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'The country we called Sweden no longer exists'

'The country we called Sweden no longer exists'

Published: 06 Aug 2013 15:10 GMT+02:00
Updated: 06 Aug 2013 15:10 GMT+02:00

Tax cuts and the sale of the health care system to venture capitalists signify a new, dangerous spirit of egoism that threatens to ruin Sweden's once cherished welfare state, warns Swedish rapper, actor, and writer Dogge Doggelito.

The country we called Sweden no longer exists. The safe, positive, and fair Sweden. A country where one had the right to housing, education, and quality public health care.

What has happened?

We have a regime in this country that doesn't want the best for us. Our common assets have been plundered. All of us who pay taxes in Sweden have been robbed of the present, the future, and our social security. The worst is that the looting continues every day and nothing is being done to stop it. One would hope that those who built this country would want to stand up for those achievements.

We were a country that was unique in the world. We had no poverty, no beggars on the streets, and a future for our children. We represented a hope and an example for the rest of the world. Look, here was a country where things were just! Children were prioritized, with nurseries, parental benefits, and good public schools. Free education up to university level. Free dental care for all children to age 19. You could go to the housing office and get a home the same day. Health care was cheap and readily available. There was a spirit of solidarity in society.

And how do things look now?

The worst thing is that people's thinking has changed. Now egoism reigns supreme. Grab what you can for yourself while there's still something left. Soon our common resources will be depleted. They're being sold and our money moved to tax havens in Jersey or Guernsey. It is a matter of robbing the entire population. Our health care is being run into the ground in order to be able to say, "Look, the county council (landstinget) isn't working, now we need to have private health care!" Private equity firms are queuing up down in Europe to take over the Swedish health care system.

Once upon a time we had a postal service; we had pharmacies where you could get your medicine, we had a telecom administration that kept track of all the cords. Now we do not know where the post is: it comes twice a day, with one of the deliveries done by a private firm. The old Telecommunications Authority (Televerket) is now called Telia and does business with dictators and can't keep track of all cords. If you need your medicine, it may be hard to find. The usual pharmacy cannot carry as much in stock because they don't know how much is used. There are so many pharmacies, which might not have the medicine you need.

We had a country that cared about children, the elderly, the sick, and the unemployed. There was social insurance that guaranteed a secure existence, even if everything else fell apart. There were resources to take care of the people who needed help. That's why we pay taxes, because we want to have that security. When you cut taxes in three, four or five rounds, it's obvious there won't be enough money. If you also dole out profits and dividends to so-called welfare sector enterprises, there's not going to be much left. These businesses also pay no tax in Sweden for their profits, so nothing goes back into the system. One day everything that's been built up over many years by smart people who wanted something good with our country will simply fall apart.

Therefore, I think it is time for political parties to take responsibility before our democracy is completely eroded. Listen to the voters! We must say NO to profits in the welfare sector and I urge everyone to vote so we can put an end to the ruination of our country and we can start building up our Sweden again - as we want it, after all this devastation, and with hope of a better future!

Dogge Doggelito was born Douglas León in the south Stockholm suburb of Alby and was a founding member of the Swedish rap group The Latin Kings and has appeared in numerous Swedish television shows. He considers himself a Christian and has been an avid anti-racism campaigner.

This article was originally published in Swedish in the Aftonbladet newspaper.

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