Socialism is all fun and games until you run out of other people’s resources. In Venezuela things were going great so long as the state could fund itself by selling oil. Great of course being a relative term. If you’re a relative of someone in the government, then things are great.
In Finland, they are running short of a different commodity: babies. Finland’s social system is similar to US social security in that it is dependent on having a high taxed worker to non-working consumer ratio. In the US, the conundrum we have run into is that Social Security was stable when there were at least three workers for every retiree. By 2030 we expect to see two workers per retiree and Social Security will run out of money.
Finland is facing the same dilemma. They are running out of workers to fund the free-loaders. They are not making enough new workers to keep the socialist ponzi scheme going. This is driving them to adopt new policies such as increased maternity leave. They are even rethinking their progressive stances on family values. Of course, when the purpose of having more babies is to support the welfare state, this strategy can backfire. Additional maternity leave means more labor is needed to fill those gaps.
While some have suggested that nationalism is the barrier to admitting more immigrants, I have a feeling the true barrier is the fear of adding more dependents to a broken system. After all, in a state built on social safety nets and transfer of wealth who wants to volunteer to go there and work to pay for it all?
Margaret Thatcher said that the problem with socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money. In Finland, they have simply run out of other people.