EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Columns

November 17, 2012

Column: U.S. should consider following the Swedish path

It would be nice to think this country could continue to amount to something, to assume we have a future despite the recent presidential election, but if nothing much gets done to reverse policies, forget it. Instead of suffering, move to Sweden.

That country is looking at a promising economic future while ours has reason to fear disaster. Signals include jumps in the use of Medicaid and food stamps, the dramatic loss in middle-class income during a supposed recovery, multi-millions who still cannot find jobs and four more years of a president who worked mightily and effectively if not intentionally to give us this state of affairs.

Considering Sweden’s reputation as one of the foremost welfare states in the world, it may come as a surprise to some to learn that while the United States has been adorning itself with European-style, semi-socialist garb, Sweden has been shedding that clothing.

It has reformed old-age pensions, cut taxes, said hallelujah to property rights, deregulated left and right, reduced spending, balanced budgets and is thriving as a result.

Now, as an unblushing lover of America, I am not seriously suggesting that anyone skedaddle from spacious skies and purple mountains majesty even if red ink is beginning to reach that high. I am hoping that wiser and more politically adept Republicans might be able to stymie some of the worst of President Barack Obama’s misbegotten purposes and that long-term rectification of our turn toward self-destruction can win bipartisan support.

There has, of course, been some terribly bad news. The presidential election indicates that this country is now more center-left than center-right. We’ve reaffirmed that malicious campaign ads can sway millions while governmental giveaways buy votes. The regulatory mishmash known as Obamacare seems here to stay. It is already being cited along with anti-coal enthusiasm as a reason for layoffs that will crush some of the most disadvantaged among us even as the confused left says compassion has won the day.

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