Leif Pagrotsky on Swedish Social Benefits
Pagrotsky: Most countries have various programs in place for retirement, for what happens when you get sick, what happens when you get unemployed, but what is different in our system is that all of these are extremely broad based. That means that if you become unemployed, you leave one company and you take a job in another one. You do not lose your retirement benefits. In contrast, for instance, to the autoworkers in America today. If your company goes bankrupt, you can still rely on a steady stream of income to finance your food on the table, your medical bills, also when you become 80 years old. That provides a security, a safety net. That means that the fear of unemployment is not that violent. The fear of change is not that strong. And in my experience is that that makes our economy more flexible or adaptable and that there is a general sense that globalization works for the benefit of most people and for the country as a whole in spite of the fact that it brings change for many people. The burden of change is shared by all. It’s not put entirely on the shoulders of the few individuals that are affected by closures.
Broad-based social support greatly reduces fear and uncertainty in the Swedish economy, Leif Pagrotsky says.
These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.
We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.
Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.
For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.
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