Others tauting the “open” Swedish model ignore that according to the Swedish Riksbank de facto the Swedish economy is closed. Sweden has experienced a sharper drop in first quarter GDP than the US, with the Swedish economy down 11%. The Riksbank’s estimates are a 70 percent decline in restaurants and cafes, a 90% decline in cinema, sports, and other crowd events. a 40% decline in car sales, a 23% fall in exports, a 30% decline in shoes and clothes purchases, a 75% drop in Swedish recreational travel.
The “open” Swedish model is a bet on herd immunity which at our present state of knowledge is merely an assumption.
President Trump and the neoconservatives are determined to blame China for manufacturing the virus in the Wuhan laboratory despite the fact that the US knew about the research and contributed to its financing, which was approved by Dr. Fauci himself. So when Trump and the warmonger neocons point at China the finger also points at the US.
We have been subjected to much nonsensical disinformation that Sweden has kept its economy open and is faring no worse in infections than countries with closed economies and without the economic consequences of closed-downed economies. The fact of the matter is that de facto Sweden’s economy is closed and is doing no better than anyone’s else’s, and its infection rate is still rising.
Sweden closed universities and high schools, banned gatherings of large groups, asked people to avoid non-essential travel, and advised those ill and over 70 to stay at home. Sweden did not require restaurants, bars, and gyms to close, but business is down by 70% as people have avoided the risk. That decline could be larger than in the US where restaurants are permitted to provide takeouts. In Sweden the hotel occupancy rate has dropped from 60% to 10%. Sweden’s economy is “open” only in words.
Democratic Socialism practices trust in Individuals (ODT)
What the Swedish experiment demonstrates, is that there’s a way to navigate these unprecedented public health challenges without recklessly imposing police state policies and without doing irreparable harm to the economy. And, yes, the results of this experiment are not yet known, but what we do know is that most nations cannot simply print-up trillions of dollars to counter the knock-on effects of bringing the economy to a screeching halt. These countries must dip into their reserves or take out loans from the IMF in order to recover from the lack of production and activity. That means they’re going to face years of slow growth and high unemployment to dig out from the mess their leaders created for them.
The 1% impose the intrinsic instability of their system on the entire population, and then get the government to respond with deficits that even further benefit and reward the greed of the very same 1% oligarchs and corporations.
Ironically, we’ve borrowed so much as a nation from the rich, large corporations and some foreign countries that even they now are unsure they want to continue to lending to us because of today’s astronomical debt. To maintain their loan profits, they want us to eliminate/severely reduce programs for poor and sick people with austerity/cuts in all social and public health programs, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc.
The absurdity and danger to our community of such an economic policy is exceeded only by its gross injustice.
The warning calls, while not shrill, are in evidence. An epidemiological battle is taking shape, though it remains one dominated by parrying disagreements of expertise. Britain’s chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance has much praise for the approach, having made similar suggestions to UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson during the “herd immunity” phase of discussions. In contrast, a petition featuring over 2,000 doctors, scientists and academics, which boast among its numbers the chairman of the Nobel Foundation, Prof Carl-Henrik Heldin, has called for more aggressive measures. “It is risky to leave it to people to decide what to do without any restrictions,” opines a paternalistic Joacim Rocklöv, an epidemiologist based at Umeå University. “As can be seen from other countries this is a serious disease, and Sweden is no different than other countries.”
Virologist Cecilia Söderberg-Nauclér, based at the Karolinska Institute, has not held back in her views, claiming with some punchiness that the government has committed all the big no-nos in responding to a pandemic. “We’re not testing enough, we’re not tracking, we’re not isolating enough – we have let the virus loose.” In so doing, Sweden had been placed on the path to catastrophe. To avoid a lockdown, a mass-testing approach as adopted by South Korea would have to be adopted. Time will tell which one stacks up.
Sweden and Norway, for example, both experienced a major power shift in the 1930s after prolonged nonviolent struggle. They “fired” the top 1 percent of people who set the direction for society and created the basis for something different.
“More often than not the questions are framed in a way that’s related to being repressive towards immigrants. It’s worth remembering that numbers have to be interpreted, and it’s also about what kind of political interest there are in using the stats, how those stats are read. Stats are in themselves neutral, they have to be interpreted,” he emphasizes.
“If you really want to deepen understanding in this area you have to consider what the stats are and also what they’re going to be used for. Are they going to be used to better locate people without residence papers, for example? To track down migrants and their kids? Or are they going to be used to improve how the police act, and to create a less discriminatory police? It’s very complicated, and more often than not the discussion in the area in Sweden is too simplistic,” he concludes.
Correcting Bolt’s BS is a full time task because there is so much of it (ODT)
Asylum applications in 2016 dropped to about 29,000.
Sweden used to grant permanent residence permits to individuals granted asylum. The legislative changes in mid 2016 began restricting residence authorization by granting temporary permits and putting more requirements in place for permanent permits.
What about claims linking new arrivals and crime?
“In general, crime statistics have gone down the last (few) years, and no there is no evidence to suggest that new waves of immigration has lead to increased crime,” Selin said.
Generally, there’s a certain over-representation of people with immigrant background in crime statistics, but that tends to be closely related to high levels of unemployment, poverty, exclusion, low language and other skills, Selin said. “Swedes with these characteristics are also overrepresented in crime statistics,” he said.
If we look specifically at sex offences, which the Fox News segment highlighted, there were 18,100 sex offenses reported to the police in 2015, down 11 percent from 2014, according to the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention.
By Juan Cole | (Informed Comment) | – – The Swedish auto manufacturer Volvo, owned by the Chinese automotive corporation …
A chart published last month by the European Union as part of a survey about attitudes towards tobacco in Europe lists the per centage of daily smokers in 28 countries. At the top is Bulgaria, where 36 per cent of the population smokes daily. Greece and France are close behind, with 35 and 33 per cent respectively.
At least four people are dead and many are injured after a truck drove into a crowd in Stockholm.
It is clear that the president and his advisers despise Sweden and Germany for sheltering more than their fair share of refugees since the crisis began.
In one of the most organized acts of racial brutality in recent memory, a mob of masked men dressed in all black attacked Stockholm’s main train station last night.
PM says police report’s failure to mention incidents at 2014 event amounts to ‘double betrayal’, while reports emerge on New Year’s Eve attacks in Malmö
Sweden is moving to a six-hour working day in a bid to increase productivity and make people happier. Employers across the country have already made the change, according to the Science Alert website, which said the aim was to get more done in a shorter amount of time and ensure people had the energy to enjoy their private lives.
Sweden reacts with shock to a deadly school attack by a sword-wielding man who police say is being investigated for possible far-right sympathies.
US and Australian Intelligence Agencies Dodgy Dossiers and Mass Surveillance:
Intelligence agencies are hollowing out Western democracies and their global credibility. Maybe one of our leaders could try and restore dignity to the political system by reining in agency overreach and prosecting wayward agency officials.
The agencies draw from derivative material they know to be tainted, because they themselves tainted it with hearsay, they quote a canned sound bite from a collaborator or present fabricated evidence and brazenly lie, on the assumption they will never be held to account, never face independent judicial scrutiny, be subject to discovery and sanction. They understand their power and the practical limits on others of constraining it. Merely their act of raising certain allegations or making insinuations can leave a lasting smear, even when retractions, corrections, clarifications or exaggerations are made. Even once a ruse is uncovered or facts corrected, toxic residue remains in some peoples’ minds. As Susan described it, in the worst case, if the target is convicted of sexual offences and goes to jail, they will be are at the bottom of the prison hierarchy and treated abysmally; in the best case, a niggling doubt will remain in some peoples’ mind. The target is damaged no matter the outcome, it is just a question of degree.
It is a widely held belief that this strategy is being used in the case of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange who has received political asylum and is currently confined in Ecuador’s London embassy, hounded by authorities in the US, Sweden, UK and Australia over unsubstantiated, contradictory, and retracted or concocted, statements regarding encounters he had with apparently consenting women.