SUMMARY IN ENGLISH

CONTRA # 3 2012

Mitt Romney more relaxed
and conservative now
by Tommy Hansson

One thing is completely clear with Mitt Romney's candidacy for the presidency this fall. He is not in the race for the money. The presidency is not extremely well paid and he is worth 250 million dollars. His wealth was created during his time as CEO of the successful private equity firm Bain Capital. The money is a good start for the campaign. If it’s enough for a Romney victory remains to be seen.



 

The child poverty hoax
by C G Holm

In May the Swedish UNICEF released the claim that Sweden was in position 22 among 35 rich countries if you looked at the problem of child poverty. The press release was widely accepted as a starting point for a lot of publicity in media on the problem – and the increasing problem – of child poverty in Sweden. The real problem was, however, that the Swedish UNICEF press release was a hoax. Going back to the original, the English language report of UNICEF states that their previous reports (which put Sweden in position eight) have been criticized for using relative measures (an average increase in income that was relatively bigger among rich people would increase poverty in spite of the fact that true poverty decreased). Thus UNICEF this year introduced a new absolute measure, which put Sweden in position two, second only to Iceland. That is the true story of the UNICEF report, not told in a single Swedish newspaper or other media. The reason basically that Swedish Unicef forwarded false information to Swedish media. The 22 position is very far-fetched, it’s a comparison of the average of the income of the tenth decile to 60 per cent of the median income, which of course is a measure that has very little to do with actual poverty.

Now people are moving away from California
by C G Holm

During the past 20 years 3.5 million more people have moved from California to other states than vice versa. What once was a magnet for dynamic and creative people in the entire US now ejects those people with an increasing speed. The brightest scientists move to states like Arizona and Colorado and the most dynamic corporations are following them. Taxes and red tape are the most obvious reasons for the exodus.

Politicians have destroyed the market for rented housing
by Sten Dybeck

The Swedish housing shortage is caused by the low volumes of construction of rented housing. What little is built is built in the wrong communities. The housing shortage is big in many cities and cause problems for growing areas like the major cities and university towns. Suggestions for changing the situation are lacking. The politicians have failed. Their mission is not to build, but to create an environment that is favourable to construction. They have failed that mission. The market for owned housing works well, both for private houses and condos/ccops, but poor people are forced to turn to the market for rented housing, where the problem is. The rich makes it. The poor takes the hits.

Double-crossing in energy policies
by Fredrik Runebert

Deregulation of the energy market and the change to marginal pricing have been blamed for the high increases in energy prices. Politicians from the Leftists (ex-Communists), the Greens and the Social Democrats have requested a new regulated system. The true story is that the advocates of regulation themselves are the causes of the high prices for electricity. Some deregulation is still to be done in the electricity market, but at the same time more than half of the cost of electricity are taxes. The Double Cross is a book written by Maria Eriksson explaining how the politicians defined the rules of the game, blamed the market and had the consumers to pay.

What happened in Ndola?
by Svante Hjertstrand

One recurring conspiracy theory is that UN General Secretary Dag Hammarskjöld was murdered when he died in an air crash in Ndola in Zambia in 1961. One of the major Swedish newspapers (Svenska Dagbladet) published an article with a new version of this story earlier this year. Former editor of ”Argument” magazine (a predecessor of Contra) 92 year old Svante Hjertstrand wrote this article explaining the facts behind the crash. Svenska Dagbladte refused to print the article. Contra did.

What happens in Russia?
by Ann-Mari Lahti

Ann-Mari Lahti reports on a visit to St Petersburg and the increased uncertainty and insecurity felt in the eastern neighbour of Sweden.

Natalya Estemirova
by Maria Walden

Several Russian journalists have been killed in connection with coverage of the development in Chchnya. Some of them victims of fighting, but some killed due to their writing of ”wrong views” on the conflict. Most well-known was Anna Politkovskaya, murdered outside her flat in Moscow in 2006. A cooperating partner of Politkovskaya was Natalya Estemirova who was killed in Chchnya in 2009. She was kidnapped and shot. She was the first one to be awarded the Anna Politkovskaya Prize, which she received two years before her own death.

When is time for Western Spring?
by Britt Louise Körninger

It is time for the West to release a Western Spring. ”There must be people in our part of the world who are prepared to stand up for freedom, a cut in government expenditure and a return to the conservative values that once were the foundation of the Western civilization.”

New views on Swedish neutrality
by David Stavenheim

Much has been written on Swedish concessions to Nazi Germany during WWII. Less is known about Swedish cooperation with the allied powers. Former Swedish commander-in-chief Bengt Gustafsson has written a book which includes information on Swedish policies during WWII. He explains how Sweden moved from concessions to Nazi Germany towards active cooperation with the allieds. Most important was that Sweden in practice accepted that British and American bomb raids against Central Germany took the way across Skåne province in southern Sweden, instead than of over heavily defended Denmark and the Netherlands (both occupied by Nazi Germany).



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