Sweden’s Socialist Power Crisis
Sweden’s government recently enacted a law that could hurt its economy and cause major power shortages this winter. This new law—a steep tax on fossil fuel energy plants—is purposed to hasten the shift to “green” energy.
Although much of Sweden’s electricity production already comes from wind and hydropower, the infrastructure in the nation’s biggest cities heavily relies on these now overtaxed coal and gas plants. The tax will make it impossible for such plants to remain both lucrative and competitive, forcing them to close down.
While many in Sweden see this legislation as a victory in their fight against global warming, the issues with the bill are more real than the perceived threat. As the infrastructure in certain large cities—including the nation’s capital, Stockholm—is not yet ready to change the source of its energy from fossil fuel plants to cleaner alternatives, hundreds of thousands of Swedes, if not more, will face power outages heading into the coldest months of the year.
“The move,” according to Bloomberg, “means that grids in the capital and Malmo won’t be able to hook up new facilities, including homes, transport links and factories. While Sweden doesn’t have a shortage of power, there’s not enough cables to ship it to the biggest cities.” Swedish electricity distribution company Ellevio said that new cables are unlikely to be installed in these cities for at least a decade.
Referring to the new tax, ceo of Sweden’s state-run power company Vattenfall AB, Magnus Hall, said, “This law was added with short notice, and I am not sure a proper analysis of it was made.”
Besides the threat of power outages, Sweden’s fossil fuel tax could also be a harbinger of a slowed economy.
Its economy has benefited greatly for years from investment by tech companies such as Amazon and Microsoft. However, with major cities no longer able to support the immense electricity demands of such organizations, future investment—and therefore future economic growth—is unlikely. Swedbank AB senior economist Ake Gustafsson said, “A lot of businesses are rather energy-intensive, and if we do not have enough capacity, there is a potential chance it will impact long-term growth. Computer giants, such as Amazon, are global companies that can place their data centers anywhere.”
Everything from expanded transportation systems within the cities to 5G data networks will be affected by the power crisis.
This is what happens when the government tries to control the economy.
Although Sweden does not have a socialist economy in the sense of complete state-owned industry, the government does use exorbitant income and consumption taxes to fund its plethora of welfare programs. Such programs rely on a strong economy and foreign investment to keep personal incomes high and government tax revenue flowing.
The state is also using specific and targeted corporate taxes to manipulate the economy without needing to own most businesses. This form of tax-driven socialism is unsustainable, especially when bureaucrats and lawmakers do not take into account the real-world implications of their policies.
Incredibly, these are the same kinds of policies being pushed in the United States—and far too many are in favor of them!
When U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez released her Green New Deal in February, liberals came out in vigorous support. Democratic presidential candidates Kamala Harris, Elizabeth Warren, Cory Booker, Bernie Sanders and others have given the resolution their full backing. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee has said that he hopes to introduce his own policies to “put meat on the bones” of the deal.
Modern socialists in America vow to fight global warming and help save the environment. They aspire to end poverty and resolve inequality. But if the ideas of the Green New Deal or any other socialist policies were to go into effect, the entire U.S. economy would be seized and governed by Washington, D.C. We would experience the same kind of initial failures taking place in Sweden. And along with the expansion of socialism, Americans’ quality of life would quickly dwindle to that of Venezuelans.
The superficial goals of democratic socialists—free college, free health care, equality for all, saving the environment, etc—sound nice to those who don’t understand, or don’t care to understand, the actual logistics. They seem like generous and virtuous objectives. But as we have learned from the former Soviet Union, Cuba, Venezuela and other failures, socialist policies always lead to authoritarianism, poverty and deadly inequality between the ruling class and the destitute majority. Redistribution of wealth, whether through government-ownership of businesses or through high taxes, does not improve the economy or encourage the production of more wealth. Socialism is about the ruling elite controlling the plebes, whatever the consequences.
That goes against everything that the founders of America strove to establish when the nation was born.
As incredible as it may sound, the socialist movement in America, Britain and certain other Western powers will help bring about a major part of the suffering that the Bible says is coming upon our nations.
The people of America and Britain are among the modern descendants of ancient Israel (request a free copy of The United States and Britain in Prophecy, by Herbert W. Armstrong, for proof). These nations have allowed destructive policies to creep into every aspect of Western culture. Referring to modern Israel, Isaiah 1:5 says that “the whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.” Why are the nations of Israel sick in their reasoning and faint of heart?
The Prophet Isaiah gives us the answer: “The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master’s crib: but Israel doth not know, my people doth not consider. Ah sinful nation, a people laden with iniquity, a seed of evildoers, children that are corrupters: they have forsaken the Lord, they have provoked the Holy One of Israel unto anger, they are gone away backward” (verses 3-4).
Our nations, from the leaders to the average citizens, are submerged in sins. Those who turn to socialism—and those who fight against its spreading influence—are looking to politics for the future of the nation because they have forsaken God.
Philadelphia Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry emphasized the danger of the socialist movement in his 2016 article titled “Communism in America Today”:
Socialism and communism are alike in fundamental ways. Both say the centralized government or “the public” should own and control production, rather than individual business owners. Both call for centralized planning and control, which make for powerful governments that are highly susceptible to corruption. Socialism is considered the transition stage from capitalism to communism; in some cases, it is a less radical version that might eventually “mature” into communism. …
That is a basic truth: The Communist movement in America only has one object: to destroy America’s government!
God is allowing the Communist movement to rapidly infect America because the people refuse to turn to Him. Listen to the news: Even those who stand up against socialism present every possible solution to America’s problems except for a true, nationwide return to the values and laws of the Bible.
When will the nations of Israel learn that socialism doesn’t work? Unfortunately, it is taking more than just other nations’ examples, such as Venezuela’s and now even Sweden’s, to prove the point. In fact, it will take the greatest suffering to ever come upon this world to teach us the necessary lessons!
“Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Also, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord God unto the land of Israel; An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land. Now is the end come upon thee, and I will send mine anger upon thee, and will judge thee according to thy ways, and will recompense upon thee all thine abominations. … The king shall mourn, and the prince shall be clothed with desolation, and the hands of the people of the land shall be troubled: I will do unto them after their way, and according to their deserts will I judge them; and they shall know that I am the Lord” (Ezekiel 7:1-3, 27). God makes it clear that the punishment coming upon Israel is a direct result of its sins. But notice: The end of verse 27 shows the real purpose behind the correction: to show the people where the true God is and how they can return to Him!
To understand the full scale of the socialist incursion into American culture and government, request Mr. Flurry’s free booklet America Under Attack.