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Friday, June 03, 2005

Sweden Ain't Sweatin

The true unemployment rate in Sweden is 20%, not the 5% claimed by unions and government per a new study released by Jan Edling. Reports Sweden's English newspaper The Local:

Sweden's trade union organisation, LO, has been accused of trying to suppress a report that claimed that the real number of unemployed people in Sweden could be much higher than the five percent shown in official figures. .. Edling, resigned from LO last week claiming that the organisation was trying to block his report, which he had spent five years writing. He accused LO's leadership of being motivated by a desire to protect the Social Democratic Party from embarrassment.

From Swedish Blog State of the Nation , Edling reports:

- 11% of the Swedish population between 18 and 64 are retired for medical reasons. This despite the fact that Sweden has one of the longest life expectancies in the world.

- You are much more likely to be retired for medical reasons if the city in which you live has a high unemployment rate.

- 1,000,000 Swedes between the ages of 20 and 64 (20% of the population) are either unemployed or on sick leave (including premature retirement for medical reasons (IPRFMR).

Why work when you are incentivized to sit? Opines State of the Nation:

The Swedish model is a recipe for society. The base is a market economy, but it is amended with a high level of social security. The purpose is to ensure that no one should take a significant financial hit if they become ill, unemployed or choose to forego education. No matter what your circumstances are, the government will ensure you can lead a decent life with a high level of financial security. To many people, the Swedish (or Scandinavian) model is truly a model to follow, and it is constantly used as an example of an alternative to deregulated market economy.

Let's all say, no thanks.

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