Why Finland is the Happiest Country – Author Anu Partanen Explains, on Bernie Sanders Voices



a lot of it has to do with something that too many Americans especially can sound a little counterintuitive it's about freedom to make choices we tend to think often that the United States is truly the land of freedom Americans really value and appreciate freedom and for a long time it's absolutely true that Americans have been the freest people in the world and then we look at Nordic countries and we might think that well they're kind of those socialist nanny states where people sacrifice their freedom for their common good but I actually think it's the other way around the Nordic countries today offer their citizens much more freedom than the United States does it's really about the structure of society the way the society is organized and what all Nordic countries do not just Finland is they have these universal social services that serve everyone in that country so it's like portable daycare high quality public schools pre-college no tuition you know what I'm talking about Scandinavian higher education that was free and a guy jumps up he said I'm from Finland and your warms them up really so don't it's not free into them they pay us to go to school universal health care paid parental leave and in the Nordic countries visa systems that serve each and every individual regardless of how wealth you are regardless of who your employer is vernazza reel in everybody has a right to these services and so what this does is that it really gives people freedom to make choices in their life what they want to study who they want to marry where they want to work do they want to be an entrepreneur and this suddenly gives you you know to really figure out what your path in life is captions are it's not dependent on what kind of family background socialism is morally reprehensible and if you want prosperity for all socialism just doesn't work today could certainly tell you these are really modern well functional societies but also look at all these studies that are coming out about quality of health care quality of education people's well-being children's well-being they are always rated highly even though you might think that oh no that's never gonna work that's terrible socialism what I think they're really doing is they're investing in equality of opportunity and they're investing in freedom and these are the most American of values but you do need to invest in them so that everybody in the country can enjoy these freedoms I think a lot of Americans think that everybody in Finland paid 70 percent of their income in taxes that's not at all true but of course overall it's true that the Nordic nations collect more taxes they have more taxes on consumption and so on than the United States does and the reason why Nordics are happy with that situation is because they feel that they pay taxes and then they get these services in return and again these services I mean health care included in your taxes college included in your taxes affordable day care of deduct my taxes so it's not a system where government takes away from the wealthy and hardworking and gives to the lazy and poorer it's a system where everybody pays taxes and then everybody in return gets these services that they themselves use I can hear the Republican attack head right now he wants and they're gonna look more like Scandinavia that's good that's right and what's wrong about Bernie Sanders talking about the Nordic countries was kind of a big deal of people in the Nordic countries because they used to be in small countries somewhere far up north and I think it's new to them to feel like oh people in other countries in the mighty and proud well the United States are talking about how there might be something to learn from these countries what's wrong when you have more income and wealth equality what's wrong when we they have a stronger middle class in many ways than we do a higher minimum wage than we do we measure on the it's a question of what do you think is happiness often we think that Americans are the happiest people in the world because Americans tend to be sort of cheerful and outgoing and social which is wonderful but I don't think that's really a true measurement because obviously a lot of Americans are really anxious from day to day we can see it in American society today and in the last election there's a lot of anxiety going around so I think when things hear these results they also tend to think of this sort of smiling index and they think that this is ridiculous but that's not really what these studies are about they're about quality of life and they're about security and they're about freedom rather than who smiles the most

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