What the Demise of Saab Says About the Swedish Welfare State
The distinction between the social security structure in the United States and Sweden gives uncanny insight into why Sweden has the option of saying "no" to Saab's urgent need for a bailout.
Saab, like almost all of the other automakers around the globe, has hit hard times, but unlike most of the governments around the world, Stockholm has refused to bail the car "born from jets" out, a move that could cause significant unemployment across southwest Sweden's industrial belt.
In a recent Times piece reporter and Big Think guest Sarah Lyall examines the impact that a collapse of Saab would have on the small industrial city of Trollhattan, where almost all residents are directly or indirectly effected by the fortunes of their local industry. Enterprise minister Maud Olofsson recently said “The Swedish state is not prepared to own car factories,” in sharp contrast to the path that the United States has gone down with General Motors and Chrysler.
General Motors is the parent company of Saab's automobile division. But the Swedes should not anticipate any aid coming in from across the Atlantic. GM's decision to pull out of Saab completely by the end of the year pretty much assures that.
But the Saab case poses an interesting opportunity to contrast two governments. Former Swedish Finance Minister Leif Pagrotsky gave some insight into why the two countries have taken different approaches to bailing out companies when he spoke with Big Think. In describing the differences between US social security and unemployment benefits and those of Sweden, Pagrotsky makes the point that in Sweden, if your company goes bankrupt you can still rely on a steady stream of income to provide for food, medical bills, and old age, meaning the fear of unemployment is not that violent, the fear of change not that strong, the economy is more adaptable to economic shifts.
Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.
No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.
A completely unexpected discovery beneath the ice.
- Scientists find remains of a tardigrade and crustaceans in a deep, frozen Antarctic lake.
- The creatures' origin is unknown, and further study is ongoing.
- Biology speaks up about Antarctica's history.
Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, explains his plan for success.
- Jeff Bezos had a clear vision for Amazon.com from the start.
- He was inspired by a statistic he learned while working at a hedge fund: In the '90s, web usage was growing at 2,300% a year.
- Bezos explains why books, in particular, make for a perfect item to sell on the internet.
It's one factor that can help explain the religiosity gap.
- Sociologists have long observed a gap between the religiosity of men and women.
- A recent study used data from several national surveys to compare religiosity, risk-taking preferences and demographic information among more than 20,000 American adolescents.
- The results suggest that risk-taking preferences might partly explain the gender differences in religiosity.
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.