A Swedish citizen has shared what it’s like to live, work, and pay taxes in the Nordic country in an eye-opening Facebook post that has some Americans vowing to move.
The person, whose name is unknown, disclosed what they earn, the amount of taxes they pay, and the government-provided services they’re guaranteed, demonstrating why Sweden is one of the happiest countries in the world.
While most Americans fear having their taxes raised, the Facebook user pointed out that higher taxes are more beneficial for everyone if the money is going towards public services for citizens.
Keeping it real: A Swedish citizen has opened up about what it’s really like to live, work, and pay taxes in the Swedish country (stock image)
Not as bad as you thought? The Swede said they make $3,000 per month, and only $752 (25%) of their monthly salary goes towards taxes
Sweden is known to have one of the highest taxes in the West, with its population benefiting from national healthcare, free primary and university education, generous parental-leave policies, and heavily subsidized care for the elderly.
‘Sweden’s top marginal tax rate of 56.9 per cent applies to all income over 1.5 times the average income in Sweden,’ according to the Tax Foundation, but not everyone pays that much.
The Facebook user said they work 40 hours per week and make $3,000 per month. Only $752 (25 percent) of their monthly salary goes towards taxes, leaving them $2,278 to spend.
‘Because I pay taxes: I won’t go bankrupt if I would end up in a hospital,’ the person wrote. ‘I will not be disqualified for any surgery because we all have the same right to healthcare. A heart transplant would cost me $10 a night for staying at the hospital, the heart would cost me $0.
‘If I need meds like insulin, I would only be paying a maximum amount of $250 a year because you’re not allowed to benefit from people who are sick and who need the meds to survive.’
Living the dream? Swedes benefit from national healthcare, free primary and university education, generous parental-leave policies, and heavily subsidized care for the elderly
Doing your part: Sweden is known to have one of the highest taxes in the West, with a top marginal tax rate of 56.9 per cent, but not everyone pays that much
Gas woes: The person’s highest expense is the $450 a month they pay in petrol because their work is an hour away from home by car
The person noted that school is also ‘free of charge,’ and children are provided with healthy lunches that come with three or four different options.
Library books are also free to borrow, though that’s one service that Americans are also guaranteed.
‘Me paying my fair share of taxes means that I contribute to everybody’s healthcare and social benefits, and I’m perfectly fine with it,’ they insisted.
The Swede shared that they own a 1,900 square-foot home and the mortgage is only $100 a month. They also pay $120 a month in interest for their house loan, up to $200 for electricity and heating, and $10 for private life insurance.
Food only costs them $220 a month, and while school is free, they pay $70 in student loans because they took out a loan for living costs.
Sa what? Swedish citizens get 480 days of parental leave and up to 33 days of paid vacation
Thoughts: The person insisted that other countries will prosper in the same way if they were willing to pay higher taxes
Delicate balance: The Swede pointed out that the citizens rely on each other to ensure their economic systems work
Missing out: The person ended their post by saying President Donald Trump and the one per cent of the rich don’t understand the benefits of paying taxes and universal healthcare
Interestingly, the person’s highest expense is the $450 a month they pay in petrol because their work is an hour away from their home by car. Meanwhile, Car insurance is another $55 a month.
They also pay $30 a month for union fees, which would give him $1,600 a month after taxes for a maximum of 300 days if they ever become unemployed.
The Facebook user said the expenses they listed cost a total of $1,235 a month, which leaves them with $1,043 left for other bills and for entertainment like hockey games and movies.
The person noted that Swedish citizens get 480 days of parental leave, 25 to 33 days of paid vacation a year, and 100 to 200 per cent extra if they work overtime.
‘Of course you can have a higher rent or cost for your house, depending on where you live. Closer to a big city, the prices are higher but then they don’t pay as much as I do for petrol because they can commute to work by bus or train for $80 a month,’ they explained.
Say what? Many Americans were shocked by the viral post — and a bit jealous
‘I don’t mean to rub salt in your wounds (a Swedish saying) but to give you info about how a whole community and yourself included, can and will prosper from paying taxes, which involves looking out for everyone’s interests and not just your own.’
In 2020, Sweden was ranked the seventh happiest country in the world, according to the World Happiness Report, and the Swede pointed out that the citizens rely on each other to ensure their economic systems work.
‘If I am healthy, I can work. If I work, the company will be successful because I contribute to it,’ they noted. ‘If a company is successful, they will make money. If they make money, you will get a raise (although this is something you get every year in Sweden to level out the other things that might have increased.)
‘If you are paid enough, you will be able to pay your bills and you will have money left to spend in store,’ they added, noting that patronizing other businesses allows them to continue to be successful.
‘If you remove one link of that chain above, the whole chain will collapse,’ the person stressed. ‘That’s what Trump and the one per cent of the rich are not understanding about economics and the benefits of paying taxes (not minimizing them) and universal healthcare.’
Why not? Some people admitted they want to leave the US and move somewhere with universal healthcare and free education
A number of commenters admitted that they wish America would adopt a similar system, with some saying they plan on giving up on the US and moving abroad.
‘Seems like in Sweden they actually care about one another,’ one person commented, while another added: ‘They da my son graduates from high school, I’m leaving the States.
‘I’ve always admired Sweden and other Scandinavian countries as progressive leaders of the world. I’ve wanted to move there for half my life,’ someone else shared.
Some people pointed out that Americans are just too greedy overall to adopt Sweden’s economic system.
‘The reason it can’t happen in the US is greed,’ one social media user said. ‘And not just at the top. Until everyone makes generosity a personal virtue we won’t change.’