Sweden Is NOT a Socialist Country

There is a myth that Sweden is a socialist country. But the Truth is, having the government manage everything didn’t work well, so they cut government spending, implemented school vouchers, sold state-owned businesses, etc.

This is “Sweden: Lessons for America?” by Johan Norberg, who was born and raised in Stockholm, Sweden.

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Having Insurance Is NOT the Same As Having Health Care

All health care in Canada is paid for by the state. Universal insurance coverage. Too bad they can’t get actual health care. Glace Bay ER rarely open in 2019: Temporary closures due to lack of available doctors: NSHA .

In January, the ER was only open for 10 day shifts out of 31 days and it was closed every night.

In December, the emergency department was closed for 14 day shifts and open for 17 but it was closed for all 31 night shifts.

So far in February, it closed at 7 p.m. on Feb. 1 and isn’t scheduled to reopen until Feb. 18 at 7 a.m.

There are no doctors available to cover these shifts, according to Nova Scotia Health Authority Eastern Zone spokesperson Greg Boone.

Say it again – there are no doctors available for the Emergency Room.

If you are smart enough to be a doctor, you are smart enough to have other options. And being tied up with one of the largest bureaucracies in your country may not be appealing. The situation is that there are 3 hospitals that have closed their ERs and are sending people to the “regional” hospital. So you say, “Problem solved!” But that longer drive causes problems for their 911 service – the ambulances spend more time on the roads, and the regional hospital has a lot of delays, because now they are stuck with lots of “extra” patients in their ER.

The 33 Billion Dollar Train That Couldn’t

Couldn’t be built for 33 or 77 or maybe even 100 billion dollars, that is. (And yes, that is Billion, with a capital “B.” This Train Won’t Leave the Station: If high-speed rail can’t make it in California, it can’t make it anywhere.

In the face of cost overruns, and sliding tax revenues, California Governor Newsom canceled most of the high speed rail in California.

This effectively puts an end to former governor Jerry Brown’s “legacy” project, the lone tangible accomplishment for a second gubernatorial stint that had been far better at raising taxes and imposing draconian legislation than building things. Brown wanted to build his beloved train in a state with some of the nation’s worst roads (despite its second-highest gas taxes), a deteriorating water-delivery system, and massive pension debt. With Brown finally in retirement, Newsom took the opportunity to free up billions of dollars that his Democratic allies would like to spend in other ways.

This probably is also bad news for the Green New Deal. But don’t expect the Liberal Left to acknowledge that.

Memphis: How To Destroy a Police Department

It’s almost as if politicians don’t understand that people can (and do) move. More cops. Is it the answer to fighting crime?.

Hurting tax revenues caused salary and benefit cuts. Attrition meant more overtime. A lot more. Not exactly the way to build morale and keep the peace.

And so what is the current “State of Memphis?”

Memphis has a murder rate worse than Chicago’s and a police force that has shrunk by nearly a fifth since 2011, to a head count of 2,020. The city is on its fourth round of outside police staffing consultants in eight years.

Say it again… 20% attrition in 8 years.

Armstrong says police recruiters from as far away as Texas and Florida were coming to Memphis to lure away his demoralized cops. “Until someone takes a look at the benefit packages, this is going to be a continual problem,” [former Memphis Police Director Toney] Armstrong said.

First, politicians don’t do enough to staff 911 centers – pay benefits and hours – and then they are surprised that 911 calls don’t get answered. Then they undercut the cops and are shocked when crime goes up. What the hell are they spending money on?

What comes in the city hierarchy before fire and police?

Cry Me A River – 16 Years At the IRS With NO Emergency Fund

Oh no, she couldn’t weather 35 days without a paycheck. Devastated by one shutdown, IRS worker is dreading a next.

FRESNO, Calif. — The federal government had finally called her back to work after 35 days, but now Vicki Ibarra wondered how she could afford to get there. Her used sedan had been repossessed by the bank a few days earlier. The family minivan had a faulty engine and barely any gas. Her internet connection had been cut off a month into the longest government shutdown in U.S. history, so she used a friend’s to get access her bank account. There was $0.38 in checking and $7.80 in savings, all the 16-year IRS employee had left.

Look I get that she wasn’t making a lot by Fresno standards, but whatever you are making, if you don’t have an emergency fund, if your credit cards are maxed out, if you can’t look at several months without income, you are doing things wrong. Or you have the wrong job.

Ibarra had been told once during an IRS training that about 60 percent of American taxpayers live paycheck to paycheck and that 40 percent are unable to afford a $400 emergency. Her first emergency had been the missed car payment, which forced her lease into default because she was already behind. Next went her cable.

And there it is. Cable. Which I’m sure verges on 100 bucks a month. To watch TV. Now I have had cable and satellite TV in the past, but if you are destitute, living paycheck to paycheck, you should cancel your cable (and your internet connection). You should quit smoking and going out to eat, and you should cut up all but one of your credit cards and pay all of them off. Or at least start to. Then we can talk about your inability to make ends meet. Oh, and there is $190 back charges on her cellphone. (Want to take bets on it being a smart phone?)

This is all a smoke screen. “Orange Man Bad” is the unstated NPC vibe running through the whole thing. I am supposed to feel sorry for a TAX COLLECTOR? Right.

I’m Shocked to Discover That Socialism Doesn’t Work

[Insert quote from Casablanca here.] SURPRISE!! Panera’s Socialist Restaurant Closes Due to People Not Paying for Their Food.

Panera Bread was sure the economic system was the bees knees. Therefore, it created Panera Cares. The cool and different restaurant’s MO? It offered food at a “suggested donation” price.

Doesn’t that sound nice? Let’s all join hands and sing “Imagine” and just pay what we can afford. Personally, I’ve had my eyes on the Mercedes-Benz Maybach Exelero, suggested retail $8 million. I appreciate their suggestion; I’d like to give $124.92 — I have that exact amount on a Kohl’s merchandise card. I hope they like (sorta) high-quality yet affordable clothing and jewelry.

Panera Cares couldn’t EVEN make of go of it in the Deep Blue city of Portland.

[S]ix months after opening in 2011, leaders saw things at the Oregon cafe they hadn’t seen in Missouri or Michigan. Grant High School students mobbed the cafe daily, ordering multiple meals and not paying for them. Homeless people came for every meal — every day — as if the cafe was a soup kitchen. Hollywood neighbors complained of an increase in crime and loitering.

Anyone with 2 brain cells to rub together – and who hasn’t spent their entire life in walled/suburban enclaves – would have seen this coming. Somewhere they even mention “a sense of entitlement.” Gee, I wonder where they got that from? (Hat tip to SiGraybeard.)

Germany Still Not Planning to Meet It’s Commitments to NATO

Because they have other stuff they want to spend money on. Germany plans military spending hike, but is it enough to appease NATO?.

They are planning to increase spending to “above 1.5 percent” of GDP by 2024, not the 2 percent that NATO calls for (and that they agreed to). And they are talking about plans to improve readiness by “2032.” Putin’s Russia will need deterring before then.

Though German capacity building with NATO is more important than euros spent in the grander scheme of things, “it won’t help Germany any” in convincing fellow members, especially the US, of its commitment to the alliance, the European Council on Foreign Relations’ Gustav Gressel told DW.

And that the parties that make up the ruling coalition have very different ideas on the subject isn’t helping. For more on Germany and its commitment to NATO, see this link.