Tuesday, September 04, 2007

The Swedish Right Wing

Last year, you were almost certainly riveted by parliamentary elections in Sweden, where a center-right (or, as they put it, "centre-right") coalition came to power, displacing the more left-leaning socialist parties for the first time in a very long time. Well, those free-marketers are going nuts! Listen to this bit of Ayn Randian supply-side craziness:

Parents who want to stay at home to look after their young children will be entitled to extra money from their local councils, under new proposals unveiled by the government on Tuesday. The money will be offered to parents with children aged between 1 and 3 who do not make use of subsidized childcare. The manifesto proposed either a taxed benefit of up to 4,000 kronor per month* or an untaxed benefit of up to 3,000 kronor* per month. Parents receiving the benefit will not have to stop working entirely.
Inevitably, given the brutal nature of Swedish politics, the critics have their knives out, denouncing the proposal as too Norwegian (I'm serious!) and not generous enough.

(*4,000 kronor is about $580; 3,000 is about $440.)