Can we talk about Sweden for a bit?

Can we talk about Sweden for a bit?

Author
Discussion

BrabusMog

17,515 posts

150 months

Friday 13th February 2015
quotequote all
aizvara said:
bodhi said:
This I find interesting, as I was having a discussion on another forum about Scandinavia, with some Danes who thought everyone should pay 50% Income Tax and have a society like theirs. I disagreed with this for multiple reasons, but one was the law of Jante, to which I was told that this isn't really a factor in Scandinavian life any more.

Is he right, or is it so ingrained now they don't notice it?
Talking in particular of Sweden - I've not noticed it being an issue for my friends and family over there (they are mostly fairly entrepreneurial people, and have all done well so far). They are still in favour of high(er) taxes and a strong social safety net. Frankly, though, even with higher taxes they still have a better quality of life than I do in the UK.

My girlfriend has mentioned that general limiting attitude that one should not try to be better than others, but I've experienced something similar in the UK, where any minor sign of success seems to be an affront to some people.
I asked my girlfriend about jante and she replied:

haha, we say Sweden is 'landet lagom'
Noone can be better than the other
It's rude to show that you've got money
A normal saying in Sweden is 'stand in the line like everybody else'
It's an invisible law if you know what I mean


I must say that's pretty similar to over here, you don't stand up in the pub and shout out how well your doing in life.


Finlandia

7,803 posts

195 months

Friday 13th February 2015
quotequote all
aizvara said:
bodhi said:
This I find interesting, as I was having a discussion on another forum about Scandinavia, with some Danes who thought everyone should pay 50% Income Tax and have a society like theirs. I disagreed with this for multiple reasons, but one was the law of Jante, to which I was told that this isn't really a factor in Scandinavian life any more.

Is he right, or is it so ingrained now they don't notice it?
Talking in particular of Sweden - I've not noticed it being an issue for my friends and family over there (they are mostly fairly entrepreneurial people, and have all done well so far). They are still in favour of high(er) taxes and a strong social safety net. Frankly, though, even with higher taxes they still have a better quality of life than I do in the UK.

My girlfriend has mentioned that general limiting attitude that one should not try to be better than others, but I've experienced something similar in the UK, where any minor sign of success seems to be an affront to some people.
It depends on where in Sweden you are as well, bigger towns are generally better, but they have other issues again.

Personally, having lived many years in both Sweden and UK, I would say that the standard and quality of living is no better in Sweden than in the UK (depending on where you live and what you do).

Finlandia

7,803 posts

195 months

Friday 13th February 2015
quotequote all
BrabusMog said:
I must say that's pretty similar to over here, you don't stand up in the pub and shout out how well your doing in life.
There is a big difference, believe me smile

BrabusMog

17,515 posts

150 months

Friday 13th February 2015
quotequote all
Finlandia said:
BrabusMog said:
I must say that's pretty similar to over here, you don't stand up in the pub and shout out how well your doing in life.
There is a big difference, believe me smile
Whereabouts did you/do you live in Sweden?

I usually stay in a place called Lilla Edet in between Goteborg and Trollhättan but I've been up to Stockholm a few times to visit my girlfriends brother and it really does just feel similar to the UK. I did once decline her mothers offer of fika though, luckily my ropey Svenglish and a bit of British charm got me out of trouble smile

iphonedyou

7,928 posts

121 months

Friday 13th February 2015
quotequote all
BrabusMog said:
Whereabouts did you/do you live in Sweden?

I usually stay in a place called Lilla Edet in between Goteborg and Trollhättan but I've been up to Stockholm a few times to visit my girlfriends brother and it really does just feel similar to the UK. I did once decline her mothers offer of fika though, luckily my ropey Svenglish and a bit of British charm got me out of trouble smile
Brabus you're one of my favourite posters here (randomly enough) so don't take this the wrong way at all, but I get the impression you've been waiting for a thread about Sweden to come up!

biggrin

Finlandia

7,803 posts

195 months

Friday 13th February 2015
quotequote all
Some time ago there was a big story in the news paper about the most expensive cars bought during the year, complete with make, price and name of the buyer.

A man was named as the buyer of a Lamborghini, a few days later another news story about the man, a farmer, with a new Lamborghini tractor.

Weekly there are stories about new owners of houses, name, address and of course the price paid. Monthly there are stories like 'here are the 100 best earners in your town'.

I haven't seen any 'news' like that in any other country. What is the meaning of articles like these, if not to keep jante and jealousy alive?

BrabusMog

17,515 posts

150 months

Friday 13th February 2015
quotequote all
iphonedyou said:
Brabus you're one of my favourite posters here (randomly enough) so don't take this the wrong way at all, but I get the impression you've been waiting for a thread about Sweden to come up!

biggrin
hehe maybe, but it's a really nice country and my dad always goes on about what a weird place it is (he used to work there) and I never really understand it when I go over, as I just see a place like the UK!


Finlandia

7,803 posts

195 months

Friday 13th February 2015
quotequote all
BrabusMog said:
Finlandia said:
BrabusMog said:
I must say that's pretty similar to over here, you don't stand up in the pub and shout out how well your doing in life.
There is a big difference, believe me smile
Whereabouts did you/do you live in Sweden?

I usually stay in a place called Lilla Edet in between Goteborg and Trollhättan but I've been up to Stockholm a few times to visit my girlfriends brother and it really does just feel similar to the UK. I did once decline her mothers offer of fika though, luckily my ropey Svenglish and a bit of British charm got me out of trouble smile
I've lived in Stockholm and now just outside Västerås. As I said, bigger towns are generally better, but they have their own problems though, the smaller the town the more alive and well jante.

trashbat

5,466 posts

117 months

Friday 13th February 2015
quotequote all
I've been waiting for a thread about Sweden to come up, so I can post this:

http://www.theguardian.com/business/2015/feb/11/sc...

graun said:
A corruption scandal in Sweden centred on extravagant corporate perks and private jets has now cost the jobs of seven senior executives.

Jan Johansson, chief executive of SCA, a forestry group and the world’s largest maker of incontinence products, resigned on Tuesday after coming under increasing pressure after reports that wives, children and even pets of board members had travelled on corporate jets. The flights included trips to a company hunting lodge, Formula One races, the World Cup and the Olympics. On one occasion, Svenska Dagbladet reported, a plane had flown empty from Sweden’s far north to pick up a wallet that an executive had forgotten.

The revelations have demonstrated an extravagance at the top of a country that still prides itself on egalitarian values. It has also lifted the lid on a secretive world of corporate perks in a society that has embraced globalisation but is still uncomfortable with ostentatious displays of wealth and privilege.
I don't know for sure, but that seems like it would be absolutely nothing in the UK or especially US, such that I almost have to ask myself, 'what's the scandal?'. But then, and almost certainly I'm at odds with the majority PH view, I think it's brilliant that it is a scandal, and I admire a country whose politic and values makes it one.

BrabusMog

17,515 posts

150 months

Friday 13th February 2015
quotequote all
Finlandia said:
Some time ago there was a big story in the news paper about the most expensive cars bought during the year, complete with make, price and name of the buyer.

A man was named as the buyer of a Lamborghini, a few days later another news story about the man, a farmer, with a new Lamborghini tractor.

Weekly there are stories about new owners of houses, name, address and of course the price paid. Monthly there are stories like 'here are the 100 best earners in your town'.

I haven't seen any 'news' like that in any other country. What is the meaning of articles like these, if not to keep jante and jealousy alive?
We do get stuff like the Rich List, Mail articles normally ALWAYS state how much a house is worth if mentioned, or what the persons salary is if they can shoe-horn that it. I obviously don't read enough, so have not seen the "100 best earners in your town" type articles.

iphonedyou

7,928 posts

121 months

Friday 13th February 2015
quotequote all
trashbat said:
don't know for sure, but that seems like it would be absolutely nothing in the UK or especially US, such that I almost have to ask myself, 'what's the scandal?'. But then, and almost certainly I'm at odds with the majority PH view, I think it's brilliant that it is a scandal, and I admire a country whose politic and values makes it one.
Why?

iphonedyou

7,928 posts

121 months

Friday 13th February 2015
quotequote all
BrabusMog said:
We do get stuff like the Rich List, Mail articles normally ALWAYS state how much a house is worth if mentioned, or what the persons salary is if they can shoe-horn that it. I obviously don't read enough, so have not seen the "100 best earners in your town" type articles.
That seems quite different, to be fair.

Finlandia

7,803 posts

195 months

Friday 13th February 2015
quotequote all
iphonedyou said:
trashbat said:
don't know for sure, but that seems like it would be absolutely nothing in the UK or especially US, such that I almost have to ask myself, 'what's the scandal?'. But then, and almost certainly I'm at odds with the majority PH view, I think it's brilliant that it is a scandal, and I admire a country whose politic and values makes it one.
Why?
There are far worse 'scandals' but they may be too much to mention. We have politicians that still hold the view that Soviet/Russia was not occupying the Baltic states for example.

trashbat

5,466 posts

117 months

Friday 13th February 2015
quotequote all
iphonedyou said:
trashbat said:
don't know for sure, but that seems like it would be absolutely nothing in the UK or especially US, such that I almost have to ask myself, 'what's the scandal?'. But then, and almost certainly I'm at odds with the majority PH view, I think it's brilliant that it is a scandal, and I admire a country whose politic and values makes it one.
Why?
My answer to that would be long and irreparably divert the thread into another sad NP&E affair, so I'm not going to do it, other than to say a national aim for a level of egalitarianism is personally a lot more attractive than the excesses of a few, but more to the point, if that - whatever it may be - is what the population seeks, then it's great that someone can give enough of a fk to make a fuss about it and push back against privilege, rather than just quietly accepting things that run counter to their ideals.

BrabusMog

17,515 posts

150 months

Friday 13th February 2015
quotequote all
iphonedyou said:
BrabusMog said:
We do get stuff like the Rich List, Mail articles normally ALWAYS state how much a house is worth if mentioned, or what the persons salary is if they can shoe-horn that it. I obviously don't read enough, so have not seen the "100 best earners in your town" type articles.
That seems quite different, to be fair.
It may be a bit more extreme in Sweden, but here in the UK I think the culture is still quite nosey. I'm seriously not joking here when I say that I was playing poker with a very good friend and three of his colleagues; within a few minutes of meeting them I was being asked how much I earned, what did I drive etc etc. Granted these were "salesy" type people who are obsessed with this kind of thing, the only difference between them and others is that they have the brass neck to actually ask the question as opposed to quietly wondering to themselves...

Not sure I'd be happy to have my salary posted in a newspaper here, although I am 110% sure I am not one of the highest earners in Clapham hehe

aizvara

1,876 posts

131 months

Friday 13th February 2015
quotequote all
Finlandia said:
It depends on where in Sweden you are as well, bigger towns are generally better, but they have other issues again.

Personally, having lived many years in both Sweden and UK, I would say that the standard and quality of living is no better in Sweden than in the UK (depending on where you live and what you do).
Quality of life-wise, I was mostly thinking of family in Dalarna, though I have friends in Stockholm and further South too. The main differences that I've noticed are down to cost of housing, but also the social safety net - care for the disabled for instance. Obviously living in a beautiful part of the world helps.

Finlandia

7,803 posts

195 months

Friday 13th February 2015
quotequote all
aizvara said:
Quality of life-wise, I was mostly thinking of family in Dalarna, though I have friends in Stockholm and further South too. The main differences that I've noticed are down to cost of housing, but also the social safety net - care for the disabled for instance. Obviously living in a beautiful part of the world helps.
Out doors is great in big parts of the country, but the cost of housing and social safety net are crumbling.
There are not enough cheaper apartments to accommodate young adults, (house sharing is frowned upon here for some reason), and the ones that are available are far from job opportunities. The social network is failing due to lack of funds, daily there are horror stories about the failings. You see beggars in front of every store here, I didn't see one in London a week ago, neither did I see any in Finland a month ago.

iphonedyou

7,928 posts

121 months

Friday 13th February 2015
quotequote all
BrabusMog said:
It may be a bit more extreme in Sweden, but here in the UK I think the culture is still quite nosey. I'm seriously not joking here when I say that I was playing poker with a very good friend and three of his colleagues; within a few minutes of meeting them I was being asked how much I earned, what did I drive etc etc. Granted these were "salesy" type people who are obsessed with this kind of thing, the only difference between them and others is that they have the brass neck to actually ask the question as opposed to quietly wondering to themselves...

Not sure I'd be happy to have my salary posted in a newspaper here, although I am 110% sure I am not one of the highest earners in Clapham hehe
I was on a ski lift with a junior partner the other day - bear with me - and he mentioned he'd been talking with an associate about his self assessment. Said associate, within minutes, had reverse engineered the calculation to determine income and was haughty for two days as a result.

So you're not wrong.

aizvara

1,876 posts

131 months

Friday 13th February 2015
quotequote all
Finlandia said:
Out doors is great in big parts of the country, but the cost of housing and social safety net are crumbling.
There are not enough cheaper apartments to accommodate young adults, (house sharing is frowned upon here for some reason), and the ones that are available are far from job opportunities. The social network is failing due to lack of funds, daily there are horror stories about the failings. You see beggars in front of every store here, I didn't see one in London a week ago, neither did I see any in Finland a month ago.
On the last part - the last trip over I noticed beggars for the first time - a Romanian woman outside Hemköp. Not more than I see in Ely, but I've never seen them in rural-ish Sweden before. I felt that she was begging semi-professionally, for want of a better word, rather than being someone who had "fallen through the cracks", but I could be wrong.

My experience of Sweden comes from people of my age, in similar level of job, with similar commitments, and from what I've seen they have it better.

BrabusMog

17,515 posts

150 months

Friday 13th February 2015
quotequote all
aizvara said:
Finlandia said:
Out doors is great in big parts of the country, but the cost of housing and social safety net are crumbling.
There are not enough cheaper apartments to accommodate young adults, (house sharing is frowned upon here for some reason), and the ones that are available are far from job opportunities. The social network is failing due to lack of funds, daily there are horror stories about the failings. You see beggars in front of every store here, I didn't see one in London a week ago, neither did I see any in Finland a month ago.
On the last part - the last trip over I noticed beggars for the first time - a Romanian woman outside Hemköp. Not more than I see in Ely, but I've never seen them in rural-ish Sweden before. I felt that she was begging semi-professionally, for want of a better word, rather than being someone who had "fallen through the cracks", but I could be wrong.

My experience of Sweden comes from people of my age, in similar level of job, with similar commitments, and from what I've seen they have it better.
I guess it is more expensive further north, but there seem to be an abundance of low cost apartments and houses in what I have been led to believe are decent areas. You couldn't rent a room in the worst part of London for what lots of people I know rent out nice apartments in Sweden.

I would move to Sweden at the drop of a hat, to be honest, I think people have it much better over there.