What is life like in countries like Sweden and Norway?
You know these tiny wealthy countries that few people know about. I wonder what life is like in those countries. We rarely hear about them and many of us don't know about their existence. I heard that pretty much everything is free in Sweden even college tuition. Discuss.
[quote]We rarely hear about them and many of us don't know about their existence.
Where do you come from OP that few of your people know of the existence of Sweden or Norway?
[I'm sure I know the disappointing answer, but I'm asking anyway.]
Sweden and Norway are countries few people know about?
Do you live in a Walmart in Kentucky?
Sigh R2, are you really conflating Switzerland with the Scandinavian countries like Norway/Sweden which the OP was referring to? Because they are very different.
Nothing exposes the utter failure of a viewpoint or opinion that instead of meaningful debate or counter argument one has to resort to ad hominem attacks.
r7-----simple minded fool who takes life too seriously and gets no fun out of it
If I could get a good job doing something meaningful there on a permament basis I'd move to either of those countries in a heartbeat. You can also add Denmark to that list.
Free healthcare, education and good governement pensions.
Overall they are progressive countries (yes there are racists in all countries).
Clean, safe, stylish, cosmopolitan, historical and green. In one word: heaven.
Long days in the summer. Gray and dark very, very early in the winter.
Although I enjoyed Stockholm very much, beautiful city.
Denmark has Lars Mikkelsen. That is all I require.
I think you mean "Mads" r11
Visited Sweden last summer and loved it. Stockholm is a beautiful city and very gay friendly.
No, R12, I mean Lars. He's Mads Mikkelsen's better-looking brother. Also an actor, played Troels in the original of The Killing (Forbrydelsen).
BORING and freezing cold in winter.
R15 is right - Boring, but they have good lives.
My mom is from Sweden and has a house there - I go every other year and 2 members of my family are there now.
On the one hand, I love the country - there are a lot of positives and you can live very well.
But no fucking way would I live there. Expensive, not lively, and the long days of summer (light from 3am to 12pm) do not make up for the winters.
Don't get me started about the stuck-up Stockholmers and their accent which sounds like Schmoo from 70's cartoons.
OP, Sweden and Norway aren't what I would call "tiny." Sweden's about the same size as California. A tiny wealthy country would be like Monaco, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, or Singapore.
better like lingonberries
Well, Norway has Andreas Viestad who is cute, charming, quirky, and a great cook. Sweden has Prince Carl Philip who is the best looking male royal in Europe. So both Norway and Sweden are appealing to me!
Gore Vidal said, most Americans spend so much time worrying about all the countries with people trying to immigrate to the US, that they would never believe there're countries with almost no immigration to the US at all.
Switzerland & Sweden are two.
The Scandinavian countries welcomed muslim immigration.
Because that's what progressive countries do.
Now they have all kinds of social problems they never had before.
Who'd have thunk it?
R6 Oprah doesn't do geography.
Sweden is considered the birth place of international human rights standards. After WWII they had a very humane open door policy re political refugees. I think they're starting to regret it as minority nationalist groups are now causing problems.
Both Norway and Sweden are wonderful places to visit in summer. Food is good, people nice, very clean countries with good infrastructure. But if you want to live in either of these countries you'd better have a winter home in Spain.
They were ideal until they started importing more uncivilized people.
The world would be a better, more peaceful place of everyone just stuck with their own kind. It is impractical and you can't say it in polite company, but everyone secretly knows it is true.
Besides herring and meatballs, what are typipcal Norwegian and Swedish foods? It is mostly fish and meat based cuisine?
OP is the proud product of home schoolin' in the US.
r9 How do you think they pay for all those programs you want to be part of? Their tax rates are among the highest in the world, that's how.
r25 I hope you like lutefisk?
R31, most people in countries with good social security, free education and healthcare are happy to pay taxes to support those programmes - including my country. We just had a 3% hike in Medicare to establish a national disability insurance scheme for a small portion of the population and very few people complained about it - not even our equivalent of Freepers. Double digit minimum wages, unions and government worker protections mean all of these things are achieved. Our top tax rate for high income earners is nearly 50%. It boggles me to read about waiters making $4 an hour and how employers treat mid/low end workers in the USA, not to mention the cost of education and healthcare. I don't want to derail the thread into a political debate, but on the whole, the citizens of Scandanavian countries (and similar) don't share the point of view that taxes for government services are bad. I live the benefits of good goverment services every day - which led me to Norway, Sweden and Denmark for work. I love it there because as an avid traveller you're a short flight away from anywhere else in Europe and the scenery and cities are breathtakingly beautiful.
R31 Precisely. Most Americans don't get it because they receive very little bang for their tax buck.
R32, you sound like a fellow Australian - you're right about not hearing any grumbling about the national disability scheme, which is really interesting.
I'm going to visit Norway and Sweden in a few weeks time. Any hints on where to go in the bigger cities in terms of entertainment and - importantly - where to get good coffee?
[quote]I'm going to visit Norway and Sweden in a few weeks time. Any hints on where to go in the bigger cities in terms of entertainment and - importantly - where to get good coffee?
for that you're going to have to travel a little bit more to the south...to Colombia
Sweden and Norway are very nice to live in. They are also incredibly homogenous. There have always been small immigrant populations (mostly Persian/Syrian/Lebanese I think?) but now with more and more immigrants the Scandinavian countries will have to start evolving and they're already having problems with that (see Anders Breivik).
Extremely passive aggressive. But then, most west Euro nations are.
Anders Breivik can look cute but he looks bloated. He not like my super cutie James Holmes. Squee!
Why SHOULD the Scandinavian countries start evolving? It's their native land. If hordes of Swedes immigrated to Tunisia and demanded the Tunisians adapt to their way of life it would be "racism."
Every Swede I've ever met seems to be called Anders.
"countries LIKE Sweden and Norway"? So you don't actually want to know about Sweden and Norway themselves, just countries LIKE them? Say ... Denmark? Or perhaps Finland?
Life there is like a 1970's ABBA music video.
LIke the other Nordic countries, Denmark has equal marriage, but that applies only to metropolitan (i.e. continental) Denmark. The other countries within the kingdom, the Faroe Islands and Greenland, have devolved parliaments that haven't yet passed equal marriage legislation.
It's only a matter of time for the Faroes, though: public opinion in favor of gay rights is increasing each year by leaps and bounds. This year 6,000 people (out of a total population of c. 50,000) marched in the Tórshavn pride parade. Don't know about Greenland.
On the subject of immigration, Iceland has about 700 Muslims in the Reykjavík area. They're just now getting a mosque, construction of which is bringing out people's true feelings about immigrants (that is, people aren's shy about making their opposition known).
USA should buy Greenland.
Beautiful country. Here's hoping the more bigoted amongst you stay away.
Mads has a brother, Lars, who also acts (The Killing - the original Danish version). Although I prefer Mads.
An endless Viking saga of despair.
Most citizens seem to be against widespread Muslim immigration, yet why is it allowed to continue? Who is allowing it?
Everyone is against Muslim immigration. EVERYONE.
Don't go OP. It's ABBA everywhere you go, 24/7.
The bigots are already there...they're called Muslims.
[quote] I heard that pretty much everything is free in Sweden even college tuition.
Yep, pretty much everything is free, free, free. Money doesn't have to grow on trees there because everything is FREE! The college professors teach for FREE as well because they're such nice people. There's no maintenance costs on the college campuses because the workers work for, you guessed it, FREE!!!!!
Does it all look like one big Ikea catalogue?
Agree 100% with R39.
[quote]Everyone is against Muslim immigration. EVERYONE.
I wonder why...
The number of rapes across Scandinavia has more than tripled over the last decade or so. Sweden now has the second highest rate in the world, after South Africa Statistics suggest that 1 out of every 4 Swedish women will be raped.
The Swedish government keeps statistics on the nationality and/or ethnicity of convicted rapists but it won't release the figures. I wonder why...
Anecdotal evidence (yes, I know what that's worth but it does gauge the feelings of the general population) indicates that something like 80% of the rapes are caused by foreigners, primarily from North Africa and the Middle East.
Sometimes I sigh in dreamy wish for the high tax rate of these NOrdic countries. I know that sounds silly, but the ongoing stress of needing to find money for my eyes, my teeth, my general healthcare (no health insurance for me in 15 years). I'm totally fucked if I have something catastrophic happen, or an injury that puts me out of work since I only get paid when I work. I have nothing in retirement and very little in social security. All these are huge burdens and worries. I was never able to afford schooling since I had to concentrate on working hard just to subsist. I know, poor me, but I speak the same story that many speak in the U.S.
If I had to pay a lot in taxes, yes, that's another kind of burden, but there would be a stability in it too, some basic things I could count on. I wouldn't harbor the uncertainty regarding my future or basic care.
I could quite happily live anywhere in Scandinavia. I spent some time in Sweden and Denmark and loved both countries. I heard through others that Norway is also wonderful. Civilized, efficient, and clean. Beautiful people too, thought quite reserved on the surface and hard to get to know.
I'm a gay Canadian introvert so I think I would fit in perfectly there. And I love Nordic-looking men.
[quote]Sometimes I sigh in dreamy wish for the high tax rate of these NOrdic countries. I know that sounds silly, but the ongoing stress of needing to find money for my eyes, my teeth, my general healthcare (no health insurance for me in 15 years).
Yes, it's paradise when other people are forced to pay for your problems.
[quote] OP, Sweden and Norway aren't what I would call "tiny."
Norway, however, has very little habitable space. Something like 81% of the land is uninhabited. The population is only 5 million. In comparison, I live on an island that is only 120 miles long and less than 25 miles wide which contains almost 8 million people. There are almost as many Norwegian Americans as there are Norwegians.
So, in a way, Norway is a "small" country. But not tiny.
It sure is, R58.
What's the most socialized country, with the best benefits, that I can emigrate to from the U.S. and not get kicked out? And how would I go about such a thing?
Note: I am male / can't get pregnant.
I'm already paying close to 30% taxes on a meager salary and getting next to nothing in return. I wouldn't mind paying more knowing my money was going to the general health and welfare of my countrymen, instead of bailing out banksters, corporate welfare and the giant jobs program known as the U.S. military.
Very beautiful countries, lots of forests and empty outdoors. Oslo and Stockholm among other cities are stunning. Norway's economy is one of the strongest in the world thanks to oil and gasoline. State and society work well. Excellent places to live.
I hope immigrant men who rape are deported and never allowed back into the country. It's different here, in the US, where they can just turn around and walk back across he border. But Sweden could keep deported immigrants from re-entering their country.
[quote]What's the most socialized country, with the best benefits, that I can emigrate to from the U.S. and not get kicked out? And how would I go about such a thing?
It's not that easy to just immigrate to a new country. Most Western countries want you to have something to contribute. You need to have a job there, for one thing. A good one.
Even if you marry a citizen of one of those socialized countries that allow same sex marriage (Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands, etc) it's a long and difficult process to be approved for resident status.
Why is it so easy for Muslims to emigrate to these countries? They have jobs waiting for them?
[quote]Why is it so easy for Muslims to emigrate to these countries? They have jobs waiting for them?
I'm assuming their families sponsor them to come over.
[quote]Norway's economy is one of the strongest in the world thanks to oil and gasoline.
Well, the economy of Norway is strong the way the economies of, say, Venezuela and Saudi Arabia are strong: they have something people want but they're all one-trick ponies. All Norway has to offer the world is petrol. There's no diversification that you find in a truly healthy economy.
It is the petrol industry that's paying for the social security system you all seem to admire. Heaven help them if the rest of Western Europe and North America continue to invest in alternative sources of energy or pursue energy self-reliance. If the Norwegian petrol industry goes flat or tanks for any reason, they are in serious trouble.
And, yes, Norwegians are well aware of all this, but most seem content to believe that they live in the best of all possible worlds and that life will always be just the way it is now.
44: The US did at one time try to buy Greenland. Was turned down by the Danish parlement. They did sell us what is now the U.S. Virgin Islands/
Norway's economy is much more diversified than Saudi Arabia's, r68. Agriculture, forestry, fishing and plenty of small industry, I imagine. Whereas SA has oil and religion.