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Balanced Fare: We Report, You Deride

Saturday, May 04, 2002


But how do you put a price tag on liberty? Or on the Swedish Bikini Team?

From a pre-election report released by the Swedish right wing opposition party, we learn that:

"Swedes, usually perceived in Europe as a comfortable, middle class lot, are poorer than African Americans, the most economically deprived group in the United States, a Swedish study showed on Saturday.

"Weak growth means that Sweden has lost greatly in prosperity compared with the United States," HUI's President Fredrik Bergstrom and chief economist Robert Gidehag said.

International Monetary Fund data from 2001 show that U.S. GDP per capita in dollar terms was 56 percent higher than in Sweden while in 1980, Swedish GDP per capita was 20 percent higher.

Black people, who have the lowest income in the United States, now have a higher standard of living than an ordinary Swedish household," the HUI economists said.

If Sweden were a U.S. state, it would be the poorest measured by household gross income before taxes, Bergstrom and Gidehag said. "This meant that Swedes stood "below groups which in the Swedish debate are usually regarded as poor and losers in the American economy," Bergstrom and Gidehag said.

Between 1980 and 1999, the gross income of Sweden's poorest households increased by just over six percent while the poorest in the United States enjoyed a three times higher increase, HUI said.



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