Why America Can't Have "Nice Things"
So, if the majority of Americans want Scandinavian/European healthcare, schools, unions, wages and taxes-on-the-rich, why don’t we have these things?
Some time back a woman living in Sweden, “Caroline” @SweResistance on Twitter, posted a thread that said: “I live in Sweden. We have social security, affordable health care, strict gun laws, 5 weeks paid annual leave, 1 year maternity leave, etc. And no, we're not a communist country, and not even strictly socialistic but socio-democratic. And our freedom is not inhibited.
“For example, health care can cost a maximum of around $130 per year for visits to health care centrals etc., hospital nights costs $12 per night with a $175 roof per month. Prescription drugs have a yearly roof of $250.”
Sweden is a democratic republic that practices an economic system often referred to as “democratic socialism” or “social democracy.” Although Karl Marx popularized the word “socialism” in 1848 to describe his proposed utopian economic/political system, outside of the realm of Marxists and rightwing cranks, Marx’s system is usually today referred to as “communism” and “socialist” is the modern tag used to describe countries like Sweden.
As such, it’s describing an economic system made possible by the political system of democracy. Swedes have what they have because the majority of their population has repeatedly voted for politicians who promised to put democratic socialism into place.
Modern democracy began in 1789 in America, but “conservatives” have fought a truly multiracial democracy every step of the way, particularly as low-wage workers and racial minorities have struggled to gain equal representation and equal rights.
It’s a tragic commentary that countries like Sweden that initially emulated us have now become more “free” than we have…just because rightwing billionaires here have so successfully mobilized racism as a political strategy.
Americans deserve better, and the only thing standing in the way is a group of billionaires who’d rather shoot themselves into outer space than let unions into their workplaces or pay reasonable taxes…and can pay politicians and stack our courts with racist judges to keep it that way.