Change, hope, forward…little by little our society will become a different place, where people can live in harmony and life will be better for everyone. We have heard it before. Socialist and communist thinking where no one is better than anyone else; where nobody has more than anyone else. Revolutions have come and gone, failed socialist and communist experiments are mostly gone, but there are still countries were the paths towards these goals are the guidelines for the rulers or ruler. Are we now seeing this trend in Barack Obama’s United States of America?
Never before has the country undergone such dramatic changes as during the short, but powerful rule of Barack Obama. The debt he has accumulated is more than all debt accumulated in the years from 1789 to 2000 combined, and there is no stop to the acceleration of the debt mountain. In many ways, debt is one of the fundamentals for Obama’s politics, domestically and internationally. There is an intentional focus on driving the country towards the economic middle of all countries, to be one of many, and not to be better or richer than any other country.
Having moved from Sweden in 1992, and growing up as part of the socialist experiment in the 70ies and the 80ies, with tax rates up to 85% and a philosophy of “equal pay for all work”. People could in effect pay more than 100% in tax in a convoluted tax system, that destroyed work ethics and incentives, and many Swedes left the country. In 1970, Sweden was the fourth richest country in the world, in 1995 and today, the 16th. I remember that several friends made more being unemployed than employed as I watched them hang out instead of looking for work. We were part of a new Sweden based on a corporatist entitlement system where we asked what the government could or should do for us, instead of asking what we could or should do for Sweden.
The Swedes woke up in the middle of the socialist experiment when the very popular children’s book author Astrid Lindgren published “Pomperipossa in the World Of Money”, a satirical story written in response to the 102% marginal tax rate she incurred. The marginal tax rate above 100% was dubbed the “Pomperipossa effect”, due to tax legislation which required self-employed individuals to pay both regular income tax and employer’s fees. The story led to a stormy tax debate and is often attributed as a decisive factor in the defeat of the Swedish Social Democratic Party, for the first time in 40 years in the elections later the same year. The Swedish Model had some key components that transformed Sweden into a country with high taxes, the destruction of family values, the elimination of a strong military, a system of entitlements, increased secularization, and a foreign policy based on internationalism, supporting the agendas of countries such as Cuba, East Germany, Yugoslavia and radical socialist anti-colonialist countries world-wide. At the same time, immigration increased significantly, transforming homogeneous Sweden into a country where today approximately 15% of the population was born abroad, with little or no proper integration policy.
On a recent trip to Stockholm, I observed the Sweden of today. It is indeed very beautiful, peaceful and prosperous, many of the most extreme socialist policies have been dismantled, but there is still a sense of a new type of country; a country where the state is running the show and where everyone is part of a neo-corporatism, in effect the merger of corporate and government power. In my opinion, the United States of America under Barack Obama is heading in the same direction. The former free capitalist system is slowly, but steadily, methodically and intentionally, becoming the New Sweden.
There are many details in the puzzle, like growing government involvement, more regulations, higher taxes, the reduction of military power, the increased interdependencies between the state and the business community, the increased attacks on religious freedom, and the increased standardization of society. Do not dare to differ. Here in New York, it is more or less not allowed to say Merry Christmas any longer. The death of Christmas is here, as it is not politically correct and might offend someone who is not a Christian. In the new society, new energy and resources should replace the old with a dreamlike vision of living on nothing but air and love.
Obama thinks he knows best. He really does, like a true neo-socialist and neo-corporatist. There can be no compromise as the ruler knows what is best for the people. Obama’s vision is a home, brought to us by the central planners of the federal government, who know better than we do what we need. The government has taken over. In Barack Obama’s world, you are either with him, or an enemy. Trust me, this is just the beginning.
Obama’s view is actually not a matter of politics; it’s a matter of fundamental belief and mentality, based on the Law of Jante. The law is widely known in Sweden and opposes individual self-aggrandizement as unworthy and inappropriate. In short, do not think you are anything special. Do not think you are better than anyone else. The American dream has been based on the notion that you are special, and if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere. Not under Barack Obama though. You should not think you are exceptional. In Obama’s world, success originates from the government, and if you are successful, it is thanks to the government. The philosophy is that all work should pay equal is certainly different than equal pay for equal work. The same mentality of we also find in foreign policy, where the neo-corporate internationalism rules. According to Barack Obama, the United States of America should not be a superpower, should not be unique, but rather just a country like all other countries.
This is where we are heading under Barack Obama, the ruler of corporatism and intentional mediocrity, who appears to be trapped in thinking that the struggle against old colonial powers is more important than keeping key global alliances. The impact of Obama’s radical rule will be felt for decades, but, just like in Sweden, future politicians will most likely reverse course. However, there are indeed real dangers for permanent damage, because it’s about the country’s fundamental way of living and the mentality of its citizens. The old American notions that hard work pays off, that country should be a strong and powerful nation, that God is part of our day-to-day lives, and that there is a strong optimism as a basis for the way we live are all fundamental American values now threatened by the most dangerous, radical and destructive president ever, Barack Obama. Beware of the Swedification of the United States of America.