An American living in Sweden tweeted about living in a socialist country, and it sounds pretty awesome
On Wednesday, December 20th, 2017, Congress passed the controversial tax bill that has many scrambling to understand what will happen to their hard-earned dollars. A sociologist named Alison Gerber, an American now living in Sweden, posted a thought-provoking Twitter thread about the reality of living in a socialist country and why she’s okay with paying higher taxes.
The tax structure in the U.S., and specifically the GOP’s ideal tax plan, is based on the philosophical idea of the ~American Dream~: Hold onto more of your own money, decide what you want to do it, move ahead financially and professionally, and achieve your own dreams. The problem is, who is actually doing that? Americans are desperately clinging to their disposable income and using that to pay for health insurance premium rates in the triple and quadruple digits.
In a lengthy thread, Gerber laid out her anecdotal experiences with health care, education, child care, and the transit systems in Sweden where the tax rates are higher, and the quality of life appears higher as well.
Gerber described paying no more than $130 a year for doctor’s visits, and recalled the group of physical therapists who provided a free house call the day after she broke her foot.
She described having a kid in a “hippy dippy hospital” of her choice that served vegan food and said that every doctor or hospital visit surrounding her pregnancy was all “totally free.”
She describes the $125 a month “child allowance” she receives via direct deposit from the government simply for having a kid, and says full-time childcare tops out at $107 a month. false false
Gerber also laid out the major philosophical differences between Sweden and the United State’s tax structure.
"We now are lucky to have two reasonably OK paying middle-classish jobs; we also pay high taxes," Gerber tweeted. "We make less on paper, and we net less each month - far less.We basically don't have a ton of disposable income each month after the bills are paid. But that's the thing: we had some 'disposable' income back in the US... that we used to pay for life's necessities... for ourselves. We weren't lifting everyone else's boat, we were furiously paddling our own little raft...We don't have much disposable income [in Sweden]. And we basically don't think about it.... ever. Because we're not desperately fighting to stay afloat, and the people around us aren't, either."
But here’s the real kicker. Gerber describes living in a country where she doesn’t feel constantly stressed that she’ll bankrupt herself if something unfortunate were to happen to herself or her family.
“It’s hard to explain what it feels like when that stress is lifted from a community, from a city. But you can feel it.”
Read her whole thread here.