It’s official. I’m going to the godforsaken socialist hellhole, Sweden. My daughter, son-in-law, and grandson are living there and I’m worried about their freedom. I need to make sure that they are not suffering under too much oppression.
My daughter married a Swede and she’s been living in Sweden for just over two years. It’s been awful. Just a year and two months after they moved to Sweden, my grandson was born. Under oppressive Swedish law, my daughter and son-in-law were given 18 months of parental leave between the two of them. It’s gut-wrenching to watch a country force that much parental bonding on a young couple and their newborn child. I’m sure that they are just devastated that they weren’t in the United States where they could have the freedom to return home from the birthing center and adjust to having new child while simultaneously preparing to go back to work the next week.
And it just gets worse. Swedes are forced to take a minimum 41 days per year in vacation time. That’s a soul-crushing six weeks of downtime. In an inconceivable violation of her freedom, my daughter was told last spring that she needed to take more time off. To keep the authoritarian thugs happy, they’re taking two weeks to travel around Croatia. I’m sure they will be miserable.
And as if to add insult to injury, they are paid extra when they are traveling because Sweden knows that families spend more when they are on vacation. I get choked up just thinking about how much freedom they have lost.
They suffer through all sorts of other oppressive socialist policies, too. They have free health care, free child care when their parental leave ends, and then, in a final slap at parenthood, they have free college when their child is entering adulthood. Crushed under the thumb of big government throughout their lives, they work less, pay higher taxes, and yet have more disposable income. I’m sure the Mercatus Institute would tell you how much freedom they’ve lost.
The nanny state there is so smothering that they are consistently rated as the one of the happiest countries in the world. Their median income is higher than United States. They live longer and their infant mortality rate is less than half as high as it is in the Land of the Free. In addition, they have essentially no poverty. Socialism is brutal.
But you know what’s even more galling? The corporate world doesn’t even care. No boycotts, no nothing. Sweden is consistently named one of the top countries to do business in the world. Not only that, Stockholm is second only to Silicon Valley in investment per capita. Their tech and start up scene is just booming despite the oppressive, freedom crushing socialism. I bet the Tax Foundation’s business climax index would rate them terribly.
Yes, I’m getting mentally prepared to lose my freedom for a week. I just need to make sure that all of the oppression that my daughter and her family face is not too much. Wish me luck.