8 votes

If socialism is so bad, then why does it work so well in Denmark and Sweden?

I'm curious to know how you respond to this sort of statement...

Edit: I want to thank you all for the wonderful responses. I was hoping I would get 1 good response, and instead I received quite a bit more. I have read them all and have taken something away from each response. As a side note, I'd like to add that it's important that we not shy away from asking these types of questions. I know that I personally have become a much better debater when I look into arguments against my own worldview.

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Cyril's picture

Anyone still willing to daydream on socialism ?

Anyone still willing to daydream on socialism ?

Be my guest :


Depiction of the greatness of near 100% pure socialism - oh, I forgot to mention : after a little more or less 3 sustained decades, 1980-today - and how great France is doing thanks to it.


"Cyril" pronounced "see real". I code stuff.


"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." -- Confucius

because they are small

those two "countries" can't even make it on the list of 20 largest cities in the world.

most forms of government can "appear" to be sustainable for tiny villages like sweden and denmark ...for a short period of time.

Here are some links on Sweden:

For starters, Sweden can no longer be considered a democratic, socialist country. According to Tom Woods in "Rollback," Sweden's socialist economy began to lag in the late 80s/ early 90s which resulted in several market reforms that helped it out economically. Furthermore, according to Dr. Woods, Sweden's safety net isn't made up of such vast, wealth transfers like our welfare system, but, rather payments to onesself in the future (such as generous unemployment insurance, worker's comp, maternity leave, etc.). Furthermore, today, Sweden is more of a neoliberal economy.


But, even if Sweden was still a purely, democratic, socialist state and was still prospering as it is in its current neoliberal condition, it would not be a great place to live with regard to civil liberties. See below.



"The truth is that neither British nor American imperialism was or is idealistic. It has always been driven by economic or strategic interests." - Charlie Reese


Ask Hitler!

Hitler rallied all the people and won all the popular elections. In Austria, he won 98% of the vote. He later created fear among the people with an enemy no-one could see, He was a great speaker who could bring tears to his audience in a tragedy so as to advance his hidden agenda, he waged war on many countries without the people's consent, He spied, illegally detained and imprisoned his countrymen without charge or legal representation, He controlled the economic development of his country to his own agenda, He stopped anyone for speaking out against him, He assigned un-elected officials to make the laws for the people to follow, He ..... ridiculous for someone to ask this question about socialism, there must be millions of others that has forgotten history or are illinformed OR uneducated.


"In the beginning of a change the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot."

Mark Twain


There are a lot of good resources you can refer to

This video contains a brief look at it (regarding Sweden)and has some additional resources. Mises.org as always is a good place to go to as well.

Rand Paul / Justin Amash 2016
Continue the Ron Paul R3VOLUTION

It is force, not eloquents

Fraud though debasement of the currency pays for these bureaucratic states which have been bankrupt several times and will be again. These societies are nice, nice and stagnant. No thank you for me, oh you don’t have a choice…

Any country can be socialist when...

It is blessed with oil and decides to use the revenue on public programs

2 Chron 7:13-14 if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

All ponzi schemes work ...

... for awhile.

There are +-200 countries in the world..

Funny how these two countries keep popping up as a pro Socialist argument.

Lets see how well those two countries will do once the economy melts down in the EU and US.

Even if there is some perceivable temporary "success", the failure rate makes the idiotology of Socialism a joke. It's like saying that the best way to play pool is with your penis just because in 200 shots you managed to sink a couple of balls.


I try to change people every day. Do You?



Different aspects

Well, think of it... If in some country half of the money everyone earns is redistributed evenly... And if it doesn't keep anyone from working hard, and if noone complains... Then in such a country socialism may work forever.

It's mostly the restrictive aspects of socialism that screw up the whole country. Like, instead of just moving cash to and fro, it's also going to be spend in a not so efficient way. Tax Joe another $1000, and not give Mary that $1000 but rather give her some service or subsidy for stuff worth $300 to her. Poof $700 down the drain, plus the demoralizing / mind-numbing effect of it for both Joe and Mary.

In little countries, the people have more control over their government it seems, socialist or not. That helps deal with the problems a bit.

Does it?

Look at the country that is forth on the list!


When Fascism goes to sleep, it checks under the bed for Ron Paul!

Why did Slavery work in Mississippi ?

Because the owners define what "works" means.

Any system would work in Sweden, incl. Communism … for a while

The country had a lot of "social capital", high moral so that people could trust each other, and average IQ=100. Add some economic freedom, and the results have to be good. Fredric Bastiat had an significant influence from 1860 with his ideas on free-trade associations. It is not very complicated at all as I see it.

But when bad moral is supported and subsidized, it has to be some long term consequences. Takes a while to tear down all the "social capital" that was built up.

Demoralization begun with the magic free public school trick: " While the older generation would not accept dependence on others (including state welfare benefits) they did not object to sending the younger generation to public schools to get educated."

More: How the Welfare State Corrupted Sweden


This could be a roadmap on how the welfare state will be developing in the US.

Have also some ideas on what's happening to average IQ these days, but that may be too controversial for this site. Should be quite obvious anyway, and significant.


I don't know about Denmark, I haven't really researched there, but I did a paper on Sweden this semester for a Comparative Economic Systems class. Like many people are saying, Sweden has deregulated and reformed taxes and the welfare system to be in the economic position they are in now. This is a good article with graphs that show how as their gov't spending has went down their per capita gdp has went up.
This is another good article that talks about the reforms Sweden has made.

Where do they still have problems? Well in the markets the government is heavily involved in of course.

Like health-care: "Getting an appointment at a doctor’s surgery can be a tricky business in some areas. Many surgeries only answer the phones for restricted periods – say, between 8am and 9am."

And their labor market which is over 70% unionized along with the welfare benefits. This is a good article about their labor market situation.

First thing

I would determine is where that info comes from. Who says it is working in Denmark and Sweden...the media or actual facts and figures and personal testimonies?

What I find interesting in such societies is that the 'equality' ends with the ruling class...they never seem to have to spread their wealth and always seem to live VERY well, wanting for nothing.

The law cannot make a wicked person virtuous…God’s grace alone can accomplish such a thing.
Ron Paul - The Revolution

Setting a good example is a far better way to spread ideals than through force of arms. Ron Paul

There's nothing wrong with socialism.

As long as everyone expected to be involved in that particular society consents to it. It's when it's enforced at the point of a gun that it's a problem.

Even if it "works so well" doesn't mean it is right. I'll quote Ron Paul here "So if a bank robber gets away with robbing the bank does that make it right?"

Agreed. If the entire

Agreed. If the entire population is composed of socialists, they get the system they want. Human nature and history seem to indicate their system won't last, however.

The reason it works so well is time

I am sure you have noticed the more people employed by the government and resources being allocated by government has become more popular in America over time. The liberty movement even tho it gets some revivals like the Reagan revolution and the Ron Paul revolution (deff two different movements but similar in some way)... however, for the most part takers have been growing and now outnumber the makers. Now, this changes man completely over time... I had a Ron Pauler who lived in Norway, another "one of the nice socialist countries," he even got married to a sweet Norwegian. But the people there were all conforming all the time... if you were out of step with society then you were shunned, turned into police and peer pressured to agree with what is going on. Now, for America earlier in her life, the pressure was small but every where you turn there is another Obama sticker and the Republican party doesn't even represent anything other than socialism. My first point is that the men/women have changed in that society. My second point would be that they are not as socialist as we believe.

And so i suppose my point is

And so i suppose my point is that socialism over time creates more socialism and the people turn to pigs. You cant be individualistic in that society because you are forced to conform... But they are all getting poorer because socialism is a misallocation of resources. Not being in war is huge as well

common culture and unity.

common culture and unity. nazi germany had the same thing, and it was successful. was it right?

america is too diverse to be socialistic.

do you really want that

do you really want that question answered?

Sweden doing OK because of freemarkets

It´s is not working out well in Sweden because of socialism but because of earlier capital accumulations and relatively free markets today.
Sweden was in the 1950´s one of the richest countries in the world with one of the most free markets. There had been no armed conflicts since the early 1800´s so alot of wealth had been accumulated before all the socialprograms began. The socialdemocrats came to power in the 30`s but it wasn´t until the 60´s when they started to implement their policies on a grand scale. These policies were not good for the economy and changes were made in the late 80´s or early 90´s. If Sweden hadn´t been such a productive nation when all the socialprograms started it would have been a disaster.

Denmark and Sweden


Population Jan 2012 estimate 5,580,413



Population 2012 census 9,546,217


When wealth does not need to be created and is available thru exploiting natural resources, socialism for this limited amount of people will work until the free ride ends.

Here is an other example you can use next time:



I try to change people every day. Do You?

exactly. Norway is the most famous 'success' story

But its population is less than 5 million who were LUCKY enough to be born on a large area with incredible natural wealth. Norway's wealth per capita has NOTHING whatsoever to do with its social system; it is all luck and basic math: large numerator and small denominator.

The FACT is that Norway could bring in foreign labor (and not just the foreign mining technology) and the people could have an even higher standard of living WITHOUT WORKING AT ALL ... just by bringing in foreign labor and getting rid of the government leeches who drain off nearly all the loot.

Other bogus examples of how well socialism 'works' include Canada, Australia, New Zealand. Populations? 30 million, 21.5 million, 4.3 million. And every one has a large to huge land mass with incredible natural wealth.

Don't you wonder why the people who write these glowing stories of how well socialism works automatically attribute the wealth to the socialism and not to the basic math? Are these proponents of socialism so stupid that they can't do 3rd grade math? Or do you suppose they have an agenda?

Bill of Rights /Amendment X: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."

Do you need a politician or judge to "interpret" those 28

It doesn't work...

By work just be sure whoever says this explicitly agrees the following s acceptable.
Women do not go to the hospital to have a baby unless the are serious issues
Young couple live at home, until they get a small apartment, and then do not get a home until their parents home is available.
The state decides your vocation

These are the quick thingsbthatcome to mind. By the way, Sweden specifically pulled back on some of their economic agenda to help the economy in 2002.

It doesn't work.


Liberty = Responsibility

As long as we are talking "ism"

Check out "agorism."
(Forgive me, Ralph, it is the best "ism" I ever saw, though.)

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.

As in...

Argo F**k yourself?

A line from the movie Argo

When Fascism goes to sleep, it checks under the bed for Ron Paul!

lol! Not "Argism" either.

the practice of running around pretending you are a pirate.

Love or fear? Choose again with every breath.