of the sort.

Bernie Sanders declared during the CNN’s Democratic presidential debate that socialism has been wonderful for the countries of Scandinavia and America should emulate their example.

Fortunately for Sanders skeptics, numerous books have been written “debunking” the myths of Nordic socialism and of a “Scandinavian utopia.” At the same time, Sweden has been pronounced “the most successful society the world has ever known.” The Economist says that the Scandinavian model is, in fact, a “supermodel” everyone can learn from.

Everyone seems to have an opinion about Sweden, but which one is it? A hellhole or utopia? And why are people so obsessed with my country?

Sweden, Sweden, Sweden. Why Is Everyone Obsessed with Sweden? - Foundation for Economic Education

Here's that piece from BBC Two's Newsnight: click on the link below for the video report:

Sweden: Truth, lies and manipulated narratives

Good Sweden vs Bad Sweden.


Sweden is usually recognised as being innovative, transparent and progressive, with good healthcare, welfare and gender equality.

More recently, however, a growing chorus of Sweden sceptics have emerged. In this report, Gabriel Gatehouse went to find out more about these competing narratives.

Reporter: Gabriel Gatehouse, Camera: Jack Garland, Director/Picture Editor: Stuart Denman

(Image: Sweden, credit: BBC)

Release date: 24 August 2018

BBC Two - Newsnight, Sweden: Truth, lies and manipulated narratives

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