Rubbing (Wing)nuts the Wrong Way

If only on account of pure laziness, we’ll probably never figure out why wingnuts are so put out by the Scandinavian countries. We’ve remarked on this in the past (or have meant to at least, and surely that has to count,) but it’s a pony they just can’t stop beating. Over at Townhall’s c-untblog, Dan Mitchell links to a TCS Daily story and adds:

Amazingly, some policy makers in Europe think that nations like Sweden are a role model for the rest of the continent. To be fair, Sweden has a laissez-faire economy in many areas, but the giant welfare state and bad labor market policies hardly make it a success story.

Meanwhile at TCS Daily, college dropout* Hans H.J. Labohm writes:

Social Model Myths

The authors argue that the future of Europe’s generous welfare state model is at stake. It is not capable of coping with the challenges of globalization. While the world’s economy is booming at an average rate of over 4 percent, Europe is stagnating at just 1.5 percent. –emphasis added–

Stagnating? And the Scandinavian countries in particular not doing well? Sadly, No!

H.J., according to TCS, is an “Independent economist,” if by “independent” one means “not very good.” Because while the IMF does show (PDF) that the world’s economy is growing at a rate of around 4%, only a silly man would lump the average growth of industrial countries (below 3%) to that of emerging markets (above 6%) and use the result (4+ %) to show how Europe is “stagnating” (if by “stagnating” one means “growing slowly.”) And it would be a very, very silly man who would omit from this discussion any mention of the fact that the 2006 forecast for economic growth in Norway is 3.0%, Sweden 3.0%, Finland 3.5%, and Denmark 2.3%, while the US’ is 3.2%. The US lead is pretty slim.

As for unemployment: Norway’s 2005 rate was 4.6%, Sweden’s 6.3%, Finland’s 8.4% (having gone down in each of the last 11 years,) and Denmark’s 4.8%. At 5.1%, the US rate is better than some, but worse than others. Damn you, straw, damn you to hell!

* Is that true? Read his bio and make the call!


Comments: 50

LA Confidential Pantload

“Long-term in-depth analysis and speechwriting?” WTF? And I think they got the photos mixed up – I’m sure that’s a picture of my uncle Cletus van Goober.


I also wonder if they figure their unemployment figures differently than the US. We just drop people who have “opted out” of the job market. In other words, if your unemployment benefits expire and you still don’t have a job, you’re not counted as unemployed.

Secondly, isn’t a lot the US growth driven by pretty shakey financial maneuvers? How big are the national debts in the Scandanaivan countries, as a percent of GDP? They may actually be much healthier economically than the US, depending on how things are measured.


I read years ago that the Euros count their incarcerated as “unemployed” but we don’t, which also skews the stats. I think I asked Seb about this before but don’t remember his answer.


Well, don’t we pay our convicts for work they do in prison? Something like 20 cents an hour.

I also read a few years ago (can’t verify that it’s true) that some companies were using prison labor to make garments, (but paying third world wages), but were able to put “MADE IN USA” on the products.
Sounds like it might be an urban legend, but also sounds like it could be true.


I hate to be a pedant* but Norway isn’t in the EU. It is thoroughly pink, though.

*not actually true


The grass is always greener. Who believes government numbers anyway? We have a 15% unemployment rate, a 15% underemployment rate, and a 15% incarceration rate. Yeah, they’re way behind the US on everything. Get with it Scandinavia, why can’t you compete with our lying government’s numbers? You bunch of losers. The corporate fascists are just afraid we might get a socialist or labor party here in the US and so they put down the Europeans constantly.


I hate to be a pedant* but Norway isn’t in the EU.

I hope I didn’t say it is… but it is in Europe. I doubt the wingnuts could name the original EU-6 or EU-15 (and I couldn’t name the EU-25, so there.)

I read years ago that the Euros count their incarcerated as “unemployed” but we don’t, which also skews the stats.

I don’t know the exact numbers, but many national governments use a different method to count unemployment rates, which gives, when comparing them to the US’, inflated numbers. I do think, but am not certain, a big difference comes in the inclusion or exclusion of unemployed but currently looking, or not, for a job. The Eurostat numbers we quote use the ILO definition of unemployment, which makes their figures comparable to US ones.


I DREAM of having been fortunate enough to have been BORN in a country like Norway or Sweden. We are on the road to being Brazil, not Norway. You know they are social success story countries because…you can’t MOVE there.


I refuse to weigh in until we’ve heard from Gary Ruppert. Hopefully Ken Mehlman will have sent him a letter about this…


My mom is Norwegian. Her whole family is still there. (She’s the only sibling who jumped ship.) So I have an abiding fondness for Norway, which indeed is not in the EU, and I tend to pay attention to what is going on there if only for the fact that it’s littered with my cousins, aunts and uncles.
Obviously, the reason wingnuts are so anti-Scandanavian is due to the strongly socialist leanings of the governments there. They hate to be presented with a case in which the “pinko” state has actually succeeded.


Finland’s economic growth is forecast for 3.5%, while ours is only 3.2%? Makes me want to break out into song………….

Finland, Finland, Finland, the country where I want to be………..

Your mountains so lofty,
Your treetops so tall,

Finland, Finland Finland,
Finland has it all!


Venezuela posted 9.3% GDP growth for 2005. Venezuela must therefore be the country that the right ought to be portraying as a model economy. Dummies.


Hello. I just got back from the Flaming Lips show, and I just wanted to tell you all that the world is beautiful and sad and that I love you all and hope you have some joy tonight and tomorrow.



Those idiots sure obsess on Europe, don’t they?
I wonder why that is?

verplanck colvin

Insult is the sincerest form of flattery. Or something like that…


Don’t knock Brazil. Freaking Brazil looks like it’s run by cautious fiscal conservatives compared to the pantloads running the US. It’s been running a trade surplus for a while and a budget surplus as well.

I was trying to think the other day, if you’re a wingnut, what countries are you allowed to like? As far as I can tell, the UK, maybe sorta. And that’s it. Gotta hate Canada, Europe, the Middle east. Don’t forget the neocons wanted us to get into a war with China before 9/11 came along.


Canada is a frigid bitch of a country.


I think it’s okay to like the Japanese too. They’re clever, and make those cool Anime cartoons.


Canada is a frigid bitch of a country.

Only in the winter, annie, only in the winter.

Chris Moorehead

Sweden has been more of a free-market capitalist country than the USA for about 20 years now. It simply has generous social programs, because (a) its citizens want them, and (b) having them is sound business practice.

Single-payer health care alone reduces the cost per worker significantly – that’s why Canada keeps getting new auto assembly plants, while they’re closing at an epidemic rate in the US.

Public education helps, too – the main reason Toyota decided to build its new assembly plant in Ontario instead of Alabama or South Carolina is that Canadian workers don’t need to be taught to read.

The neo-cons hate Sweden, Finland, Norway, most of the EU, and Canada because they expose the lie on which US capitalism is founded.

Apart from the weather (which in Toronto is indistinguishable from that of NYC), how exactly is Canada “a frigid bitch of a country”? When I last checked, Canadians love sex and hate violence, while Americans (conservative ones, anyway) love violence and hate sex.


“if you’re a wingnut, what countries are you allowed to like?”

Israel, Australia, Poland, and the UK — in that order. Apparently it’s OK to not-hate Canada now, at least a little, because of Harper. Italy remains on the “no-hate list”, but not for long… as soon as they say arrivederci to Berlusconi, the Italians will promptly plummet into the Zapatero zone.


I think they freak out about Scandinavia because the big-breasted pornographers are a bunch of Communists but Hitler said they were the purist Aryan nations to be found on this earth. How can Aryans be pinko Commies? And successful ones at that; everyone know Communism doesn’t work. They’re just traitors to the truths of wingnuttery.


Toyotetsu Canada is looking to open by the end of 2007 and Fanshawe has agreed to work with the company to bring specialized training for prospective employees. Principal of the James N. Allen Campus in Simcoe, Donna Gates, says they will be developing a plan to assist in recruiting and the educational training of the employees. Gates adds the training will include skilled trades including welding.

So they can read, cool, buiding cars is not farming so they need to be re-educated.

While the county has approached the CTP for funding it was not a bargaining chip to get Toyotetsu to Simcoe. Norfolk Mayor Rita Kalmback says they have approached the community transition program for funds to help cover the cost of servicing the land where the new parts plant will go up.

They came to Simcoe because Simcoe would sell it’s firstborn for jobs.


Canadians love violence, especially agaisnt women. 2 women die each month in Ontario from domestic violence.

Not likely to change in the near future except maybe to rise.


Two a month? Well, you don’t provide a source for your numbers, but let’s assume they are accurate.

Ontario has a population of about 12 million. Illinois is a comparable U.S. state (just in terms of population). According to the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Illinois had 45 domestic homicides in 2003. That’s 3.75 per month. Almost twice as much.

What was your point? If 2 domestic homicides per month means Canadians “love violence, especially against women,” what do the Illinois numbers say about America’s devotion to the same?


I did not state Americans don’t love violence. I was responding to the poster who said Canadians did not.

Guess he’s never been to a local hockey game or a bar up here.

Sorry two dead women a month in a province with only one, perhaps two large urban centers isn’t enough for you???


It’s OK to like Japan now, but I remember back in the 90s the neo-con thing was “The Coming War With Japan”.

The pinnacle of it was Tom Clancy’s Debt of Honor. Say what you will about him, the man does have his finger on the pulse of the dumbest geopolitical ideas going.

It had an awfully contrived ending, though. A rogue pilot seizing control of a jet airliner and flying it into a US government building? I mean, geez…


I did not state Americans don’t love violence. I was responding to the poster who said Canadians did not.

How your little heart must have gone pit-a-pat as you redressed that wrong!


Sorry two dead women a month in a province with only one, perhaps two large urban centers isn’t enough for you???

“One, perhaps two?” Even that’s an outrageous exaggeration. Everyone knows there isn’t one single urban area in all of Canada, let alone Ontario. Why, the whole place is just one barren, wind-swept wasteland with a bunch of primitives scratching in the frozen earth just to get by.

In fact, Just thinking about Canada makes me dyspeptic and bitchy, just like ole Annie here.


And here I was thinking Canada had beer volcanoes.


No beer volcanoes, but naturally occuring, yummy yellow snow, from which delicious lemony Sno-Cones come from.


Israel, Australia, Poland, and the UK — in that order.

Australia’s off the list for the American Family Association, though.


Actually the Canada is a frozen wasteland full of drunken hockey players who eat timbits and drink homosexual milk.


Is that the real annie angel?

I don’t mean this to be a commentary on miss annie’s intelligence, but I would have thought she could at least spell her own URL correctly.


LOL! It’s the real Annie. I’m not only known for my intelligence, but also for the fact I can’t spell. šŸ˜‰


I’m not only known for my intelligence, but also for the fact I can’t spell

Not to mention your gut-busting, bladder-evacuating, lung-expelling comedic genius.

Hey, Frenchies…make way for Annie…the Imogene Coca of the New Era.


Why do you hate Jesus, Mal de Mer?



Stop, stop, before I…


Oops. Dang!


Now you’re pissing on Christ…..typical.


I think Annie is Dr. BLT in drag. A drag in drag. It’s an Moebious strip of pseudohilarity.


Well that was original.

Now stop trolling me and start boycotting IKEA.


Oh Annie, don’t you realise that as long as you post offensive comments here in our territory, YOU are the troll, not any of us.


what I want to know is since when does making fun of annie angel = hating Jesus?


Offense is perceived by the offended. What offends me may not offend you and vice versa.

Why does everyone always tell me I’m in their territory? I think that shows a perceived perception of “sides” that only exists if we label and pre-judge people to fit the image we’ve been force fed by the corpro-fascists.

Let’s be friends.


Thank-you, Ianua, for noticing the typo in my URL and pointing it out. That was a friendly thing to do, especially since you went out of your way to let me know you weren’t calling me stupid.

That was nice. Thanks.


Canada is a frigid bitch of a country.

Now, I can’t say for certain, but If I were Canadian, I think the chances are pretty high that I’d be offended by that, Annie.


In addition to welfare and stagnating economies, Scandanavia has the babes.


The autocomplete dictionary on my Nokia phone doesn’t contain the word ‘Finns’.



As far as I’m concerned, Canada is awesome, it brought us Elisha Cuthbert, Rachel McAdams, Estella Warren and Tanith Belbin, yada yada, QEDMF…


People like you and your foolish site that attack Christians are pathetic.
Life is but a vapor and each of you are going to answer for your blasphemy and stupidity at the thrown of judgement.


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