This Annoys Me

I keep seeing this stupid little infographic being passed around on social media and figured it was about time I addressed it. It made the rounds a few years ago, or possibly some variation on it, but the theme is the same: the Nordic socialist states are little slices of heaven and Americans are knuckle-dragging troglodytes. Allow me to pick it apart.

Here in the Nordic countries, universal access to free higher education is a no-brainer. That’s because we know education is the ultimate investment in the future.

I’ll just start by asking that if everyone has a bachelor’s degree,  how does one differentiate himself from the rest of the applicant pool when applying for a job? Is a piece of paper from a state-run college (that any idiot can acquire just by showing up to a classroom for four years and handing in reports) really more valuable than actual learned and earned experience that comes in the form of an apprenticeship? The cult of education (since Science! has replaced God) has virtually eliminated an important Traditional relationship; that of the master and the apprentice.

I will concede that an educated populace can certainly help grow a tech-based economy, which the Nords seem keen on doing. But why then is everyone encouraged to go to college for anything they choose? If education is the ultimate investment in the future (it’s not), then why are they “investing” in philosophy and psychology majors?

philosophy factoryIn addition to not having any tuition fees, all students receive a monthly grant to help cover their living expenses.

Sounds great. Not only is everyone encouraged to get their state-issued credentials, the government will also foot the bill for your booze. I could run down the basic economics of how inflation and pricing structures work, but the Occupy turds that produced this picture are really only concerned with securing four years of zero responsibilities with no bill due at the end.

Of course, that does result in higher taxes.

You don’t say? According to an April 2013 CNN Money article, the Nordic countries have among the highest income tax rates in the world. Denmark is at the very top, with its top rate coming in at a very commie 60.2%. And that top rate begins at incomes of only US$55,000, just barely higher than an average yearly income. So tell me, how is a young person ever really going to get established when the national government automatically takes roughly two-thirds off the top of his paycheck?

But free education reduces social inequality, and benefits both individuals and society in the long run.

Does it? It seems like it gives technocratic elites and fat-cat CEOs a pool of interchangeable drones who can push buttons and make gobs of money for giant corporations who will then show their appreciation for their Equal! workers by handing them the remainder of their paltry paycheck after the government stooges, who were paid off by those corporations in exchange for socialized education, take their cut.

And why is inequality so bad? Nowhere in the world is any person, thing, or creature equal to any other. Some are better than others. Hierarchies form naturally. It’ll really be okay. Let the cream rise to the top.

An educated population equals a strong, stable state, ready for the future. So the investment is well worth it. It’s really simple as that.

Actually, this is pretty accurate. A population that has been fully indoctrinated by the state probably does leave the state pretty strong and stable.

What they mean, though, is that being ready for the future is only possible  with college-level education. Perhaps that would be true if the only path to the future is one riddled with an endless stream of new electronics and technologies. Traditionalists know, though, that while some technologies can be useful, the future lies with the old ways. Farmers and craftsmen will find much more utility (not to mention joy and transcendence) in a world gone mad than HR representatives. Consider too, the challengers of the future: IT guys don’t matter much when Islamic hordes and hyperinflation are your primary concerns.

If I may be so direct, just WTF are you Americans thinking? You make your own people go into often crippling debt, just to become educated, and just as they’re trying to get started in life.

I’m not going to reactively defend the crypto-socialist American “system”, but that’s because it is basically no different from the blatantly socialist alternative that the poster presents. The U.S. system makes the individual pay through the nose for artificially-inflated college tuition and the Euro system makes him give up the majority of his paycheck for the rest of his life. Both have strangled the prosperity potential for the common young person. Both are ultimately the result of egalitarianism, too, because we deserve it!

You’ve unleashed 100s of expensive for-profit “schools” to prey upon your own citizens.

So? I don’t know anyone that has ever gone to University of Phoenix, but I do know that no one thinks it’s a real university. They only prey on people who shouldn’t be pursuing college degrees anyway.

You spend more on your prisons than on your students.

That’s pretty messed up. It’s that same dumb-ass egalitarian ideology that gives us mortgage-sized student loans that makes that possible though. If we executed murderers, rapists, and pedophiles, and stopped worrying about how prisoners feel, then perhaps we’d cut down on all the state of the art exercise equipment, free college degrees, and cable TV we give them and save ourselves a few bucks. We’re not all equal, I don’t care about their feelings, and they don’t deserve our compassion.

And among the top 15 countries by military expenditures, you’re number 1…and spend as much as the other 14 combined.

Again, I won’t defend American foreign policy, but it’s pretty easy to point fingers when America also pays for Europe’s defense, and has done so since 1945. Germany, France, and the U.K. are the only nations with what can be considered serious militaries, and even those would struggle if they were faced with a real crisis.

Meanwhile, your rich own most of your politicians, and fool many of your citizens into fighting to keep it that way.

Hate to break it to you, honey, but that’s democracy. Do you honestly think your Nordic paradises are any less corrupt?

It’s all a recipe for a lost generation at best, and a nation hurtling toward a decline and eventual unraveling at worst. So that’s what I’ve been thinking…when is enough going to be enough for you Americans?

I don’t disagree with anything here. The present system is broken beyond repair, but socialism designed for geographic areas the size of single U.S. states is not going to fix our problems. What got me the most, though, is that line at the end, “you Americans,” so smug and condescending. I have no love for the American government, but that played-out hippie-era hate-America garbage really annoys me. favicon