Pay Attention to Sweden!

Rioting in Sweden is the sort of phrase that sounds as if it should be oxymoronic, like ‘Evil in Candyland’ or ‘Violence among Episcopalians’.  And indeed, the rioting seems rather tame by American or British standards–cars set ablaze, stones hurled at first responders.  In the New York of my childhood, not so far from where I grew up, there were neighborhoods that used to call this sort of thing ‘Saturday night’.  


It looks to me as if the great task of the next few decades will be to find ways to employ all the people on the margins productively, and with dignity.  But this is not, mostly, the question that most public policy debates are engaged in addressing.  That question is hard, and no one has a good answer, so instead we debate technical questions about stimulus multipliers and minimum wages, and have the occasional knock down, drag out fight about who has a moral right to how much cash.  There’s nothing wrong with those debates, and I myself have been a spirited participant.  But the harder questions have much more important answers.

Today’s insight from Megan McArdle. You’ll be rewarded for reading the whole essay.

5 thoughts on “Pay Attention to Sweden!

  1. As a Swede, witnessing the daily reports about these riots in media the last two or so weeks, it needs to be said that the rioting has marginally to do with young people (immigrants or otherwise) being unhappy about society and it’s lack of opportunity.

    What this is about is out of control teenagers who just like to wreak havoc when they know that it will show up in the news and social media afterwards. They laugh, giggle and have fun doing it.

    It really is that simple.

    I’m not saying that there aren’t structural short comings in the Swedish society that badly need to be adressed; segregation, youth unemployment etc all need to be tackled. But not because some loose cannons decide to start burning cars, but because there are people every day who suffer in silent.

    That’s my take on the situation.

    / Mika

    • I am, yes. Been living here all my life more or less.

      Always dreamt about living in the U.S though…maybe some day, when i’m done with my degree and so on.

  2. I usually agree with Megan McArdle but am disappointed with this latest column. The economic opportunity argument has been used by the European leftist elites to obfuscate the undeniable underlying reason for this violence and these riots: unassimilated Muslim populations. Massive Muslim immigration followed by permissiveness regarding their behavior and toleration of radical imams preaching hatred and contempt for, and violence against the host population is what leads to these riots. Rape has now become epidemic in Scandanavian countries and nearly all of it is rape of indigenous woman by Muslim men.

    The same is true in Britain. And the same excuses are made for the rioters. The same excuses were, in fact, made for the savages who recently.beheaded a British soldier.

    These unassimilated Muslim populations remain so because they want to be unassimilated. It’s like an ichneumon wasp laying her eggs in the caterpillar of another species. It doesn’t lay the eggs in order to help the caterpillar or to become like the caterpillar. It plans to eat the caterpillar’s substance and remain itself.

  3. Some parts of Sweden are most sensitive to imported muslim terror and other places less so. If one lives far from the burning cars, raped girls, and intimidation, it is easy to yawn and change the station to a porn channel.

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