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Wrong impression about Nordic countries

Even though Bernie Sanders’s Nordic-style policies sound rather promising, they will never fit in the USA.

A Finnish journalist Anu Partanen, who is currently living in the US, left Finland 7 years ago, and now she would like to make things clear why she did so.

It is believed that the governments of Nordic countries list work their guts out to take care of their whole nation all at once. However, it is just a delusion as Northern Europeans can be just as selfish as Americans, or even more.

Such a misleading concept was defined in one of Partanen’s articles for The Atlantic entitled “What Americans Don’t Get About Nordic Countries.”

The main issue is that all the socialized programs such as centralized health care, free higher education, mandatory paid parental leave are meant to help people individually, not collectively. This is the main misleading assumption spread among most US citizens.

Partanen explains that Nordic nations, among others, Finland as a part of Scandinavia, offer a high-quality service that is provided for all their citizens, but especially the middle class. Hence, taxes are paid to ensure a perfect service that saves people a lot of money, time, and trouble. That is what most Americans fail to realize.

What is more, such mindset tends to prevail rather than be just a niche opinion. Despite the fact that Nordic people are able to pay higher tax rates to replenish the public treasury, it does not mean that people do care about others.

Anyway, Anu confirms that she only benefits from the system.

In her opinion, Nordics are not only egocentric as the majority population worldwide, but they are also hostile in attitude towards their fellow citizens as much as supporters of different political ideas loathe each other.

However, there is a big advantage of the policies in Northern European countries, and in particular, Finland, which is in Scandinavia too. These countries have the lowest crime rate as their citizens feel far more secure, and as a result, there is more trust between ordinary people and civil servants, unlike in the US.

An Icelandic sociologist and a graduate of Michigan State University, Gummi Oddsson, assures that the gun violence epidemic in the USA is a result of a lack of trust. That is why such a tendency cannot be seen in Northern Europe. Northern European society does not need to resort to crimes like theft and drug-dealing as the government meets their basic needs, and so people do not have to get by.

As for American society, the situation is still obscure, even if Americans would realize that social welfare programs could work on everyone’s selfish principles. Global changes are possible only if the government earns the trust and proves that the extra money included in taxes will not be misused.

Partanen has got a point of how to change American delusion about the dream Nordic society.

All in all, changes cannot be made without any inconveniences, but you must admit that it is much faster and comfortable if you do not have to give up your needs and hopes for a better life. 

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