Here is a photo of a young man from Finland holding up a letter he wrote ala the style here in the United States recently of messages from the 99%. But this one is different. He is not telling us about his hardships due to a poor economy and failing government. Instead he tells us about how he has been watching Americans suffer and that he feels horrible for us because this is not the way of life in Finland. The letter is hard to read, even in full size, so here it is typed out:
I am a 21 year-old student from Finland.
It makes me sad to hear how Americans are suffering.
Here, our taxes are high but we all benefit from them.
I grew up in the countryside and always had access to the same services that people in the city did.
My university is known around the world in my field and my education is not only free, but my government pays ME to go to university. Everyone has a right to this.
Everyone has a right to the best healthcare, there is no such thing as health insurance.
I am young now and able to take risks and pursue my passion because I will never have to worry about starving if I loose my job or my business fails.
I know that when I am old my state pension will be there for me so that I can enjoy my retirement.
We call this the Nordic Model, and under it we live well and our businesses are among the most competitive in the world. I am grateful to have been born a citizen of a country that cares for its people, and I hope that one day the USA will take example from us.
I am the 99%.
He is the 99% of Finland and proud of it because he living in a country where the 99% are prosperous and happy. Now, before anyone comments that this is not real, no, I cannot prove it is. But in enlarging the photo, on the wall in the background is a map of Finland, his t-shirt has a letter with an accent above it, and his English is good, but very basic. Grammatically and word usage is correct, but simple as when English is not their first language and is not being used everyday. Truthfully, though, his English is better than many American-born citizens…. Anyway, this is enough proof for me to feel this is legit. Even if it isn’t, that’s not important. This really should make us think. It did me….
Now, first off, talk about embarrassing! A 21-year old man feels sorry for the people of the “almighty and powerful United States of America.” This is more humiliating than some foreign citizen laughing or throwing angry remarks towards us. Other countries are now beginning to pity us. Do you hear that, Mr Congressman? Ms. Representative? Your lack of doing what is in the best interest of the people of our country is being noticed by young, regular citizens of a country the size of one of our states and I’m sure with no more than half the population of that state.
And even more importantly, why can our government not learn from the successes of other countries? Obviously what we have been doing here is NOT WORKING! Obama has implemented his health care plan, known as Obamacare, and those people and parties opposed to Obama and/or Democrats are twisting the facts in order to mislead people into believing that this system will hurt rather than help the people of this country.
Did you know that Obamacare is modeled after one of the most successful health care systems in the world, which is Switzerland? There are cons, as any plan will have pros and have cons. But the downfalls of the healthcare in Switzerland are minimal when compared to the benefit their system offers to the people.
Briefly, here are a few facts about Finland, which came up in my search result when I googled asking if Finland was a socialist country (I did this because so many people (Tea-Baggers) treat the word and concept of “socialism” as though it is death at our doorstep).
Because means of production are not state owned, Finland cannot be considered to be a socialist country. However, being a Nordic welfare country, Finland has socialist characters in the form a large public sector.
Finland has a thriving private sector, including e.g. worlds biggest mobile phone manufacturer Nokia. This has made Finland into a very prosperous country; according to World Bank (2008) Finland is the 10th richest country in the world, measured by nominal GDP per capita.
Finland’s public sector is large, comprising about half of the GDP. Practically all health and education services are provided by the public sector. Even though this model could be called socialistic, it is very effective. High quality health care is available for all, and this costs only 7,5% of GPD (e.g. in USA the costs is 16%). Also education is free, and the quality of education especially in primary and secondary schools is among the best in the world.
Because of the large public sector, tax rates in Finland are high. Typically employees pay approximately 30% income tax, but the rate is heavily progressive, and can be much less with low salaries. Also the mandatory payments to various pension and other funds by both employer and employee account for about one fifth of actual salary. Additionally general VAT is 23% and there are also corporate taxes.
To summarize, the Finnish economical model is Nordic welfare country.
Both the boy in this photo who wrote the letter and this summary states that the taxes are high, that “typically employees pay approximately 30% income tax.” Ummmm… that’s what I pay now when combining Federal, State and SSI into one. Sooo… what’s the problem here??? Why can we not learn from the successes of others???? WHY?
Anyone care to move to Finland with me? I will even buy you a reindeer when we get there.
Don’t assume I’m joking….