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Sweden - Capitalism or Socialism

This probably won't come as a shock anyone who is wealthy (or is working towards acquiring wealth): Socialism doesnít work. The so-called ideal for a "worker's paradise" didnít work in the former Soviet Union or its satellites in Eastern Europe, it doesnít work in Red China (which is probably why it's opening up free trade zones and encouraging free enterprise), and it certainly isnít working in the last two Marxist states, North Korea and Cuba. In the former, people starve to death while the government builds missiles, while in the latter there is a constant amount of shortages in everything, from food to energy.

Socialism hasn't worked in the U.S. either. The "New Deal" started by FDR didn't get America out of the depression, World War II did. And, almost daily, we hear about icon of the New Deal, Social Security, becoming bankrupt in 20 years (of course, what would anyone expect of a Ponzi scheme like this?) Another example of the failure of social-welfare programs would be the so-called "Great Society" initiated by President Lyndon Johnson. It has been estimated that over 3 TRILLION dollars were spent on the "War on Poverty" . And yet, the War on Poverty failed because it didn't eradicat poverty, let alone "lift" people out of the poverty level. All it ever did was make them dependent on government entitlements.

However, there are intellectuals in the U.S. insisting that socialism will work just fine. All it needs. is a little "tweaking.". And others will cite one country as an example of the perfect "cradle-to-grave" welfare model: The country of Sweden..

It is true that, on the surface, Sweden seems to be the perfect welfare state. But, it comes at a price.

Earned income in Sweden attracts a local income tax of between 26 and 35 per cent, followed by the national income tax of between 20 and 25 per cent.

There is a 30 percent tax on ny income from savings. There is a 25 percent Value Added Tax (VAT) . There is even a 6 percent VAT on books and newspapers!

There are close to 16 excise duties along with "sin" taxes on alcohol and tobacco. If you took all of this into account, the ratio of total taxes to GDP is just over 54 per cent!

But that's not all! Along with having to pay income taxes, the Swedes also have to pay a motor-vehicle tax, road-user charges, fertilizer tax, gift tax, waste tax, nuclear-power tax, lottery tax, advertising tax, taxes on most life assurance premiums,and a real-estate tax. Last but not least, there is a wealth tax. Of course, this is assuming that an individual has any disposable income left after all the other taxes. But, astonishing enough, last year nearly 300,000 Swedes were liable for this tax!

There isnít any doubt that Sweden knows how to tax. And, because of the high taxes, there is an "underground economy" growing in Sweden. An American tourist visiting Sweden recently commented on this. He related that a number Swedes ferret away large amounts of currency in safes, under floorboards, etc. When asked why they did this, the reply was that, if they deposited the money in the bank, the government would know and tax it accordingly.

To counter these facts, those favoring socialism often point out that, because of these taxes, Sweden has a wonderful health and welfare system. This could be true but, despite this, or perhaps because of it, more Swedes phone in sick than in any other country in Europe.

The other side to the coin is that Sweden has a higher number of divorces, alcoholism, drug addiction, unemployment and suicide in comparison to the rest of Europe.