He founded the company MySQL AB together with two Swedes in Sweden.
So we ended up pumping up the oil ourselves and invested it in a giant oil fund. This oil fund is now the second biggest owner of Volvo.
Thank you Sweden for not accepting the offer :)
Now, it would have been a diplomatic crisis, but we _could_ have done it.
 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_Pension_Fund_of_Nor...
Either way, it's a much better outcome than the UK, where governments pissed away the benefits of North Sea oil and gas....
Unless you count Greenland...
That's an invitation to migrate for welfare.
"It's just obvious you can't have free immigration and a welfare state,"
(dang, thanks for the down votes. Parent gets a dig in for "open borders" and pointing out that concept has a serious cost is "unmutual" thought here at HN? How about some serious feedback instead? )
We detached this subthread from https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=10767016 and marked it off-topic.
Because how immigration has been handled the last few years in Sweden, that ambition seems to fail the coming years. The social contract will need a rewrite. :-(
The shocking part is that seems mostly to be a result of party politics.
Well that's not necessarily true. If you have welfare in which those able to work only qualify if they are actively seeking work, and an economy in which increased demand leads to increased need for workers, and thus increased jobs, immigrants don't have the option of not seeking work and literally create new jobs that need to be filled, ending up net contributors to the state.
The most notable example that comes to mind is the rampant fraud in the US Social Security Disability fund where there is a cottage industry in certifying people as disabled and unable to work when they are in fact not. The problem has gotten so bad that the fund has been paying out massively more than it has been taking in in recent years (30 Billion in 2014 for example) and will be insolvent within the next year.
I don't disagree, but as retort to the blanket Friedman quote, it's valid, because those problems are orthogonal to immigrants; actually, I seem to recall that the natives are disproportionately represented in welfare fraud, but I don't have my sources to hand.
To put it another way, its one of the last industrialized nations able to hold onto a homogeneous culture and rooted in a shared ethnicity. A lack of immigration or colonial baggage, combined with culture deeply rooted in a "don't stand out too much" mentality, makes governance and social welfare quite easy. Its an impenetrable boundary for immigrants and effectively creates a whole new social class; reactionary political movements are thriving in ways not seen since German occupation. It doesn't hurt that there are only a few million people, all living very close by. This system will slowly fall apart over the next quarter century as Sweden continues to globalize in order to maintain population and economic growth. Sweden and the Nordic countries are an exception to the rule of social society and, though we can try to mimic some of their successes, not an example to model off of.
Its also worth noting that their government systematically props up the labor market, especially professional classes. They employ massive amounts of engineers and scientists, working on projects that never see the light of day. A country free education combined with a comparatively small business culture needs a blow-off valve in order to maintain quality of life.
The European social states are a product of their place and time. Huge parts of developed Western Europe were completely destroyed during WWII, leaving much of their populations homeless and destitute with little economic capital. These countries had no choice but to guarantee extensive social services. This was economically possible due to massive stimulus by the Marshall Plan and UN during the post-war reconstruction years.
Finland has plenty of colonial baggage, having been a colony of both Sweden and Russia (who brutally displaced the native Lapps/Sami), and modern Finland was built on immigration. In addition to the obvious Swedes and Russians, which are still sizable minorities today, an astonishing number of magnates from the era of industrialization were immigrants. Finlayson? Scottish. Fazer? Swiss. Sinebrykoff? Russian.
Yes, immigration to independent/post-war Finland was near-zero and everybody got a good 50 years to mingle together before the European Union came along and opened the doors again. But pretending that Finland's economic success is down to "homogeneous culture" and "shared ethnicity" is absurd.
Is the message "don't look to them as an example"?
Because they look a pretty good example to me.
You say: "These countries had no choice but to guarantee extensive social services."
On the contrary, they had a choice and has paid well.
In part, the problem was solved by worker immigration as well, which may be the less altruistic part of Sweden's traditionally open stance to immigration. This, along with the fact that Sweden has negative nativity.
Sweden currently has 6.2% unemployment, which may be a tad too much, but for the vast majority is nowhere near "spending most of their adult life on the dole". It is possible to have a country with no unemployment, but not one that has a market economy.
The pension system does need a reform though, primarily because we live longer lives and it's made for a population with shorter life spans.
I very much doubt that it true for Sweden either.
We dream of some fairytale land where the sun always shines and people talk to strangers. I think there is such a place somewhere in South America.
We would trade the highest mountain for a piece of such a place.
No place is perfect, but right now I am not complaining.
1. This is a story about Norway gifting Finland a bit of land as a celebration of Finland's full declaration of independence (I think from Russia). Sweden does not factor into it.
2. Scandinavian countries are also inhabited by humans, which means there are all the same "isms" and problems like everywhere else. It is just distributed a little differently.
Of course it has problems. Problems are not something you can get rid of, they are just a manifestation of the worst things in your environment (There is always a "worst" of everything, even an utopia). Sweden's problems are almost all the definition of "first world". I'm in Athens now and I miss that country.
Sorry, but to say that Sweden's problems are largely "first world" is incredibly naive.
Sweden is really struggling to find the resources to adequately deal with accepting, feeding, and housing all the refugees streaming in. Hardly a frist-world problem.
Sweden's security services are under immense pressure to identify, monitor, and stop any terror threats from within, and do it under strict privacy laws. Hardly a first-world problem.
Sweden's social welfare system cannot possible sustain all of the support given internally and externally to her borders. It was never designed to accomodate and support thousands of refugees who cannot immediately (or ever) pay back into the system.
Isn't that the very definition of a first-world problem? In the rest of the world privacy laws are a joke.
And do all of this under the direction of Sweden's track record of failed integration policies 
 - http://www.thelocal.se/20090923/22244
You do realize Sweden is inviting refugees? Which is just about the opposite to what every other country is doing.
Linking news from 2009 is not exactly a counterpoint to anything. Integration in Sweden may not be perfect but it's one of the rare countries actually trying to have an integration policy other than "go back to where you came from".
The world will look back a few decades from now (hopefully sooner) on the times we closed our doors to the war torn. The times we were all disgustingly xenophobic. The times we treated others as sub-human because of their religion -- remember the last time that happened?
I do want to say this much: in the past decade of living in different european countries, a decade of feeling far more "european" than "french", I've never been as proud of my country and government back home as when they took a stand against terrorism by refusing to change their immigration policies, rather than falling in to the 9/11 "differentophobia" trap.
I want more refugees in my country. I want my country to help people, even if it's at its own detriment. Those attaching absurd conditions such as "we only want catholic refugees" are basically saying "Sure I'll help the ones in need, as long as it doesn't cost me anything". They are the real life definition of slacktivism.
If integration policies fail, then fix the policies. Don't just stop accepting refugees. If your city's homeless policies are failing, should your new policy be "just ship the homeless next door, they'll know what to do with them"?
Anyway, I'm saying all that but you quite clearly misunderstood the parent post and what he meant by an "external problem", so I'll end my rant.
- Bombings and grenades this summer - https://www.rt.com/news/310757-sweden-malmo-blasts-crime/
- A long history of Anti-semitism (not unique to Sweden)
- Anti-Muslim hate-crime (again, not unique to Sweden)
- Anti-Roma (Gypsy) hate-crime - (again...you get the point)
Sweden is not perfect. Malmo is no perfect. No place is perfect. To say so is a lie, or you have your head in the sand.
 - http://swedenreport.org/2014/10/29/swedish-police-55-officia...
It was clearly meant as an idiomatic expression.
Why not mention rapes, murders and crimes that aren't targeting a specific group? They're all valid reasons for you to object to the statement that some place is literally perfect.
Your objection is entirely out touch with the parent posts intended meaning.
Just what do you think was the intended meaning when someone calls a city perfect?
That they're(almost always) expressing a sentiment not making a statement of fact.
Can you name many situations where 'perfect' is actually used literally?
That cake was perfect? I think not; you're completely ignoring the non-locally-sourced flour.
I'm not trying to say your point isn't valid it just seemed out of place and tangentially related to the topic.
Have an upvote form me :-)
*a bunch of Norwegians campaigning for
It's a nice gesture, but thus far the official Norway has at least not embraced the idea.
What's expensive in .se is the alcohol, not the alcholic products. That makes the price of some cheap products very high, most notably gin/vodka etc, which carry a price that may be 3x higher than elsewhere (Worth noting of course is that even at these prices they aren't nearly paying their own damages). That is only half the story though, products like decent wine and single malt whisky is actually very well priced, and often cheaper than in their respecive countries of origin. In the uk a crap bottle of wine is £3, in sweden twice that. A good bootle of wine in the uk is £20 and can be half that in Sweden. Prices are very compressed, which makes it an excellent place to be drinking decent stuff.
I know you were likely sort of tounge-in-cheek about the alcohol issue, but really there are lots of aspects that are way worse.
Just take the fact that the day (if you can even call it that) in Sweden today was 5 hours long... That will drive you nuts no matter what the cost of booze is :D
The major chains are either private, partnerships, or Franchise models -- ICA, Lidl (German-owned), Hemkop (Owned by AxFoods), Willys, etc.
Also, though grocery stores are not 24/7, most are open 7 days a week up to 10 or 11pm.
Look, sure the industrially produced crap is expensive, but the good stuff is cheap! In Norway, Finland and Sweden, never buy whatever has the lowest price, it's in the mid-range you get the good stuff. Try to shop for some good single malt whiskey, XO+ Cognac, aged rum -- or just good wine (not "table wine") -- and you're likely to find that the government stores carry a wide variety, and that prices aren't all that high.
Now, if you want a cheap bottle of wine... yeah. You won't find anything you can just use to reduce a sauce without feeling like you're lighting money on fire.
I remember going to a wine tasting, and a representation from France said that the (now no longer) specialist store in Oslo was one of the best Wine shops in all of Europe -- because they had such a great variety. You can go to France and find wines they don't carry, but on the other hand they have great French wines, and great wines from all over the world.
All that said, I'm not happy that there's no such thing as a cheap, good beer in Norway...
The solution to this is not to reach for the lowest common denominator, but to aim high (and raise decent children).