It’s not generally in my nature to heap praise upon a place with a 53% tax rate, a 25% VAT, or one of the top ten highest tax burdens in the world.
But as I often remark, nearly every place in the world has something great going for it… some unique competitive advantages that set it apart from its peers, balanced against a multitude of disadvantages.
Iran is a great example; it suffers from long-term economic decay, constant sanctions, and an authoritarian government. Its disadvantages are numerous.
But at the same time the country is an archaeological dream, full of well-preserved ruins from civilizations so old that they were studied by ancient Greek scholars.
This is a unique advantage. And for a few people, that sole advantage may outweigh Iran’s numerous disadvantages.
After all, everyone has his/her own particular set of priorities.
Another example: earlier this year when my wife and I were planning out the birth of our child, we chose to have the baby in Mexico.
It was a deliberate decision made after careful consideration of our priorities. We wanted extremely high quality and personalized care from physicians, midwives, etc. who would be available to us around the clock.
And I didn’t want COVID restrictions factoring into the birth at all.
I wasn’t going to risk being in a place where local rules or hospital policy would have forced my wife to wear a mask during labor… or to keep me out of the delivery room.
We very rationally laid out our priorities. And after some research and investigation, we landed on Cancun.
For us, it was an incredible decision. Cancun, and Mexico in general, are far from perfect; there are certainly plenty of disadvantages.
But for my particular priorities at that moment in time, it was absolutely the right place for me.
And that leads me to Sweden.
There are plenty of disadvantages. High taxes. High cost of living. Cold weather and lack of sunshine.
But for some people those problems might be outweighed by Sweden’s long-standing COVID freedom.
To this day there are still countless cities, towns, states, and provinces around the world that continue to restrict freedom.
They’ve created first and second class citizenships based solely on someone’s vaccine status.
It doesn’t matter if an individual has a severe medical condition– like an autoimmune disorder, for which the FDA itself states, “no data are currently available on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines for people with autoimmune conditions.”
Yet if someone, under advice of their physician, chooses to delay being vaccinated until more data is available for their particular condition, they can be denied basic freedoms, including being a functioning member of society, or potentially having a job.
On the other hand, a registered sex offender with a bad case of tuberculosis is welcome with open arms.
Politicians and policymakers have also waffled on mask mandates, school openings, and more.
Sweden has famously taken a completely different approach during the pandemic– one that they have been constantly derided for in the woke media.
But Sweden’s generally light touch with COVID has proven to be quite effective; they did not suffer the economic devastation. And more importantly they did not suffer the mental health devastation.
Sweden has not dehumanized its population… nor cultivated a mentality where people view others as filthy, disease-infested vermin rather than friends and neighbors.
And yet their COVID track record is just as good, if not better, than its peers in North America and Western Europe.
Again, Sweden is not without its challenges and silly rules. But we thought it was worth investigating further… so I asked our CEO Viktorija to spend some time there are report on her findings.