Sweden: Why Socialism and Immigration Clash

One of the unforeseen problems with a broadly socialized state is that it makes the immigration problem particularly hairy. Consider that a non-socialized United States was able to have one of the most open immigration policies in the world for years. But socialism and an open immigration policy don’t mix. Just look at Sweden.

In the recent elections, Sweden largely maintained its recent bend toward the free market and economic growth and rejected pro-immigration candidates. Sweden is a highly socialized cradle-to-grave type welfare state. And apparently, the taxpayers of Sweden are tired of paying for the lives and livelihoods of free-loading immigrants:

Jimmie Akesson, the leader of the Sweden Democrats, has a simple explanation for the lack of jobs. “If you allow more asylum seekers into the country than the number of jobs you can create, the result is obvious,” he said in a recent speech. Sweden expects more than 90,000 asylum seekers this year, a huge number in a county of only 10 million people. According to the United Nations, Sweden received the most asylum applications per person in the world from 2009 through 2013. . . . Akesson calls for cutting back on asylum acceptances, requiring immigrants to pass language tests, and trimming immigrants’ welfare benefits.

“The Sweden Democrats is the only political party that wants to stop immigration,” Anders Sannerstedt, a political scientist at Lund University, told the French news agency AFP. “All the other political parties have a united stance, a generous immigration policy.”

. . . The anti-immigration Sweden Democrats more than doubled their showing from 2010, becoming the third-largest party after the Social Democrats and the Moderates.

A similar thing has happened here in the States. Most people don’t talk about it, but a socialist state is much more likely a closed one. You just can’t have an open immigration policy if you’re giving away freebies to anyone within your borders. It’s either one or the other. Sweden has tasted some of the fruits of conservative fiscal policy in the last decade or so, and this rise in per capita wealth has apparently made the citizens of Sweden even more wary of sharing their growing wealth with “foreigners.”

It’s interesting that a deconstruction of the socialist state would create enough opportunities to provide for everyone in a country—immigrants and natives. And without all the freebies, a non-socialized state also makes it more likely that a country will attract productive immigrants—not just people looking for a free ride. A free country has little to fear from immigration, whereas a socialist country must protect its borders much more assiduously. If even über-socialist Sweden can figure this out, why haven’t we?

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