Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Who's socialist now?

This news is fascinating. In Sweden, long touted as a soft-socialist model that the U.S. really should emulate, the auto company Saab is in trouble and looking to the government for some possible help. But the country's enterprise minister, Maud Olofsson has said, "The Swedish state is not prepared to own car factories. Meanwhile, the U.S. government, under a putatively Republican administration, could hardly wait to bail out Detroit automakers. So who's closer to being a socialist state?

To be sure after decades under Social Democrats, Sweden now has a right-leaning government that, if not determined to roll back socialism, at least resists further state intervention and ownership. And when I posted an item on this phenomenon on the Register's Orange Punch blog, a commenter pointed out that Saab is owned by GM, so it's not quite the patriotic icon it once was. Still, there are plenty of workers in Trollhatten, where the plant is located, eager to complain to reporters about how hard-hearted the Swedish government is.

No comments: