What is Different About Sweden?

By May 26, 2020 Commentary

Everyone wants to ignore the obvious success of Sweden’s approach to the epidemic.  Because the country’s reaction has been so sensible, the usual ostriches (Not only do these people stick their heads in the sand to avoid the obvious, they wear blindfolds while doing it. Wouldn’t want to see any unpleasant facts.) have been making excuses for why that approach wouldn’t have worked elsewhere.  The main one is that Swedes have an unusual trust in their government and the advice it gives; and that certainly isn’t true elsewhere, especially the United States.  This is the most laughable argument ever.  Sweden’s approach works because the government trusts the people to use their own sound judgment, based on complete and accurate information, about the risk they face and how to protect themselves.

Contrast that to Minnesota and most states, which are using incredibly detailed orders telling people and businesses exactly how they have to do everything.  There is no trust at all in people, no recognition of individual rights.  Everything has to be mandated and decreed, apparently because people are too stupid to figure things out for themselves.  When this is the attitude of government, what kind of reaction do you expect to get in return from a large segment of the population?   Resentment and anger and disobedience.

If  all the orders were removed today, as they have been in Wisconsin, here is what would happen.  There is a segment of people who, whether they understand the risk or not, will go about business as usual.  There is a segment of people who will have an informed appreciation of risk and generally go about business as usual.  There is a segment that will accurately understand that they may have higher risk and will protect themselves accordingly.  There is a segment of fearful ninnies who are eager to obey anything anyone tells them and who will cower in their basements even long after there may have been a vaccine.  And, even for the last segment, that’s okay.  I trust people to make their decisions, informed or not.  That is what self-responsibility is, that is what democracy is and that is what freedom is.   And in my experience, most people will make the right decision for themselves, and when most people make the right decisions for themselves, then society gets the best overall outcome.

So how about our governments show a little trust in us.

Leave a Reply