Sweden and the Damage Done by Free-Market Reforms

09 Jan

For the free-market system of K-12 education, profits count more than education and students.

Diane Ravitch's blog

Larry Cuban turned his blog over to retired Swedish teacher Sara Hjelm, a reader of his blog, who took the opportunity to warn American readers about the dangers of the free-market reforms adopted in Sweden.

Sweden adopted the “reforms” in 1992, allowing families to choose any school, public or private, and send their child there with his/her taxpayer dollars. It is the “backpack full of cash” theory behind the demand for school choice, as advocated here by Betsy DeVos and Jeanne Allen of the Center for Education Reform. The voucher system has led to a growing industry of private, for-profit schools, called “free schools.” Two of the companies that run “free schools” are listed on the stock exchange. They are comparable to our charter schools.

Hjelm writes:

The huge private for profit school companies exist on all these levels, competing for student vouchers. Largest part is in the upper secondary…

View original post 321 more words


Posted by on January 9, 2021 in Uncategorized


21 responses to “Sweden and the Damage Done by Free-Market Reforms

  1. ragnarsbhut

    January 18, 2021 at 16:11

    Lloyd Lofthouse, how many people are starving under Communist dictatorships? More than under a Capitalist system.

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      January 18, 2021 at 19:16

      More ignorance from RanarsBhut.

      There are no Communist Dictatorships left on the planet so you are talking about history that happened in Russia and China more than 50 years ago. Get over it. The past is the past.

      Stalin and Mao were dictators by definition. Stalin deliberately engineered the starvation of millions and Mao made some horrible mistakes that caused people to starve in China during the last great famine in China, a country with a history of annual famines going back more than 2,000 years. After what’s known as Mao’s Great Famine, there hasn’t been another famine in China, a first in China’s long recorded history.

      • ragnarsbhut

        January 18, 2021 at 19:19

        True. I was out-of-line for the insults that I sent your way. However, I was only making generic statements regarding the issue of inheritable wealth before the war of words started. So I will offer full apologies for my comments.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse

        January 19, 2021 at 09:09

        To inherit wealth, there must be wealth to inherit.

        How do you measure when someone is wealthy?

        I don’t think I am wealthy. When I die, the only thing my daughter will inherit is the equity in my house if there is any equity left to inherit. Because at most the equity might be a couple of hundred thousand dollars, and she won’t have to pay a hefty inheritance tax like the children of billionaires and multi-millionaires should pay.

      • ragnarsbhut

        January 19, 2021 at 09:15

        Lloyd Lofthouse, in my one comment where I spoke to your point about inheritance, my statement was generic. I did not change the subject in entirety.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse

        January 19, 2021 at 11:39

        Curious to go beyond “generic” I Googled the topic of inheritance taxes and learned that only six states have one and thanks to TD, the federal inheritance tax is almost non-existent.

        Only six states impose an inheritance tax. So if you’re inheriting something from a person who lived in any of the following places, your inheritance might be subject to state taxes:

        New Jersey

      • ragnarsbhut

        January 19, 2021 at 11:54

        Lloyd Lofthouse, not that it was required, however, I did not mind the history lesson of Dwight D. Eisenhower’s top tax rate.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse

        January 19, 2021 at 12:45

        How many Americans actually paid DDW’s top 90% tax rate?

        “For the duration of Eisenhower’s presidency (January 20, 1954 – January 20, 1961), that rate affected individuals making $200,000 or more per year or couples making $400,000 and above per year. In 2015 dollars, that’s roughly $1.7 million for an individual and $3.4 million for a couple.”

        “Average family income in 1950 was $3,300, or $200 higher than in 1949 … ”

        In 1950, there were 40 million families (groups of two or more related persons), in the United States.

        “Nine million families in the United States received money incomes of $5,000 or more in 1950, and 10 million had incomes under $2,000. The remaining 21 million families were in the $2,000-to-$5,000 range.”

        The average income in 1955 was $3,301.44. That’s a long way from the $200,000 where the 90% tax rate kicked in for an individual.

        I started working when I was 15 and I retired from the workforce when I turned 60. In those 45 years, I never earned more than five figures and didn’t even hit $90k.

        Even in 2019, only 10.3% of household income was $200k or over.

        Again, how many Americans actually paid that 90% tax rate back when Eisenhower was president? Considering that most Americans never earn even close to the amount where the 90% tax rate kicked in back then, how many Americans do you think cared if someone earing that kind of money had to pay that much tax for every dollar they earned over $200k or $400k for a family?

      • ragnarsbhut

        January 19, 2021 at 12:46

        Lloyd Lofthouse, after all of the deductions, credits, loopholes, exemptions and the fact that the capital gains tax was lower, the effective tax rate was lower.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse

        January 19, 2021 at 12:58

        I don’t have the link, but some time ago, I read that the effective rate for the top bracket back then was closer to 70% than 90%.

      • ragnarsbhut

        January 19, 2021 at 13:07

        Lloyd Lofthouse, If I recall correctly, the top tax rate under Jimmy Carter was 70%. No system of economics is truly perfect, however, what would be a good way to have some degree of a free market system but also have some reasonably regulations? Who has the best ideas in that regard from your way of thinking?

      • Lloyd Lofthouse

        January 20, 2021 at 10:12

        Since I don’t follow any “economists” and their hair-brained, often off-the-wall theories that are often junk science, I have no idea who has the best ideas?

        Maybe what countries like Finland are doing is the best way to have a free market system while making sure all the people have medical care, all the people have enough food to eat, and all the people have a place to live is the best method.

      • ragnarsbhut

        January 20, 2021 at 10:19

        Lloyd Lofthouse, I will do more in-depth studies on Finland’s system.

      • Lloyd Lofthouse

        January 20, 2021 at 10:31

        Not just Finland but what’s known as Scandinavian ‘Socialism,’ or better yet, the Nordic Model of social democracy.

        “Scandinavia and the Nordic countries can be best described as social democracies. Effectively, they’re democratic countries in which its citizens are well cared for.

        “Some refer to this as democratic socialism, though this is far from correct. Some economists refer to it as cuddly capitalism, contrasting with what is seen as cut-throat capitalism in other Western countries.” …

        “Firstly, they are all free-market capitalist countries. This fact gets missed by a lot of people, but their economies are fully open and trade globally like most countries in the world.

        “The way they differ is mostly in their welfare state. Social security in Scandinavia is more generous than pretty much anywhere else. Why? Well for that we need to delve into the history books. …

      • ragnarsbhut

        January 20, 2021 at 10:47

        Lloyd Lofthouse, thank you for the link. I know some things about the system in Norway, however, I really enjoyed this piece.

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      January 18, 2021 at 19:19

      “Condemn communists’ cruelties, but capitalism has its own terrible record”

      • ragnarsbhut

        January 18, 2021 at 19:20

        No system is perfect.

  2. ragnarsbhut

    February 7, 2021 at 19:01

    Lloyd Lofthouse, I know that there is a difference between Social Democracy and pure Socialism. Cut-throat capitalism is unappealing to me. Cuddly capitalism is a phrase I have not heard of to the best of my knowledge.

    • Lloyd Lofthouse

      February 7, 2021 at 20:05

      The first time I heard about Cuddly Capitalism is when I read that recent piece about what Amsterdam is doing. It was new to me, too. One thing for sure, traditional capitalism cannot keep doing what it has been doing for centuries, get rich anyway possible. The environment can’t survive that kind of thinking/behavior becaise our species will become as extinct as the dinosaurs.

      • ragnarsbhut

        February 8, 2021 at 05:50

        Lloyd Lofthouse, I have a libertarian-leaning inclination politically. However, I do like the idea that you put forward regarding doing what Finland is doing in terms of having a free market system while making sure all the people have medical care, all the people have enough food to eat, and all the people have a place to live is the best method. While I politically consider myself to be a libertarian, I do not condone anarchy or chaos.

  3. ragnarsbhut

    February 8, 2021 at 06:04

    Lloyd Lofthouse, here is a video for you: I do not condone crony capitalism. Having said that, I do like the idea of cuddly capitalism the way you describe it.


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