Sweden is not the model

There is a lot of conflicting information about Sweden.  Some claim that “open” Sweden has no higher infection and death rates than its neighbors, a claim contradicted by this report.

Others taunting the “open” Swedish model ignore that, according to the Swedish Riksbank, de facto the Swedish economy is closed. Sweden has experienced a sharper drop in first quarter GDP than the US, with the Swedish economy down 11%.  The Riksbank’s estimates are a 70 percent decline in restaurants and cafes, a 90% decline in cinema, sports, and other crowd events. a 40% decline in car sales, a 23% fall in exports, a 30% decline in shoes and clothes purchases, a 75% drop in Swedish recreational travel.

The “open” Swedish model is a bet on herd immunity which at our present state of knowledge is merely an assumption.

Still others ignore population densities.  What might succeed in a low density area would produce a different outcome in high density New York City.

It appears that arguments reflect the authors’ preferences, not the facts.

Some people think the virus is a hoax concocted to serve various agendas.  Others think the threat is overblown and that the response is a result of fear and panic.  Others understand that little is known about the virus, are confused by disputes about how to treat it, and puzzled by its differing effects on individuals.  The claim that it doesn’t affect children is at odds with reports from pediatric hospitals.

President Trump and the neoconservatives are determined to blame China for manufacturing the virus in the Wuhan laboratory despite the fact that the US knew about the research and contributed to its financing, which was approved by Dr. Fauci himself.  So when Trump and the warmonger neocons point at China the finger also points at the US.

Copyright © 2020 Paul Craig Roberts

Dr. Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy and associate editor of the Wall Street Journal. He was columnist for Business Week, Scripps Howard News Service, and Creators Syndicate. He has had many university appointments. His internet columns have attracted a worldwide following. Roberts’ latest books are The Failure of Laissez Faire Capitalism and Economic Dissolution of the West and How America Was Lost and The Neoconservative Threat to World Order.

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