Scandinavia: Social democracy and the dignity of work … “driving the policies that facilitate it.”


Dignity? At work? It seems as though Americans have determined to make entry-level jobs as unrewarding as possible, perhaps as an impetus for pulling ourselves up by our bootstraps, and whatever.

Social democracy and the dignity of work: The U.S. must learn from Scandinavian “utopias” for Bernie’s revolution to move forward, by David Dayen (Salon)

Sweden and Denmark provide the roadmap for the U.S. and progressives in how to treat workers

… You understand more about Sweden by seeing men with strollers in Stockholm neighborhoods at 2:00 in the afternoon than by reading any white papers on social spending. Those men have an expectation of work/family balance that allows them to bond with their offspring and be an equal partner in child-rearing. The policy comes after that expectation takes hold in the public consciousness …

… Every single receipt in Denmark and Sweden breaks down the percentage of payment that goes to taxes. And the public also sees what they get in return. Central Copenhagen is engaged in a 3-year construction effort to build more subway lines. In Kongens Nytorv, one of the city’s main squares, people are invited to step onto a riser and watch the construction in progress. Connected to the riser are reams of information about the cost of the operation, and how it will impact individual commutes. All cities try to tout their local improvement projects, but perhaps only in Denmark are you invited to watch workers working, and receive a direct cost-benefit breakdown of their labor.