字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント We asked you all a few weeks ago which country you wanted us to tackle in our next “how powerful is” video, and we got your response loud and clear... Sweden! It’s often pointed to as the ideal combination of capitalism and socialism. Maybe it’s due to the country’s high standard of living, education, and socialized healthcare, or maybe it’s due to their widely respected international standing. Whatever the reason, we thought - with your motivation - we’d dive deep into their society, politics, and military to find out the truth behind just how powerful Sweden really is. The Kingdom of Sweden is a Nordic and Scandinavian country located in Northern Europe. While many use the two terms interchangeably, they are not actually the same. The Scandinavian countries are generally considered to be Sweden and its immediate neighbors, Denmark, and Norway. However, the phrase ‘Nordic countries’ usually also includes Finland, Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and the Aland Islands. Compared to most of its neighbors, and the European Union, Sweden is massive, coming in as the third largest member of the EU at nearly 175,000 square miles. Like other Nordic countries, Sweden is still technically a monarchy, although their royal family holds no real power. Instead, power is held by its democratic parliament. The country’s constitution is founded on four major pillars: First, all government power is granted by its population by way of its parliament, the Riksdag. Second, the constitution says the country shall have a king and queen, with specific rules of succession, including a requirement that they be Protestant. Third, freedom of the press is a guarantee, which public authorities are not allowed to censor. Fourth, freedom of expression cannot be abridged except in cases of public defamation. Sweden is also known for the robust social system it has in place for its population of ten million residents. The country provides universal healthcare as well as a free college education. Part of the reason it’s able to do this is because Sweden has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world, and the government taxes that income significantly, on average at nearly 60%. Roughly a quarter of collected taxes go towards healthcare and education, about 40% goes towards social security, and just 5% is allocated towards law enforcement and military. But despite such a low budgetary focus from taxes, Sweden’s military ranks 29th worldwide, with more than 40,000 available troops, and a defense budget of roughly 6 billion dollars. Throughout its history, Sweden has been strictly neutral, with its last direct warfare seen in 1814. It is also a member of numerous intergovernmental organizations, such as the European Union, the United Nations, the Nordic Council, the World Trade Organization, and the OECD. It is not, however, a NATO member, nor is it part of the Eurozone, preferring to use their own currency, the krona. So what does this high-tax, social welfare, and strong military mean for Sweden? Well, they have one of the happiest, healthiest, wealthiest, best educated, and most progressive populations in the world. In fact, with 10 million residents, roughly a quarter of the population is foreign born, due to the country’s acceptance of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa. Despite nationalist rhetoric from white supremacy groups and even the President of the United States, crime in Sweden has not seen a significant rise, and is currently roughly the same as it was in 2005. In short, Sweden has managed to bridge the gap between social welfare and high incomes, while opening its doors to those in need. So, when it’s held up as a model and standard for how other countries should function, it may be because Sweden is doing incredibly well on its own.