I understand that the Swedish tax system is very different from that in the US. I understand that the views of that tax system are very different than they are in the US. I do not understand how government subsidies can be used to fund right-wing extremist newspapers under the guise of diversity.
This week it was revealed that a newspaper published by the far-right xenophobic Nationaldemokraterna, has been granted nearly two million Swedish kronor in 2010. You know, so that the Swedish people have access to the diverse opinions that can be found throughout the newspaper industry.
Nationaldemokraterna would have you believe that immigrants are the root of all evil in Sweden, and that they are systematically infiltrating the Swedish state so as to eradicate Swedishness. Of course they are nut jobs. Which is exactly why they should not be receiving government subsidies for printing their nut job ideas and distributing it to the few peanut brained nut jobs who agree. The same can be said for all those left-wing nut jobs who are receiving the same subsidies. Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, they aren’t getting the same amount of press in the press about their presstöd. Of course, that also means they sneak by and keep cashing the check.
Presstödsnämnden, the group responsible for doling out government grants, is seen as a non-partisan group. It could care less whether you believe all immigrants are evil or whether you believe all Swedes are evil. As long as you meet their criteria as a legitimate newspaper, you can receive tax payer money.
The EU isn’t a big fan of this either. Not because of the potential political issues, but because of the anti-competitive undertones of supporting businesses with government subsidies. Subsidies are used throughout the world; in the US agriculture is often heavily subsidized resulting in some serious inefficiencies at times.
To subsidize newspapers doesn’t just open the industry up to inefficiencies, but also to government involvement, no matter how non-partisan it may be. Not only that, but instead of a lack of demand for this kind of nonsense, Nationaldemokraterna are given a stage to perform on. With tacit support from the government and in turn, the unknowing or unwilling Swedish people. And that’s not good.
I have written a few times about immigration. I believe that immigration reform is important, that an open discussion about immigration is key to the ongoing success of the Swedish nation. I believe that too often, any discussion about immigration devolves into two extreme views, one referring to any attempt to discuss the issue as racists, and one actually being racists. Unfortunately, the majority then find themselves screaming into nothingness while all they hear are extremist views in response.
Welcome to Sweden. And government subsidies.
Subscribe to a Swedish American in Sweden