This department is more for views on childcare than for news about it, if you catch our drift. So, to get your thoughts in here, click - here!
|Copy Link||August 25, 2018|
Sweden - abolishing Human Rights unnoticed
The most mandatory catalogue of Human Rights for Sweden is the European Convention of 1950. These Human Rights were established after the terrible assaults during the first half of the 20th century, ratified by Sweden in 1953.
Indeed, the ruling socialists found some of those rights troublesome - eg the protection of property rights, family life, parental rights.... The socialists wanted access to the children's education, certain property, certain business etc. and these Human Rights were hindrances on the path to the Socialist Utopia. They invented excuses for getting around, saying that in order to be applicable, these Human Rights must be "transformed" into Swedish law and the like. Only in connection with Sweden's entry into the EU the socialists were forced to accept the European Convention as part of Swedish law. But even in cases where the Swedish state was convicted by the European Court of Justice, for example for abuse of families through forced childcare, one has found outings such as reference to the "best interests of the children", in order to avoid correcting the assault of the state.
Falling judgments against the Swedish state are embarrassing, of course, so people's attention needed to be derived from such things. Paradoxically, this is made, for example, through extraordinary talks about the importance of Human Rights, though these are merely exemplified with the obvious ones, like the right to life, freedom of speech and such. We never hear socialist politicians speak about the importance of protecting property or parental rights. Instead, other ”High Values” have been invented - in addition to the Best Interest of the Child, Gender Equality, State Individualism, completed with Lidbomian ”rubber clauses” in law (after a former socialist Attorney General) and smart Swedish state lawyers at the European Court of Justice.
The Swedish family Kullman-Andersson brought their case against Sweden to the European Court of Justice. The family could not cope with its living despite decent wages. They were refused financial support to reach subsistence level. The only support the family could get was in the form of day-care places for their children, so that they could earn a second salary for the family subsistence. Thus, the function of the family (right to family life, Article 8) was prevented - and, consequently also their right to care for their children according to "own philosophical or religious beliefs" in accordance with Article 2, First Amendment Protocol.
The European Court of Justice listened to the defendant of the Swedish state and did not support the family's complaint. "You can not claim state financial support for your family life" the court meant, or, expressed differently "You must not be housewife at the expense of the taxpayers". And the taxpayers ' association wrote that the sentence meant that housewives which cared for their own children now were considered ”labor refusers”.
That the Kullman-Andersson family would have been able to sustain well on just the husband's wages, if only they had been allowed to keep their income for an existential minimum, instead of having to pay too much in open and hidden taxes, was a fact that the Swedish state lawyer managed to conceal to the European Court. The case that it was not merely a question of the state giving the family money but of the state not taking away a family's resources so that it could no longer care for the children themselves, was never considered by the court. Nor were there any comments on the fact that the only "support" one could receive from the Swedish state was in the form of almost free public day care for their children, and this at a cost to the tax-payers far higher than what a supply contribution or tax deduction for the family would have meant.
With this judgment, the Swedish state has managed to abolish some important human rights for many middle and low-income people in our country. And this, without noticing by other than those who can not accept this forced-upon "support" from the state. So, the trick is simple but effective: take away from the families their resources - their income - to the extent that they are forced to take advantage of the state's offer, an offer ”one cannot resist”, to care for, and foster, their children for free.
Though, taking resources away from the families does not look so good either. That's why the socialists hide it, and effectively. The income earner only sees an open tax of about 32% of his income. The fact that the employer is forced to pay about the same amount is not shown on the wage slip. And the VAT on everything you buy is hidden in the price. Like energy tax, excise duty, etc. ... The Swedbank-economists have calculated that a normal income earner pays about 69% of the value of his work in tax - far above the visible 32%.
So, if the Kullman-Andersson family had escaped with 32% in taxes - instead of 69%, it would have been possible for the family to live without support from the state and without need to give up their children's care and education.
But - that is precisely what the Socialists want to access, the children’s care and fostering. Children must be freed from old-fashioned bourgeois values and become the individualists which will populate the socialist Utopia. And this in contempt for some Human Rights - which was stated shamelessly clear in the social-democratic program ”The family of the future” (Familjen i framtiden).
So, the state succeeds in depriving the Swedish people of some annoying Human Rights. Not through violence or police intervention, but through a system of high hidden taxes without regard to the burden of supporting a family, in combination with targeted, high-level subsidies, so that alternatives and freedom of choice do not have a chance. Thus we have got a system of political-economic deprivation, which, insidiously, in the dark of both the European Court and the citizens, abolished some human rights in our country. Effective - but hardly honourable!
Krister Pettersson, firstname.lastname@example.org
Malmö, Sweden | Saturday, August 25, 2018 at 15:27
|Copy Link||May 31, 2017|
I was very glad to find your page and think it is very important to have these resources and viewpoints available.
I am a recent immigrant to Sweden from Australia. I moved with my three children to live with my Swedish husband, largely due to the fact that he had work here (and was unable to find a job in Australia) and, as a small business owner myself, my work is quite flexible.
I had always believed Scandinavia and Sweden to be a socialist utopia with fantastic systems to support families. At first I saw the free education, almost free childcare and many low-cost family activities on offer, and thought that things were fantastic. But upon enrolling my children into school and becoming part of society, I realised just how much is wrong.
My three children have been raised to be well behaved, independent and hard working. They attend school to learn and are expected to do well, they are expected to eat what they are given, follow the rules and use manners. These things were a given when we moved here, but things went downhill fast.
My first experience with the Swedish system was when my son began skipping mother-tongue classes at school. I was furious. Lessons are not optional, and it is important for him to keep up in English, which is a far more useful language to be proficient in, world-wide, than Swedish. Upon discussions with him, however, I was told that he wasn't able to do anything during class because the children were throwing things around the room and misbehaving so badly that he couldn't learn.
I spoke to the school and teacher, and this was confirmed. Whilst at the school I witnessed children beating each other up in the playground, whilst teachers stood by helplessly. Shocked, I believed that it must be because we live in an area with a high immigrant rate and believed the 'bad area' must be the cause of the behavioural problems. I very quickly pulled my son out of the school and enrolled all of my children into the prestigious English school, which advertises itself on its strictness and American-style discipline. But what I found there was that bullying and violence was common and bullies were offered counselling to help change their behaviour, whilst well-behaved children were given constant behaviour tickets for stupid trivialities such as forgetting to take off their shoes for class or lining up the wrong way.
My children very quickly learned how to swear, how to speak back, that violent behaviour towards them from other children (from the native Swedish children) went completely unpunished, that they need take no responsibility for their actions / behaviour, that they had every right in the world, and that if they didn't like something they could call the police or social workers to get their parents in trouble.
After several months I was being held hostage by a nine-year old that if I didn't do exactly as he wanted he was going to tell the school and police. I had phone calls from the school for not feeding my child (He was given nutritious meals and expected to eat them whether he liked the vegetables or not), for not abiding by my responsibility to send him to school every day (We took my children to Poland for four days for our honeymoon with some relatives who had flown to Sweden to visit) and for not clothing my child (He had refused to attend school until he found the jacket he wanted, which was in the wash and refused to wear anything else).
Meanwhile my eldest daughter was learning no Swedish, because her class was so badly behaved the teacher simply left the room and couldn't cope as they had no rights to discipline the children. And my middle daughter was being relentlessly bullied at school with the bullies only offered counselling which led to her feeling depressed and suicidal.
After a year here, my children learnt all kinds of rude behaviour and backchat, refusing to submit to discipline such as having their phones taken away or being grounded.
Eventually it got to the point where I attempted to take my daughters phone for her rude behaviour, she violently wrestled the phone away from me twisting my wrists and received a slap in the face. No marks were left, and I feel the slap was justified and necessary, as do my family who were horrified at seeing the children's behavioural decline.
I smacked my children at times when they were small, as is common / accepted in Australia but had not needed to do so for a long time. Next thing I am now being chased by Social Services for having broken Sweden's anti-spanking law.
My children have learnt that they have won. That they can behave however they please, without any consequences.
We are a family of Australian citizens living temporarily overseas, conducting our private lives. My children have not been raised to become spoiled brats, and I don't wish for this to happen now. I don't wish to conform to Swedish standards. I find Swedish children on the whole to be self-centred, ill-mannered brats who would not be capable of functioning in the corporate world outside Sweden. I am not seeing success here on any level. Educational standards and behaviour are appalling, and my children would be better served growing up in the third world.
I am disgusted and furious that the state has the right to interfere in family lives, including children stolen from parents for non existent crimes such as home schooling, but cannot fulfil basic obligations such as protecting its citizens from crime.
I truly hope that organisations such as yours can begin to make a difference, and that at some point Sweden wakes up from its follies and looks at the true best interests of families and children, instead of attempting to impose its blanket ideologies, which are not supported by facts. Sweden is such a beautiful and progressive country in so many ways but is failing miserably in raising the next generation.
Renee Johnson, email@example.com
Gothenburg, Sweden | Wednesday, May 31, 2017 at 23:36
Dear Renee! Thank you for your very interesting - but saddening - posting!
As you, no doubt, realise, the negative experience of life in Sweden that you report on - for you, your husband and your children - is deeply disturbing to us, more 'native' Swedes - although, sadly, too familiar.
As you seem to have picked up, we, in our voluntary association of private citizens, are also very critical of the purposeful ways in which the State tries to wrest our children away from us parents, child-care-wise, education-wise and behaviour-wise, but feel obliged, in honesty, to confess to our lack of progress in our more constructive direction so far. But that lack of progress hasn't yet made us give up our struggle and isn't likely to do so in the near future either.
For you and your family, we think it's important that, while you are living here in our country, you don't let the negative experiences you report on get the better of you. Sweden has many good things going for it but if you don't watch out you loose sight of them for the bad things you write about.
To conclude: we hope things will - soon - work out for all five of you, here in the country we 'natives' love so much, despite its many - politically created - shortcomings.
Kind regards from Children's Right to Their Parents Sweden / the webmaster
|Copy Link||February 23, 2017|
In response to U.S.A.'s new President, Donald Trump's recent mention of Sweden and that country's (i.e. mine) recent outbreaks of unrest in immigrant-rich neighbourhoods, I got inspired to write to the editors of Washington Post in an effort to alert them to the fact that there are other equally pressing socio-economic problems afflicting my country - obviously in the hope that they will publish my humble attempt at enlightenment about a country the average American knows little about.
My written effort turned out this way:
When it comes to pointing out problems and bad examples in my country, Sweden, there are more severe areas to be mentioned than the bad integration of immigrants and refugees, pointed out by President Trump and Fox News.
Sweden wants to be regarded as a humanitarian superpower and defender of human rights. However, those human rights (as per the European Convention on the matter), which also defends the right to form a family and live a family life, as well as parents' right to choose education for their children, are gravely violated in Sweden. In fact, the concept of family is no longer recognized here. Just about any adult can be put in a parent's place, vis-à-vis a child, if welfare agencies find a parent unsuitable as child rearer.
Swedish socialist-marxist family policies have now resulted in the criminalization of homeschooling parents, penalizing them and forcing them out of our country (See Rohus.) A system of heavy bachelor-style taxes, in combination with 95% subsidies going directly to public day-care facilities, has now forced some 95% of preschool children into public day care - with resulting questions such as Is Sweden ruled by brats? and "impossible to teach" environments in Swedish schools. (See Canadian researchers Gordon Neufeld and Gabor Maté).
The Swedish family policies have been heavily criticized by US PhD Allan Carlson, British researcher Patricia Morgan and many others.
I too have done my best, over the years, to expose Sweden's totalitarianism-inspired family policies for what they are. You can find an example of those efforts of mine - here.
Krister Pettersson, board member, firstname.lastname@example.org
Malmö, Sweden | Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 17:05
|Copy Link||April 1, 2015|
The ever higher sick-leave numbers in Swedish society was discussed last Saturday (March 28) on Swedish Radio's standing programme item The Saturday Noon Interview (Ekots Lördagsintervju) with Sweden's recently appointed Social Insurance Minister, Annika Strandhäll. During it, listeners were served with many important facts e.g. that two out of three Swedes on sick-leave are women and that Swedish men take out only 30 per cent of all available parental leave time while women take out the remainder.
So, obviously, a fair amount of time was spent on discussing what reasonably to do about those imbalances.
The minister's proposed solutions revolved around the workplace, often a public institution, where many women are employed to take care of other women's children.
"Those places must simply be better at keeping tabs on women's health and at keeping them healthy! And we in Government must review our policies so as to encourage men to shoulder a more equitable share of the family's child-care burden", she said, among other things.
But nothing was said about the spread of contagious diseases in day-care centres. Or about the fact that parents – particularly women – are econo-politically forced to work with things other than their preferences, e.g. with caring for and raising other women's children instead of their own.
Such self-defeating information pieces we Swedes never hear from mainstream Swedish media and certainly not from social-democratic ministers such as Ms. Strandhäll!
Sweden's supposedly "enlightened democracy" is in a worse shape than most foreigners realize!
Krister Pettersson, board member, email@example.com
Malmö, Sweden | Wednesday, April 1, 2015 at 13:35
|Copy Link||January 26, 2014|
Sweden is often referred to as a model for gender equality, childcare, women's rights, etc. Our country's parental leave benefits and childcare services are, out there, more often than not, considered being very generous. This is a false picture!
Around 1970, the Swedish tax system was radically changed – from being a normal European one where the family was seen as a cornerstone of society and the basis for taxation, a system which took the cost of raising children into consideration.
At that time, the system was changed, from joint taxation to individual ditto, putting an end to considering the cost of raising a family before the tax bill was presented.
From then on, ”Society”, i.e., the public-sector servants, were groomed to take over the care of our country's children in public crèches at only a symbolic cost to those overtaxed parents.
Today, some 85 % of Swedish children are cared for and fostered in municipal day-care establishments, but the negative effects of the system are carefully concealed by our politicians and the media.
The average Swede pays some 69 per cent of his / her income in various overt and covert taxes, meaning that more than 2/3 goes to the public sector, the remaining 1/3 not sufficing to support the family. Consequently, a second income is needed to reach the 2/3 necessary.
At the lower taxation levels of the 50s and 60s, a Swedish worker could support his family, including keeping a home maker, since he then was allowed to keep those 2/3 of his income after taxes. Today, both parents of the family must be in paid work to reach the requisite amount of spendable money.
Many of Sweden's public services, such as education, health care and child care, are almost "free", but not always cost-efficiently managed. It is known (see SOU 79:89) that caring for two children in a public crèche consumes as much resources as are created by a full-time worker in a low-paid job. This alarming fact is simply not recognized by politicians or highlighted by Swedish media.
So, parents who find themselves unable to adapt to this heavy-handed econo-political coercion and unwilling to surrender their children to municipal crèches, are forced into economic misery, as economics-professor and Social-Democratic MP, Bo Södersten, wrote in November 1996.
The Kullman-Andersson case, which was on the agenda of law courts here in the early 80s, the purpose of which was to test the lawfulness of this inverted tax system and these discriminatory childcare arrangements, went all the way to the European Court, but the continental judges of it evidently did not understand Sweden's tax system and the effects of it. So they ruled that ”one cannot be a home maker, caring for one's own children, at the expense of the tax payers”, obviously not understanding that the father of the family earned enough to support his family before taxes but not after.
Consequently, the family was forced to give up their children to municipal care at a much higher cost to the community and its tax payers than their proposed solution would have entailed.
And so must other mothers of multi-child families do, even if it means that the tax payers must fork out money to pay two or three people to do the job a single home maker would - at no cost to the general public.
This is not a generous system, and it is absolutely not a tolerant one. Far from being an attractive model for other Western countries to adopt, it rather represents a case of totalitarian political coercion in serious conflict with some fundamental human rights. British sociologist Patricia Morgan, in her book Family Policy, Family Changes – Sweden, Italy and Britain Compared (Civitas), compares it with the totalitarian collectivism of the old Soviet Union. So, you foreigner reading this: be warned !
Krister Pettersson, board member, firstname.lastname@example.org
Malmö, Sweden | Sunday, Jan 26, 2014 at 13:54
|Copy Link||May 26, 2013|
A new poll, commissioned by the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada, confirms what Kids First Parent Association of Canada has been saying for years: a large majority of Canadians prefer parental child care over any other form of child care, and would like to see funding going directly to families rather than to a daycare system.
The poll found that 76 percent of Canadians “believe it is best for children under six to be at home with a parent”. If this is not possible, relatives are preferred, followed by neighbourhood family daycare. Daycare centres rank dead last.
61 percent of respondents said government financial support should go to families. Only 12% believe the government should subsidize daycare centres, and only 10% “believe the government should expand the public school system so that daycare for children of all ages is included”.
– Finally, someone asks parents what we want. The results are no surprise. Very few people prefer institutional care for children; so why does government spend billions on it? The problem lies in public funding of the daycare lobby. For example, we’re paying UBC’s Human Early Learning Partnership to lobby for $10/day daycare. Politicians need to stop this abuse of our money and respect parents; then we might have fair family policy that benefits kids by empowering parents, says Helen Ward, President of Kids First Parent Association of Canada.
– We will be submitting a human rights complaint over the discrimination against parental child care. Child care is defined in legislation to explicitly exclude parental child care from funding. This discrimination has been extremely harmful, especially to single mothers and their children. This poll demonstrates that these laws do not even have public support, says Ward.
Kids First hopes the poll may embolden politicians to revise policy and fund families on an equitable basis to better reflect diversity and parental preferences.
See also Children's Right Sweden's encouraging comment in support of us daycare-critical Canadians - here!
Helen Ward, email@example.com
Burnaby, BC, Canada | Sunday, May 26, 2013 at 08:48
|Copy Link||February 6, 2013|
The Swedish State's TV network announces new record amounts of daily payments to parents staying at home and caring for their ill children (called VAB here due to the term's acronymic reference to the practice's longhand description in our native tongue) in the January just gone.
The TV message is almost presented as a new athletic record, as something somebody out there probably is proud of.
Nothing else is said, or hinted at. For example the huge costs to the tax payers for these VAB payments on top of the ca. US$ 2,000 in subsidies per month and child that day care already costs those payers as a basic financial burden.
Neither is anything said about the fact that this January record also means a record in the amount of sick children - often sick in day-care-contagious diseases. Diseases which, due to ever increasing resistance to antibiotics pose ever greater threats to the well-being - and even lives - of our vulnerable children.
British sociologist Patricia Morgan mentions in her book Family Policy, Family Changes – Sweden, Italy and Britain compared (CIVITAS) that Swedish parents are away from their jobs about 20-30 per cent of the time due to family-related 'emergencies'.
Now, that absence level seems surpassed by last January's VAB record!
Congratulations, Sweden, to this record in sick children, and to the record-high costs of maintaining this sick childcare system!
Krister Pettersson, board member, firstname.lastname@example.org
Malmö, Sweden | Wednesday, February 6, 2013 at 21:25
|Copy Link||May 3, 2012|
In my country (Sweden), our political party Folkpartiet is the self-appointed caretaker of the liberalist ideology developed by such impressive thinkers as John Locke (1632-1704), Adam Smith (1723-1790) and John Stuart Mill (1806-1873).
Among these, the former two are considered being advocates of classical liberalism while the latter represents a newer form of the ideology, the social one.
But the trouble is that there is a huge ideological gap between these two branches. True, both stress the importance of the citizen’s interests over those of the State, but the classical variety is primarily concerned with limiting the scope of the State so as to leave as much leeway as possible to the citizen, while the latter is an expression of the belief that the State must also provide poverty relief and social security to the less fortunate, and generally provide a whole range of (tax-financed) services to the general public.
Needless to say, these two varieties translate to a huge difference in the perception of the role of the State, so much so that classical liberalism borders onto anarchy while the latter ends up close to socialism (only shying away from nationalisation of the means of production).
Our Folkpartiet is socio-liberal and has participated enthusiastically in our socialist governments' purposeful transformation of Swedish society over the decades into one where nearly all small-child parents work for money and their infants and toddlers are in municipality-run day-care establishments.
That Britain's Liberal Party is also socio-liberal becomes apparent from this opinion article.
The two liberal parties referred to underpin our conclusion that the current so-called 'liberal' parties of the so-called 'developed' world are a menace to their respective societies and are giving Liberalism a bad name.
Bo C Pettersson, association chairman, email@example.com
Västerås, Sweden | Thursday, May 3, 2012 at 09:31
|Copy Link||September 10, 2011|
In Sweden, a debate on who should look after small children, their parents in their homes or specially trained staff in government-sponsored day-care centres, started as early as in the 1930s. Front figures of that debate were Alva and Gunnar Myrdal (she, a government minister; he, a celebrated economist; both left-leaning Social Democrats).
Not much more happened - overtly - in that field until the year 1971 when Income Splitting as taxation model was abolished in favour of Individual Taxation.
That it was necessary to do something to the Swedish taxation system was obvious to most Swedes at that time. By the end of the 60s, income earners paid 30 - 40 per cent of their incomes in taxes but the tax schedule was steeply progressive, easily resulting in marginal tax rates' exceeding 80 per cent, meaning that people were able to retain only 20 bucks from the last 100 earned.
This was devastating to the employment of women, who had been at home with their small children for a few years; their income was added to their men's, resulting in peanuts being left in after-tax supplements, further resulting in the majority of women - and their men - realising that it was not worth the effort - or the travelling costs - to take up (or resume) paid employment after the child-care period.
As said, the solution adopted was Individual Taxation, which, in one fell swoop, reduced women's tax burden in half and doubled their eagerness to take up paid work. But, at the same time, the principle of regard to support burden in the taxation system was abolished and the opposite introduced, resulting in, as of that year, a Swedish single-income family always paying more in taxes than a dual-income one does, at the same total income.
In the same cycle, the Swedish government and its obedient parliament changed the law so it, from then on, became legal to tax-subsidise business operations such as child care. (So subsidising such operations was, up to that point, illegal, and still is, in principle.)
The effect on the behaviour of women of these co-acting rule changes was dramatic; they started to flood the labour market in ever greater numbers, restrained only by the rate at which the municipalities were able to expand their child-care services.
This politically driven trend towards getting as many women into paid work as possible and their children into crèches has continued into recent times. One of the latest political steps taken here was the introduction, in the early 2000s, of a fee cap on child care, resulting in parents, from then on, having to pay only approx. US$ 200 of the approx. US$ 2 300 it costs these municipalities a month to look after a toddler full time.
In other words, one could, with jargon borrowed from today's gender-equality debate, argue that, before the year 1971, the home was a trap for Swedish women, but now, paid work has taken over that role.
Not only are the Swedish childcare policies unduly manipulative and at odds with generally accepted principles of taxation and public spending, they are also impoverishing, i.e. have an economic effect which is the very opposite to what the advocates have claimed for so long.
That this is the case (that the service is affluence-reducing) can be seen by realising that for a good or service to contribute to affluence, it must have a value to patrons exceeding its cost of production.
That Sweden's childcare industry (don't think I am exaggerating when I call it 'industry') doesn't manage to deliver that kind of value can be realised by imagining that the full cost of the service (approx. US$ 2 300 a child a month) were charged out, and asking oneself how many would buy at that price.
That tax subsidies don't solve this utility-vs-cost problem should be evident; they are, instead, alongside our principles-violating taxation system, the very factor that brings these losses to materialisation.
That the above-described political solutions cost the Swedes affluence is confirmed by OECD's national affluence ranking list. Before their introduction, Sweden was fourth on it, preceded only by the US, Switzerland and Luxembourg. Now, in 2010, we are eleventh, and would have been far lower down, had the countries we compete with not been lured into adopting our bad example in the field discussed.
We must come to a solution to the above-described madness and that solution must inevitably start with the population being made aware of the basic problem (that the current policies are unduly manipulative and affluence-reducing) so that its elected representatives and their sycophants in the media realise that the game is over.
Bo C Pettersson, chair person of Children's Right Sweden, firstname.lastname@example.org
Västerås, Sweden | Saturday, September 10, at 08:51
|Copy Link||November 19, 2010|
Nobel Prize laureate, author Pearl Buck, writes in her book My Several Worlds how close love between parent and child is a prerequisite for the child to experience love and enjoy life.
She also writes about how the Chinese communists put much effort into the breaking down of the system of family and clan support in that country, just as the socialists have done in Sweden! With precisely the same sad consequences for children and youngsters: severed bonds of affection between parents and children, emotional alienation - and unhappiness.
Krister Pettersson, board member, email@example.com
Västerås, Sweden | Friday, November 19, 2010 at 11:58
|Copy Link||October 8, 2010|
In the run-up to the Swedish general elections on September 19, the Utopian Swedish family policies were not debated. After forty years of them, the Swedish electorate is so indoctrinated and dependent on the State and its economic steering that the dominating parties see no reason to relax the oppression to accommodate the still-objecting minority. But for other countries it might be worth looking closer at the Swedish childcare Utopia.
Swedish family policies are based on socialist values put forward by Marx and Engels in the late 1800s, and by Sweden’s Alva Myrdal in the 1930s. Its was finally defined in explicit writing by the Social Democratic Women’s League in the early 1970s in their manifesto titled “Familjen i Framtiden” (The Family in the Future). This document establishes family policies as a necessary foundation for the socialist society the League and its parental party was aiming for and concludes that human rights must come second to that greater good.
The societal engineers of the then ruling party discovered early that, to reach the goal set, parent-child bonds had to be broken and the family unit shattered. Consequently, the Family is no longer a legal concept in Sweden. From this follows that legally, the population consists only of private individuals, that parents are only one of many potential caregivers to children and that children’s rights are defended by public servants, not by their parents.
Taxation and welfare systems consider individuals only, not families. All adults, whether with families to support or not, are highly taxed - as bachelors - and public-sector workers do most of the child-upbringing in almost 'free' day-care centres. Parents, who insist on continuing to look after their children even after expiry of their 240 days of parental leave, loose all benefits, even the right to basic survival money.
On the basis of the mantra “in the best interest of the child”, social workers and public caregivers can easily find “risks threatening a child’s development”. Consequently, many are the Swedish parents who have lost their children to foster parents after the child having complained to the authorities about their parents’ strictness or unsuspecting parents themselves having consulted the government’s 'experts' on how to deal with an unruly child.
Perhaps surprisingly, this socialist family policy is supported also by our so-called conservative and liberal parties. These parties have recently pushed through a law banning home-schooling, concealing its violations of fundamental human rights by stressing the overarching political goal: equality of outcome for all children.
With extremely high bachelor taxes and no consideration for the economic burden of supporting a family, practically all families in Sweden need dual incomes to reach subsistence level. This means that children must be left to caregivers other than their parents.
In order to safeguard 'high-quality' collectivist childcare, the day-care centres promoted are highly tax-subsidised. A day-care place may cost some €12-20 thousand a year but parents are asked to pay only a tenth of that or less. Thus, the cost, to parents, of a child in public child care is usually less than the cost of food and nappies. Consequently, not even black-sector nannies or grandparents are able to compete with the state in childcare.
With “educational material” like “Världen i förskolan” (The Preschool World) and “Barnens Kärleksliv” (The Love-life of Children), Swedish authorities, in the past, openly tried to convey socialist values to children, which, when discovered, raised criticism. Today, indoctrination in day-care centres seems subtler, justified only by the need to convey 'democratic' values to toddlers.
An official study into Women’s Work (SOU 1979:89) concluded that the cost of care for two children in a day-care centre equals the value of a full-time, low-wage, job, the care of three children the value of a full-time, high-wage, job. The political ambition behind the study was to show that the “day-care for all” system was profitable to society on the grounds that the average parent leaves “only” 1.4 children to day-care and so could produce a higher value on a paid job. The fact that these data also mean that a parent who cares for two or three kids in their home contributes fully to society, was not, and still is not, recognized in Sweden.
Since the official interpretation of the figures is the one our courts go by, a protesting mother of six was forced to leave her kids to day care in spite of her pointing out that as many as eleven people needed to be healthy and germ-free at the same time in order for her to be able to leave home for work.
As can be understood, individual preferences and values do not have much room in this system. Protesters gathered early against it. A large number of polls over the years indicate that about two out of every three people want more freedom of choice in child care. The Family Campaign protest movement collected 70 000 protest signatures in the early 1970s but was nonchalantly ignored by our socialist government of the time. So are a number of other protest organizations, which have continued to argue for freedom of choice. With very little resources and the socialist Nomenklatura working against them in politics and the media, they are fighting an uphill battle.
The system efficiently transfers wealth from victimised families who pay some €100 000 extra in taxes for day-care services they never use during their working life of some 30 + 40 years, to those who take advantage of the system by getting dual incomes, pensions, social security and almost free child-care, but since our media people largely belong to the latter group, they are reluctant to bring this gross unfairness to the attention of the general public.
As early as in 1979, Professor Jörgen Westerståhl in Gothenburg found “the discrepancy between the projection of popular opinion on childcare preferences by the media and the actual facts of the matter, fascinating. The opinion held by two thirds of the population, becomes, at least in the ether media, all but invisible”.
Falsifications such as “a homemaker does not contribute to the costs of day-care she chooses not to use” are common, and faced with a choice between freedom of choice and gender equality by more women working for money, the latter is bullhorned out as being more important, i.e. as being more important than parents’ legislated right to choose care and education for their children in accordance with their philosophical and religious convictions.
Even Sweden’s largest “liberal” papers toe the line by promoting socialist doctrines over liberal values and the above-mentioned human rights. Consequently, with the help of false liberals and the Nomenklatura in the media, the Swedish day-care system survives in spite of a majority of people being against it, leaving a tenacious non-surrendering minority of approximately 10 per cent of small-child parents badly discriminated against. That kind of treatment of a minority, which in actual fact is a huge majority if the right questions are asked, is not in keeping with generally accepted principles of the kind of representative democracy most Swedes, interestingly enough, think they are part of.
So you foreigner looking to Sweden for a model in family policies: beware of brainwashing, similar to what has afflicted a majority of my countrymen and -women! Make sure you examine the downside too!
Krister Pettersson, board member, firstname.lastname@example.org
Västerås, Sweden | Monday, October 8, 2010 at 19:22
|Copy Link||March 15, 2010|
My involvement in the childcare issue has made me interested also in what goes on in that field in the world around me (outside Sweden), including what is being said out there about my country and its parental leave and day-care arrangements. That is, whether our solutions are held up as good or bad examples.
As you Dear Reader may suspect, I find, to my dismay, that the momentum towards out-of-home child care out there is strong and that Sweden's solutions are referred to as models.
The arguments in favour are all too familiar to us Northerners, pioneers in industrial-scale childcare as we are: better cognitive and social child development, and mothers freed to work for money away from home on par with their men.
But why are the disadvantages played down to the extent they are: strong emotional separation anxiety the first few months, weaker child-parent bonding, a faster-paced rat-race, greater risk of delinquency - even of social problems or criminality in later years as a result of that poorer bonding, etc., etc.?
I think it has to do with day-care advocates seeing tax-funded parental leave and collective child care as generously provided options which parents can either utilize or turn down at their discretion, i.e. as options lacking drawbacks. They don’t seem to realize that undue econo-political rewards/punishments and shrinking financial resources will practically force parents to utilize the services offered, whether they like them or not.
Why government-offered leave and day-care services create coercions should be self-evident but why they also reduce affluence may not be as obvious. It has to do with those services costing more than they are worth and that the opposite relationship is a prerequisite for them to contribute to overall prosperity and greater personal freedom.
That both services cost more than they are worth can be seen by imagining that they were offered via the market at cost prices. For instance, full-time day care in my country costs, on average, US$2,000 a child, a month, to produce. How many would buy at that price? Not many. (1)
So, to sweeten the bid, governments cover a larger or lesser portion of that cost with tax subsidies to make them look more attractive than they are (2). But since that trick doesn’t solve the basic problem (of cost exceeding value), it results not only in large-scale self-delusion but also in increased losses since more people will now undoubtedly buy.
I have said it before and say it again: No person, company or nation has ever got rich by spending her/its resources on products whose values to patrons do not measure up - and never will!
One can but wonder why so many out there so firmly believe that government-sponsored parental leave and child care are exceptions to laws of economics affecting every other commodity and why the economists of this world are keeping as quiet as they do about this popular misperception? (3)
If governments allowed families to keep the money they need to subsist before taxing them, public expenditure burdens would fall and finance ministers end up with much more money on hand for helping those who really need it. For good measure, overall prosperity and personal freedom would also improve.
But the trouble is that 'my' solution takes years, from change implementation to measurable effect, whilst an offer of 'free' childcare buys votes tomorrow.
Bo C Pettersson, board member, email@example.com
Västerås, Sweden | Monday, March 15, 2010 at 00:47
|Copy Link||November 8, 2009|
Thank you for your thought-inspiring post - here!
It is saddening, noting that you find yourself discriminated against on the labour market out there - but also heartening that you, nevertheless, feel confident that you have made the right choices in life; by the looks of it you have!
The reasons why women have a harder battle out there, career-wise, I think, boils down to biology and to consequent behavioural instincts: we are, after all, the only one of the two sexes who are able to have babies and able to nurture them properly when they are tiny. This has many consequences, including our standing on the labour market.
But trying to compensate for these biological and behavioural differences between men and women, by forcing employers politically to ignore them, I think is the wrong way to go about it; I fear it will lead to unacceptable political oppression and to unnecessary economic hardship overall.
Instead I think the way to go is for Government to recognise the importance of families and support them in every possible way, and for parents to remind their daughters of the age-old wisdom never to have a baby with the wrong man, and their sons of the importance of treating girls properly and to take responsibility for their actions.
I am glad you are resisting the bad advice to misrepresent what you have been doing the last few years. Lots of people out there, even men - I happen to know - see home making for a few years as the highly-valued CV credit it should be seen as.
So keep your head up, be persistent, and don't let the "No thank you"s get you down!
Jenny Odälv, Chair Person, Children's Right, firstname.lastname@example.org
Västerås, Sweden | Sunday, November 8, 2009 at 13:17
|Copy Link||October 30, 2009|
My name is Sara Landriault, a 37 year old woman with three beautiful daughters and no professional career because my country unvalues my contribution to society.
I have recently been out looking for a full-time job, my skill levels are pretty high in computers and customer service but for ten years I have been at home during the day, raising my children and working evenings waitressing.
The lack of experience in my resume is keeping potential employers away who pay real salaries rather than minimum hourly wages. Fifty or more resumes have gone out and only a few have responded but then with "no thank you".
Resume builders would like me to lie and say I was a day-care worker for ten years and not mention my own children so it would look better, but I cannot lie about having raised my own children. My worth is the same if not higher than a day-care worker's but our society shuns me for it.
As of now I will be working as a cashier in our local grocery store for a minimum wage but I will be there with pride, knowing I have raised my children the way my husband and I (as our own choice) see fit.
Our government may have taken economic worth and dignity away from me but not my pride.
Sara Landriault, President,
International Family Childcare Association,
Kemptville, Canada | Friday, October 30, 2009 at 14:04
|Copy Link||July 15, 2009|
The research is absolutely clear. There is a strong link between married parents and stability for children. Children who start their lives with their own married parents tend to be healthier, do better at school, and have stronger relationships as adults themselves. There is a clear correlation between marriage and well being. And that translates into stronger extended families, healthier communities, and finally, a stronger economy.
But even in these tough economic times, this isn't an argument most western parents are hearing.
Historically, the main responsibility for providing children with the necessities of life, from food, clothing and shelter to education and spiritual guidance, lay with parents. Parents in turn were supported by their extended families and communities. As these social bonds grew weaker the number of parents unable to provide for their children has expanded, often as a result of family breakdown, whether that meant divorce, the break-up of cohabiting parents, or the absence of one parent from birth. When families fail, government begins to act as a quasi-replacement family, offering benefits through programs such as welfare, and child care and housing subsidies.
Certainly, family breakdown is not about dollars and cents. The most devastating damage of broken families involves children torn between warring parents, parents struggling to maintain relationships with their children, and the weakening of bonds within the extended family. But there are financial repercussions, and these can be more easily measured.
Therefore we in the Institute of Marriage and Family Canada are calling attention to the importance of stable families by attaching a price tag to those that fail. This way we hope to show every citizen why families matter to us all. An honest discussion about marriage and family is a crucial first step, if citizens are to understand the consequences, public and private, of the choices they make in their personal lives.
Andrea Mrozek, Manager of Research and Communications, Institute of Marriage and Family Canada (www.imfcanada.org),
Ottawa, Canada | Wednesday, July 15, 2009 at 14:55
|Copy Link||March 6, 2009|
The other day, when I was 'trawling' The Net for news on child care, I stumbled across this piece in the paper The Sudbury Star of Canada in which the writer urges her country to spend more tax money on institutionalised child care. So I couldn't resist the impulse to confront it with the following piece, which was published in the paper a few days ago:
Farquhar has got it wrong
In an editorial posted on www.thesudburystar.com on Febr. 18 titled "Investment in child care makes economic sense", Ruth Farquhar claims that public spending on communal day care is a profitable investment macro-economically.
She bases her conclusion on conditions she finds in France, Iceland and (my country) Sweden: low incidences of child poverty and high levels of gender equality, and links these effects, not exactly crystal clearly, to the existence of government-sponsored child day care in these countries as root cause.
But unfortunately, Farquhar has got it wrong, large-scale communal child care is not profitable for the simple reason that the service is not worth its cost of production.
Unwittingly, Farquhar admits as much herself by writing "Who can afford [to pay the true cost of day care, approx.] $1200 a month [out of one's own pocket]?" but fails to draw that inevitable conclusion from her own very words.
Surely, Farquhar realizes that hiding the true cost of the service by means of tax-funded subsidies does not improve matters; the service will still cost more than it is worth. But granted, the subsidies will lure Canadians to consume more of the service than they otherwise would, thus impoverishing Canadians, not enriching them as Farquhar seems to think.
I challenge Farquhar to give me a single example of an individual, a company or a nation who/that has become rich by insisting on producing a service whose value to patrons is below cost!
Bo C. Pettersson, board member, email@example.com
Västerås, Sweden | Monday, March 2, 2009 at 12:54
|Copy Link||December 6, 2008|
The issues of maternity and parental leave are currently high on the agenda in many 'developed' countries. It now seems to be the rest of the world's turn to have the kind of debate we Swedes had so many decades ago before our internationally lauded scheme was introduced here.
Consequently, a description of the Swedish system might be beneficial to that 'external' debate.
Maternity leave in Sweden falls under our much-acclaimed law-governed and tax-funded parental leave system. It runs for 16 months (may be stretched out up to the time when the child starts school at age 7).
A parent who worked for money for at least eight months before childbirth gets 80 per cent of her/his previous income in benefits for 13 of those months, the equivalent of US$ 22 a day (= US$ 660 a month) thereafter. While a parent who gets the child before entering the labour market gets US$ 22 a day (= US$ 660 a month) right through.
All these amounts are subject to approx. 32 % income tax, VAT, and various commodity taxes, leaving the remaining purchasing power, net of taxes, at approx 50 % of the before-tax income.
The father must stay at home with the child for at least two months, otherwise two months' pay will be lost.
An interesting quirk about the scheme is the so-called "speed bonus", which enables parents to retain those 80 % of their previous income in benefits also for subsequent children, provided they are born within 30 months of the previous sibling.
If the next child is born one day too late, the relay stick is dropped, making our imaginary family an inevitable future looser in the money game our parental leave scheme is.
That puts quite a strain on mothers and partially explains our marginally higher fertility rate than those of comparable countries. (a)
From what has been written so far, a number of advantages and disadvantages of the scheme may already be apparent.
Among free-market economists there is strong consensus that minimising the flow of money from income-earners to the state and back is far better macro-economically and personal-freedom-wise than taxing people to the point where even normal income earners become dependent on the state for survival. But unfortunately, due to a lifetime of Social-Democratic dominance over our political life, Sweden is firmly in the latter category.
Therefore, my humble recommendation for the rest of the 'developed' world, on the topic of maternity and parental leave is that you make sure that families are allowed to keep the money they need to enable new mothers the recuperation time they and their children need without undue governmental interference.
That kind of approach would create more wealth all around than any seemingly generous parental leave pay from the state ever could and leave your government with far more resources on hand for helping the then smaller number of people who still would need welfare help.
State-provided parental leave pay is not the generous offer from government it appears to be but rather an affluence-reducing and freedom-restricting coercion.
Bo C Pettersson, board member, firstname.lastname@example.org
Västerås, Sweden | Saturday, December 6, 2008 at 00:40
|Copy Link||June 2, 2008|
We (the association running this website) recently got a question from a member about the status of the politically promised Home-care Allowance and realised that our answer may also be of some public interest. Hence we repeat it here:
Since the parliamentary decision required to enable the much-heralded municipal home-care allowance was taken as late as May 21 '08, no municipalities have yet implemented the scheme. But a number of them are hard on the heels of the legislators and intend to launch it on July 1 this year, while others will wait until January 1 next year – and others still (those governed by left-of-centre political parties) intend never to implement it.
Since Sweden seems to have approximately 155 municipalities run by liberals or conservatives (out of a total of 290) it seems reasonable to expect slightly more than half of these local governments to implement the scheme. But it also seems reasonable to expect some of today's naysayers to succumb eventually as they start to feel the stepped up competition for attractive tax paying capability from neighbouring municipalities where the scheme by then will have been in operation for some time.
But it is also important for us in Children's Right to point out that even though we are grateful for the break-through the promised allowance represents, we are still very critical of it as a long-term solution.
Therefore we advocate, for the medium term, abolishment of our massive governmental day-care subsidies and introduction of a universal governmental child-care allowance which parents could either stay at home for or buy child-care services for. But for the long term we advocate family taxation combined with tax deductibility for income-necessary expenses such as out-of-home child care.
That final step would boost overall affluence and personal freedom - and underscore the importance of the family as the indispensable social institution it just happens to be.
Children's Right to Their Parents Sweden
|Copy Link||April 28, 2008|
…for women, to be trapped in the home to look after the family's children or in paid work to help the family survive?
That is the succinct question Elizabeth Heathcote poses in this letter to the editor of The Times paper of Britain in response to a debate that has gone on for some time in that country about whether public means for day care should go to day-care establishments directly or follow the child.
In our paternal past, when husbands/fathers were head of the family, mother were - unfortunately - often trapped in their homes by dependency and domestic chores. But these days, thanks to 'progressive' governments' single-minded focus on getting women out into the paid workforce by subsidising day care, overtaxing the primary bread winner but treating the secondary income earner leniently, women in such 'modern' societies have found themselves trapped in work instead.
A better solution would be day-care benefits that follow the child. That would give women a far better (more neutral) choice between staying at home with the children or going to work.
But an even better one would be family taxation combined with the abolishment of all day-care subsidies and tax deductibility for all day-care expenses. That is, recognising the family as the family business it actually is or should be.
In addition to giving mothers a more neutral choice with less arbitrary strings attached, such a solution would strengthen the family as a social unit (something most 'developed' countries sorely needs) and boost both affluence and employment (advantages only fools squander).
|Copy Link||April 14, 2008|
Yesterday, I received an email from abroad asking me why I dislike universal, tax-funded, communal childcare as strongly as I apparently do. This was my reply:
I, a Swedish father of two (daughters), oppose Universal Day Care (hereafter: 'UDC') as implemented in my country and proposed in yours for many reasons, including:
In 'developed' countries like mine (Sweden), there are laws against confidence tricks in business but not in politics. UDC is a political confidence trick. So, you foreigner reading this: beware!
Bo C Pettersson, board member, email@example.com
Västerås, Sweden | Monday, April 14, 2008 at 23:10
|Copy Link||April 8, 2008|
Re: this news item of yours: I think the answer is 'Yes'!.
Some of us have been trying to call attention to these problems for years, but nobody listened. We were always told we were making up problems that didn't exist!
However, the article is a bit naive. It hardly mentions family disintegration. The left wanted to abolish marriage and destroy the two-parent family. Some of those in power right now have said they did and proceeded to put in place policies to do it. They succeeded!
The article goes on about 'class', and speaks as if children lower down the income ladder are somehow banned from educational opportunities. This is Marxist rubbish! There have never been so many opportunities and so much money spent on 'poor' children as now!
Income inequality is exaggerated. If you factor in tax deductions and welfare 'redistribution', there is far less inequality than ever before!
The reason why raw distribution has pulled apart over the last decade or so, is because we have double- income, no-kid, couples at one end and a load of welfare-dependent lone mothers (and quite a few lone men) on welfare at the other!
Family disintegration accounts for a lot of measured inequality. I wish people who write these pieces would ask about the whats and whys of 'inequality' instead of waving it around like a mystique force controlling people!
|Copy Link||March 31, 2008|
In my country (Sweden), tax-subsidised government-provided day care for preschool children was introduced in the early 1970s, to a large extent on the strength of the argument that it would be a sound investment macro-economically by releasing large scores of home makers for more productive work in the paid labour force.
But I can't seem to get that allegation confirmed in my own calculation of the economic effect, so please, dear reader, help me identify the point(s) where I go wrong.
But first a number of assumptions based on facts and figures from the Swedish daycare scene:
So, if we go back to our list of factors and take care of them roughly in the order they appear, we get:
41500 × (1 × 0.5 + (1 - 0.5) × 0.5)) / 1.5 × (1 - 0.2) - 18000 × (1 + 0.9 × 2) = -33800
That is, each child in day care seems, on average, to cause a macro-economic loss a year of approx. US$ 33 800, indicating that the overall loss to the Swedish population caused by our public day-care scheme is in the region of US$ 12 billion a year.
In addition, the above-mentioned figures indicate that paid employment is tens of thousands jobs lower than it would have been, had we not been blessed with "almost free" public day care.
True, employment in the childcare industry has shot up dramatically but at the expense of jobs in other, more traditional, fields, which have been "squeezed out" by the resulting increase in production costs caused by the increase in taxation the above-described 'generous' child-care subsidies have necessitated.
But since our centrally placed politicians, supported by an army of economic experts, insistently have claimed the very opposite for decades, i.e. that public day care boosts affluence and employment and never seem to be opposed by any others than us in this association, I must be wrong.
So please dear reader, help me find my mistake!
To help you help me I have smacked up my calculation sheet for you to fiddle around with - here! I think another good use for it would be for you to adapt it to your own country in terms of input figures to see where your lot would land.
|Copy Link||May 15, 2006|
Following debate in your country I see headlines like "Courting votes with childcare", "What sort of care is best for children?", "Children´s right is central", "A Scandinavian childcare Utopia within a couple of years", …
Considering these questions, the "Scandinavian childcare Utopia", which is realized in Sweden, may provide some lessons. In our country, the family policy is built on socialist values as put forward by K. Marx and F. Engels, by Alva Myrdal in the 30s and finally, in very explicit writing by the Social Democratic Women's Union in the early 70s (Familjen i framtiden), where family policy is identified as the base for the fully socialist society and as the means for limiting human rights in "democratic order".
Following these prophets and the importance they give to breaking family bonds, the family as a unit - the cornerstone of society - is no longer recognized in Sweden. The word is disposed of in our legislation and by social authorities the family is referred to as "a primary relations group". Parents are nothing more than any carer and the rights of the child are not safeguarded by the parents but by public servants. Tax and welfare systems consider only individuals. All adults, with family or not, are highly taxed as bachelors, and the state cares for the collectivist upbringing of the kids in official day-care centres. Parents, who insist on working as carers and homemakers after the 240 days of parental leave (based on previous income level) loose their right to welfare protection, minimum level of existence, pension etc. In parents' difficulties and criticism against the intolerant system, social workers and public carers can easily find "risks for the child's development" or conditions which are not in "the child's best interest". Such "rubbery" words in general clauses and legal processes expose critical or desperate parents to the risk of loosing their children.
This socialist family policy is supported also by Folkpartiet, the party that calls itself "liberal" in spite of its ignorance of human rights. The main ambition of that party is equality - not in its liberal sense of equal opportunities - but in its socialist sense of equal outcome between men and women.
With extremely high bachelor taxes and no consideration for the financial burden of a family and with only an insignificant, general child allowance, practically all families in Sweden need double incomes for a decent standard of living. This means that the children must be left to carers other than parents. In order to safeguard a "high quality" collectivist child care, the official day-care centres are highly subsidized. A childcare place may draw costs of some € 15 000 yearly, but the parents are asked to pay only a tenth or less. Thus the cost to the parent of a child in a day nursery may be less than the cost of food and diapers in the home, so, not even black-sector carers or grandparents are able to compete with the state as carer/provider/educator of the children. With "educational material" like "Världen i förskolan" (The Preschool World) and "Barnens Kärleksliv" (The Love-life of Children), Swedish authorities openly tried to convey socialist values, which, when discovered, of course gave raise to criticism. Today indoctrination in day-care centres may be subtler but still defended in terms of the need to convey "democratic" values to the children.
An official state study on women's work (SOU 1979:89) stated that the cost of caring for two children in a day-care centre equals the value of a full-time job by a low wage earner. Care for three children equals the value of a high-salary job. The political ambition behind this study was to prove that the "day care for all" system was profitable to society, since a parent, on average, leaves only 1.4 children for day care and thus could produce a higher value in a paid job. The fact that these data also meant that a parent, who cares for two or three kids in their home contributes fully to society, was not, and still is not recognized in Sweden. Consequently, a protesting mother of six was forced to leave her kids for day care, in spite of her pointing out how many persons needed to be healthy at the same time in order for her to be able to leave her home for work.
As is understood, individual preferences and values do not have much room in this system, and protesters gathered early against the intolerance of it. A large number of polls over the years indicate that about two out of every three people asked would prefer more freedom of choice. The Family Campaign collected 70 000 names of protest in the early 70s which was nonchalantly overlooked by the socialist government at the time, as are a number of protest organizations, which have continued to argue for freedom of choice.
However, in spite of many protesters and such polls, the socialists in power, supported by communists and "liberals", can continue to neglect all these calls for more freedom of choice, due to the fact that the "third societal power" - our media - is largely populated by people who benefit from the system. Our heavily subsidized day-care system is financed by about 5% of people's income as extra taxation, mostly hidden within municipal taxes and employment levies on employees. The system efficiently transfers wealth from those families, who thus pay some € 100 000 extra in taxes for day-care subsidies during their working life of some 30+40 years, to those parents who take advantage of the system by getting double incomes, pensions, social security and almost free child care. Naturally it is the latter type of people who work in our media. They may not be happy to allow into the "debate that counts" criticism against a system, which they themselves benefit from. Mothers working in media hate to get a bad conscience from hearing about problems with health, separation, concentration etc. reported about children in day care. Instead they give much larger newspaper headings to positive reports about the effect of public childcare. Already in 1979, Professor Jörgen Westerståhl in Gothenburg discovered that "the discrepancy between the picture given in the media and the true opinion is fascinating. The opinion which two thirds of the population hold, becomes, at least in the ether media, practically invisible". Recent examples of how leading media in Sweden favours the socialist day-care system is the largest daily, Dagens Nyheter, which on March 8 this year blatantly lied in its editorial, saying that a "homemaker does not contribute to the costs of day-care she chooses not to use". Thus this daily "forgets" the 30+40 working years during which the homemaker's family pays some 5% of its income as extra tax for the day-care subsidies to other families. The fourth largest daily in Sweden, Sydsvenskan, stated, on September 16, that in the choice between "Freedom of Choice" and "Equality", equality is more important, and by equality meaning the blueberry likeness between men's and women's lives. The same paper says in its editorial on November 1 that more important than parents' human right to choose education for their children is children's right to a general and objective education as provided by the government's secular education plan.
Thus, also the largest "liberal" newspapers like DN and Sydsvenskan and other leading media in Sweden put socialist doctrines above liberal values and human rights, thus helping to conserve a system which clearly, in many aspects, is in conflict with the rights defined in the European Convention of April 4 1950.
Protesters and victims of the Swedish system have also tried to get some cases to Strasbourg. In the case of the Kullman-Andersson family with two small kids in the city of Norrköping, the parents had finally given up trying to manage on what was left after tax of the truck-driving husband's wages. They asked the welfare authorities for an additional € 90 a month in order to come up to subsistence level. True to the political principle in Sweden, this request was turned down by the authorities, which instead offered the family two heavily subsidized municipal day-care places for their kids so that their mother could get a paid job. This in spite of this solution being very much more expensive for the taxpayers and not at all wanted by the family, who preferred to take care of their kids themselves. No other help was offered.
The case passed the Swedish administrative courts and went to the European Commission of Human Rights (appl. No 11776/85). The family's complaint was turned down by the Commission on the grounds that a state did not have "a general obligation to provide for financial assistance to individuals in order to enable one of two parents to stay at home to take care of children". In other words, the Commission said that one may not be a housewife at the taxpayers´ expense.
Now, the Swedish "family" policy is evidently so absurd that the foreign judges were unable to understand that the family's income would have been quite enough to support a housewife and the two kids had Mr. Andersson been allowed to keep some of the money he was forced to pay in taxes and that the taxpayers' net cost for the two day-care places would be some € 15 000 a year higher than the financial help asked for by the family.
Thus, with the help of false liberals and the nomenclatura in Swedish media, the Swedish day-care system survives in spite of an apparent majority of the population being against its intolerance, in spite of its conflict with human rights and in spite of a new, ongoing, parental uprising, collecting protesters' names on www.foraldraupproret.se, presently with some 40 000 names collected. The system may even survive a conservative-liberal election victory next year due to the "liberal" preference of blueberry equality over freedom of choice and the fact that the nomenclatura of our country benefits from the system, which keeps other families in poverty, neglects human rights and the signs of how many families and children suffer in our country.
When investments in "high-quality" public childcare and "what is best for children" are considered in other countries, it would be wise to avoid discrimination Swedish style by letting each family and parent get equal support and have their own say about what is "high quality" and "best for children", thus avoiding undue political/economic coercion. Something, that should have no room in a society respecting human rights.
Documents referred to in my article
|Copy Link||March 10, 2001|
Author Ann Crittenden asks a key question: If raising kids is so important, why does society punish stay-at-home moms economically?
So starts Mr. Farrell´s resume of her book, The Price of Motherhood in Business Week (2/3).
As long-time victims of a socialist society, we, writers of these lines, have an answer to that question: because stay-at-home moms and their families pose a threat to the collectivist upbringing of children. This answer can be verified in the writings of Marx and Engels.
Another answer is: because stay-at-home moms are not equal to men. This is the feminist and Swedish liberal party´s answer to the question. Thus the socialists and liberals in Sweden combine in the 'family' policy of having all adults working always and the children being brought up by the state.
Ann Crittenden sees our home country, Sweden, as one from which lessons can be learned. In Sweden stay-at-home moms are paid 75% of their salary for a year after a child's birth. And there is some right to reduce working hours for some years thereafter.
But if stay-at-home moms insist on staying at home more than the first year or abstain more than a certain small percentage from their income-generating work, they are punished that much harder by the state. Punished for not giving up their children to state-controlled collectivist upbringing when the child has reached an age when it is possible to communicate with it: The salary shrinks to zero, the only bread winner in the family is taxed heavily as a bachelor with no regard to the cost of the family. Pensions and medical-insurance payments are reduced, housing allowances are lower for that type of family than for a dual-income family with the same net income. And the right to a subsistence level of income is denied families where both spouses are not "at the disposal of the labour market".
In Sweden there is no practical possibility to stay at home with kids more the a couple of years - nothing like the 10-15 years that many would have wished. In Sweden there is no practical possibility to leave your children to private child care. And if one of the very few private day nurseries or schools would in fact exist in your neighbourhood, you would not have any after-tax money to pay for it.
So, Sweden provides a fine lesson. Not about how to reduce the punishment of stay-at-home moms, but about how effectively to reduce their number and their influence on the upbringing of their kids.
Krister & Sigrid Pettersson
|Copy Link||June 20, 1990|
We Swedes are the most highly taxed people in the world.
Our ruling politicians do not even stop their taxation at the poverty line. In fact, the family, as a unit for taxation and with important social functions, is not recognized at all. The very word "family" is erased from our statutes and official documents. The ruling political principle is that each adult shall support him-/herself while our politicians ("society") take care of the children and their education.
This family policy forms the base for the completely socialistic society and is clearly described as such in, for example, the Social-democratic Women's Union's programme Familjen i framtiden (The Family of the Future), published by Libers around 1971.
So, when the Kullman-Andersson family, with two small kids in the city of Norrköping, finally gave up trying to manage on what was left after tax of the truck-driving husband's wages, they asked the welfare authorities for an additional £60 a month in order to come up to subsistence level.
True to the ruling political principle, this request was turned down by the authorities, which instead offered the family two heavily subsidized municipal day-care places for their kids, so that their mother could get gainful employment.
In spite of this solution being much more expensive for the taxpayers, and not at all valued by the family, who preferred to take care of their kids themselves, no other help was offered The case passed the Swedish administrative courts and went to the European Commission of Human Rights in Strasbourg (11776/85). The family's complaint was turned down by the Commission on the grounds that a state did not have "a general obligation to provide for financial assistance to individuals in order to enable one of two parents to stay at home to take care of children."
In other words, the Commission said that one may not be a housewife at the taxpayers' expense. Now, the Swedish policy is evidently so absurd that the foreign judges were unable to understand that the family's income would have been quite enough to support a housewife and the two kids had Mr. Andersson been allowed to keep some of the money he was forced to pay in taxes, and that the taxpayers' net cost for the two day-care places would be some $20,000 a year higher than the support sought by the family. Two day-care places cost as much as a fulltime worker produces in his/her job. The small fee paid by a parent is often not enough to pay for the kid's food, diapers etc in the day-care centre. The bulk of the cost is subsidized by the taxpayers.
So when even the leader of the Swedish Conservative Party has his children in a state-run day-care centre, it is because he does not have much choice. In our country you cannot support a family on what is left even of a high salary, and in practice no alternatives to the municipal state-approved day-care centres (or state schools) are possible.
Frequent infections and changes of staff in municipal day-care centres are not considered good for the kids' physical and emotional health by many parents. Some parents may not approve of the collectivist and anti-capitalist views expressed in the study material Världen i förskolan (The Pre-school World) or the view of children's sex life in the book Barnens Kärleksliv (The Love-life of Children), both recommended for use in day-care centres by the National Board of Health and Welfare of Sweden.
We parents who have our own ideas about what is good child care are victims of this Swedish (anti)family policy and thus outcasts from the welfare society. We have no right to keep enough money for the survival of our families nor any right to social security, medical-insurance payments, pensions etc.
The new system proposed by the socialists in power, aimed at allowing parents to stay at home with their kids longer than a year, will further increase the discrimination as the financial compensation is based on one's position as income earner. If you have not had a well paid job six months before your pregnancy, an abortion is for many the only economic alternative.
Being a victim of this absurd policy, our family has fled the system five times in order to live and work abroad. Thus we have found that in countries rated dictatorships by Swedish politicians, the freedom to lead a life and choose childcare and schooling for your children as you prefer is far greater than in "democratic" Sweden.
One might ask how this inhumane and intolerant policy can continue in a western country. In the official SCB-inquiry about parents' need for child care, you can only check for municipal childcare, or nothing at all. Thus Mr. Lindqvist, the "Family Minister" of Sweden, can say that parents "do not want alternatives". However, surveys made by private polling institutes clearly indicate that two out of three parents would prefer a more equal distribution of today's day-care subsidies.
Mr. Lindqvist disregards these polls saying "the questions are wrongly put." And the state-controlled broadcasting corporation and the leftist and system-dependent Swedish journalists, let him get away with it. Thus the socialist day-care policy, backed by the Liberal Party's preference for blueberry equality between men and women, survives and is even expanded. Parents must join the queue for day-care places, as a result of ever increasing taxes needed to pay for functions previously handled by families themselves.
The Australian Embassy in Stockholm can testify that Sweden's family policy is a favourite reason for Swedish parents wanting to leave their intolerant country for a new and freer life.
We Swedish parents with ideas of our own about care and schooling of our children would not have to leave our country if the billions of child care subsidies were distributed equally and unconditionally, and if the tax system considered how many mouths must be fed on a family's income.
|Copy Link||April 20, 1989|
The following is a paper I (Jan-Ola Gustafsson) read to the attendants of a conference in New Orleans a few days ago, arranged by Human Life International:
Before I start talking about daycarism in Sweden, I'd like to present myself briefly. I am a Swedish citizen, aged 47, married and the father of two daughters, who are now 20 and 17 years. My wife is a trained day-care nurse who worked in that profession before we had our children. When we were expecting our first child my wife declared that she did not want to hand over our baby to a day-care institution. Please note that she, at that time, worked at such an institution. When I asked why, she told me that, from her own experience, no outsider is able to give a child the kind of love and attention a parent can - and the child needs.
I promised her to do my best to get the necessary income for us so that she could take care of our expected child. Our oldest daughter was born in 1969 and everything started well. But in 1971 the Swedish parliament passed a law that made it practically impossible for an average Swedish family to get by on a single salary. This tax reform was one of the milestones along the road to destruction of the traditional family in our country.
Our second daughter was born in 1972 and ever since we have struggled to survive as a family against an evil taxation system that discriminates against thousands of parents in my country just because they want to bring up their own children by themselves.
We managed to get through and a couple of years ago my wife returned to her old profession, trying to give some love to those children who so obviously need it.
With the exception of the Eastern block, Sweden is the country that has the longest tradition of governmental day care of small children. Before I start talking about today’s situation, I want to give you a summary of its historical background. This is important because a great number of countries around the world are just about to copy a day-care system that by now, after 25 years of experience, has turned out as one of the century's greatest social and economic failures.
The concept of day care for children, regardless of their parents' need for, or interest in, the service was created by Alva Myrdal during the 1930s. These ideas were outlined in a number of books she wrote with her husband Gunnar Myrdal (both of them were later awarded Nobel prizes but for other reasons). Like so many others of their generation, they often talked about "creating a new generation, people who better would fit into a new world order". In the early thirties they 'converted' to membership of the ruling party in Sweden and shortly afterwards were assigned to work out the blueprints for "the modern family and tomorrow's society".
The second world war temporary halted the construction of the "welfare state" in Sweden and the Myrdals spent most of that time in the USA. After the war, the time had come for the great experiment.
Sweden had not taken part in the war. The country's industry was operating at full speed and Sweden could sell everything it could produce. An expanding industry needed more workers and an intensive recruitment effort was launched among women who already during the war had been forced to work outside their homes while most men were in the forces.
The income taxation level was gradually ratcheted up, step by step, making the most common family constellation by then - the single-income family - unable to subsist. At the same time a several year long propaganda campaign started in the press and in other media, telling everyone that working for a salary was the most prestigious and respectable thing a citizen could do.
You can probably imagine the effect this massive propaganda campaign had on women who, throughout history, up to that point, had heard that traditional childcare and domestic work is the foundation for both present and future generations, as well as an investment in harmony and continuity.
Women of all ages, in ever growing numbers, lost their pride and self-confidence and succumbed to the new prescribed order.
Now, the ruling party (the Social Democrats) in Sweden continues with its programme for the future of society. The book I am holding in my hand is titled The family of the future. A socialist policy for the family. This book refers to children under the headline "Obstacles for the modern woman's emancipation". In another chapter it claims that the emotional, intellectual and material development of children should be the responsibility of the state. Young people in Sweden today find it quite normal to accept these guidelines and to act according to the intentions created by massive propaganda and the tax system. It is sad seeing educated and clever young parents so totally lack confidence and trust in their ability as parents.
You may ask yourself: how can this happen in a so-called free country?
The creators of the system have pulled off a clever combination of the "carrot-and-stick principle" and most people's thinking is concentrated upon money and competition with others in buying things that they call "living standard". Sweden is in many other respects an experimentation field in international banking and "mega-systems" for population registration and control. The country is rather vast, but has a population of only 8 million, not enough even to fill New York City. The education level is more even than in most other countries, and through a 500-years- old tradition, the normal Swede is programmed to accept dictates from the government without asking too many questions.
I have often noticed that foreigners who visit Sweden or immigrate to the country, very quickly and clearly see things that the average Swede doesn't see, because he doesn't trust his own opinion or his own conclusions.
About a year ago, the Swedish parliament passed a bill that will guarantee every child as of 1,5 years of age a place in public day care. According to the above-mentioned policy programme this "legal right of the child" will probably be granted to half-year-olds in the next decade.
But isn't it good for people to have access to high-quality day care? Of course it is, for those who, for whatever reason neither can nor want to take care of their children by themselves during the first important years, there must be alternatives. But the Swedish system is a totalitarian one. There is only one alternative that is forced upon everyone by means of the tax and day-care- subsidy systems. Enormous amounts of money go to the day-care system while nothing goes to those who want to take care of their own children. They even have to carry a heavier tax burden than those who adapt to the system!
The American congress has recently debated a bill, S 1885, the so called ABC-bill - Act for Better Child Care. This is almost an exact copy of the Swedish system that is planned to be forced upon a much larger society. The decline of the USA, with its already large budget deficit, will be sped up by this bill.
Why not listen to a prominent Swedish professor of economics, Bo Södersten. Last year he caused big headlines in the press when he resigned as member of Parliament (for the ruling party) in protest against what he considers "the perverted economic thinking" behind the Swedish day-care system.
Sweden is currently in social turmoil. Violence at schools results in parents and teachers being threatened and assaulted. The subway in Stockholm (which is only one tenth of the size of New York's) is constantly vandalized by youngsters who spray paint the wagons and rip the seats with knives. Every year the repair and cleaning costs reach the equivalent of 5 million dollars. What will the future be in a country where old people do not dare to go out into the streets even in daytime?
Another example from the Swedish experimentation field is the recently passed bill that grants farm animals a "bill of rights". Most of you have probably heard of the Swedish author Astrid Lindgren, whose books have been translated into dozens of languages. Upon her initiative, a campaign for "more human conditions" for farm animals (hens, pigs and cows) has resulted in a law that will put thousands of Swedish farmers out of business for not affording to rebuild their animal buildings to meet the new regulations.
In October 1988 even the New York Times wrote about this. "What makes a nation grant its animals better and more rights than its human children? Should not other countries thoroughly examine a country and a so-called democracy that denies its parents and children the possibility to live together during the first important years while it, at the same time, grants pigs and hens legal right to enough space and proper treatment?"
What will happen in the future? What happens for example when children, who were regarded as "obstacles" by their parents', grow up and take over the running of our country? Will they look upon their ageing parental generation as obstacles because they themselves didn't get enough tender loving care when they grew up?
We can already observe a tendency towards increased self-centeredness and decreased interest in love, helpfulness and in sharing other people’s burdens.
When you, after this conference, return to your home country and resume your role in the public debate about the future of the family, please ask yourself: Who will benefit from a system that already has turned out to be a social and economic disaster after 25 years of practice in Sweden? I have lived in this system for many years. I and my family have suffered economically and mentally, from the campaign carried out by the State against those of us who consider it a basic human right - and duty - to take care of our own children. I have studied the system from all possible aspects and can see no winner but this:
A modern secular state, which gradually transforms its citizens into accepting a totalitarian system. Without pride and self-confidence, depending on social welfare grants, this new type of citizen does not dare, nor know how to, change the situation. If nothing is done in the countries where this process is about to begin, be ready to say goodbye to democracy, liberty and a prosperous future for free individuals who are living according to God's commandments and His intentions for Man.
Aren't there enough problems to solve in the world today? Why create both emotional and economic problems on such a large scale as the above-mentioned ABC bill entails? Who will benefit from weakening nations instead of strengthening them?
A nation's best asset is sound and happy people coming from strong and well-functioning families. Every society stands or falls with its families. The family reflects the situation of society. Destroy and weaken the family, and you will destroy society. Please help stop this destructive process while it is still possible!
Thank you for your attention and God bless.