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Old March 20th, 2009, 04:01 PM   #1 (permalink)
AtmoBirdy
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The Welfare State and Lack Thereof

Hi everyone!

Dearest Anders mentions in his band member profile that he got his own apartment in 1995. My question about the possibilities of how he achieved this lead me to first introduce the broader context of this topic below.

I had been curious to find out more about the Scandinavian social support system-in particular the Swedish one-recently, and the reason is this: I am originally from the Ukraine but have been living in New York for most of my life, having arrived here with my parents as a young kid. My father, on one of his recent trips back to Ukraine, met a Swedish man who is married to a Ukrainian woman and living either permanently or temporarily in Ukraine. He told my father that in Sweden, generous social support is virtually guaranteed for the population and besides the free medical care, citizens who are poor or struggling financially are given an apartment and money for food by the state, either permanently or until they can get on their feet (this I don't remember exactly). He also said that the man told him that there is a flip side to this in that it is quite difficult for younger Swedes to find jobs and as a result the world tends to seem rather meaningless for quite a few of them and the suicide rate is high.

This whole thing interests me quite a bit, in particular because of my own life and career. You see, I am a young, undiscovered artist (painter primarily) living in New York City. For those of you who don't know, the living situation here in the States, and in NY particularly is very different from Scandinavia/Europe. Government social support for the lower class of the population is very minimal. First off, the govt doesn't care about what you do in terms of your career; you can be the next Bach or Mozart or Picasso or Einstein, working yourself silly yet struggling financially, and they won't look at you any differently than if you were a vendor of used junk trying to sell it on the city streets. You will not get any better financial support; all procedures are standard, measured only by numbers. So people who are literally one hair away from being homeless, regardless of their resason, will probably get some foodstamp money and a little bit of cash for their other needs which comes nowhere close to covering even a "walk-in closet" apartment in any part of the city. The best the person could hope for is a small room, shared with someone else in a not very pleasant neighborhood. If you are able-bodied and can't find a decent job (something better than McDonalds), that's your problem. If the minimal financial assistance is not enough for you to keep from losing a roof over your head, that is also your problem. Competition for government jobs has always been very high and now I'd imagine it would be darn near impossible to find a job of this sort. One would unfortunately have to be very ill or dying to get further assistance like more money and much-reduced, usually specially-located housing. There are private organizations that help people who fill a certain criteria (elderly immigrants, political refugees, etc) but they can not help the vast majority of needy people. Many struggling workers here have to work two jobs or work day and night at menial-labor or other lower-end jobs just to feed themselves and their families and keep from getting thrown out on the street. You can choose to receive welfare but you then have to work it off, with your work would be valued at minimum or near-minimum wage. There is also a very basic gov't-sponsored health insurance for the poorest of the poor.

Now, finally am getting to the main point of what I wanted to ask about/discuss: Did Anders have to pay for his apartment or did he get one this other way? In New York, like I mentioned above, it makes no difference to the state how creative people find housing; the general unwritten rule is that money really matters and everyone is on their own, only the most financially struggling and desperate people get a certain small amount of money plus free health insurance and case closed. They can elect welfare but they have to spend time working it off. What elevates the living problem for financially struggling people is that rents and housing prices in New York and several other major cities are ASTRONOMICALLY expensive; smaller towns and cities are an exception to this, but how many people would want to live in the middle of the cultural nowhere? There are many more artists in NY than there are commercial galleries to accommodate them, and even gallery artists have no guarantee of "success" (by this I mean being able to meet all your basic needs plus a little extra money), often having to work for the gallery for many years in return for minimal pay for their work.

The social networking system here is quite rigid and I find it exceedingly difficult to find like minded people and make friends, particularly if no one knows about you. But I find that it is not just me; the vast majority of people here hide behind the cover of a dubious understanding of friends. I imagine that this phenomenon is on the increase in other parts of the world, sadly. When I say a dubious understanding of friends, I mean people here say they have friends, they get together with them, have an active social life, blah blah, but c'mon, for most people here in the states-particulalrly in the monstrous megalopolitan areas-friends are not friends in the way Mike Akerfeldt thinks of Jonas and vice versa. I know some Americans may deny this, but some of us know the monster of superficiality that lies just beneath the smiling facade. I may be generalizing a bit but in no way am I intending to describe all Americans this way, just giving a general characterization particularly stemming from my experience living in NY a long tme. People here tend to not be interested in other people and making close friendships; valuing other things like careers and comfortable living instead.

But all of this isn't to say that I am complaining about living in the States or my life; I'm not. I tend to idealize, and as much as I love my home country of Ukraine , I shiver to imagine how ordinary people live there nowadays. Ukraine has become a modern Eastern European country with ads, anthems, slogans and many nationalistic people making one think that it's a great place to visit, live in, or just hold dear to one's heart. But besides the lovely scenery and surroundings, powerful history and the optimistic people the country is in a giant hole with desperation written all over it. There is practically no state support. Paradoxically, none of it is the fault of ordinary people and there is very little they can do about the mess that's out of their control. You see in photos all the latest import cars, many good streets, well-dressed, optimistic and hardworking people, the natural intriguing beauty of our city and the surrounding countryside and yet most people barely make enough in one month to feed themselves; I have no idea how they manage to pay for their other expenses like shelter, the quintessential fancy high-heeled boots, fancy coats and western clothing and makeup many of the young women cannot seem to walk the streets without; or the pricey modern Toyotas, VW's and BMW's that share the roads with the once highly-coveted but now obsolete Soviet-era cars of bare-bones simplicity. My father says that life there for most people is worse than in sub-saharan Africa, because in Africa they have clans of people who care about one another, and dance in a ritual ceremony when someone has died, while in Ukraine life has become the viciousness of animalistic survival where everyone is out pretty much only for themselves. I will always hold the country dear to my heart, but there's not much I can do for people but to pray for them.

So, can some of you Scandies, as well as others, comment on what I wrote above? Feel free to tell your self & state stories, how you think the living situation in Sweden affects the band and their creativity, how your unique living situation in your living area affects your life, or anything else pertaining to this broad topic. I'm like to read your views and opinions and imagine some other people would as well.

Thanks!
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 01:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
Noituudenaika
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All I know is they pay ALOT of tax.. so they probably deserve to get good social support when they need it.

When I lived in Hungary it seemed like they had no social support at all, I came back to Australia and people were whinging they didn't get enough money to do nothing.. and I felt so angry.
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Old March 22nd, 2009, 03:25 AM   #3 (permalink)
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we do pay roughly 30% tax here, but i something happens we do have very good welfare, ond to be honest, noone here in sweden will end up on the street unless they do drugs or really dont want to receive welfare.
ergo, we have pretty few bums on the streets...

saying that, Anders probably payed rent and worked as most of us do to get his appartment, since he and jonas said sometime around VE release, that they had finaly quit theire dayjobs.

most artists here are honest people that works daytime and practices nighttime.
fact is that you are more or less considered a lazy ass thieve/bum if you live on wellfare when you dont have to.
(today, with all the layofs in the recention(?sp?) that is diferent than it used to be, but still noone wants to live on wellfare..)
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Old April 1st, 2009, 01:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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You should paint a picture of you in your stinky Discouraged Ones shirt (draw stink lines to emphasize the smell), pissing on a grave with the name of the e-bay seller who sent you the abominable garment. Then, put it on e-bay and direct his attention to it. Not only will you exact revenge, but you may get discovered by art hounds surfing the internet and also turn enough of a profit to pay your rent for a few months.
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Old April 18th, 2009, 02:46 PM   #5 (permalink)
AtmoBirdy
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LORD DARKSOUL,

Thanks for the colorful idea, but he didn't deal that much damage to me... I found that I will yet have uses for that shirt. But I think it would work well for how I feel about the world! :-)

Boy, don't get me started on those art hounds! One of the truest criminals! If I could, I'd create a world where the anti-art-hounds would be pising on their graves right now! They're the ones that churn the system that make life so fucked up for many artists.

But... More love is all we need! And not the cliche version of love! The DEEp kind of love!
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Old April 29th, 2009, 05:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Dear friend, i enjoyed reading your wonderful story and your thoughts on this very interesting and important topic, so much i felt inspired to tell my views on the issue. Your post was excellent, so beautifully penned, and also very honest, so thanks a lot.

I will give my views on a broader topic first, but then ill make it more personal and tell how things are in my place and in my life.

Firstly, i think this IS Katatonia related topic, and i think social system and artistic production are related to certain degree. But i didnt really understand the financial factor, or even asked myself about it until maybe recently. I suppose it coincided with me facing the same questions myself - how am i gonna make it on my own, and still keep the desire to be creative and live with art - and it was then when i really realized that different social concepts offer very different opportunities for aspiring (AND unwilling to compromise) young artists. Since then ive been thinking about this, learning about situations in different countries and comparing it to how it is in my place.

Atmo, what you say about climate in NY is in no way surprising to me, but your picturesque depictions made me almost sense the harsh megalopolitan atmosphere. Actually i visited NY two years ago, and, as enjoyable as it was, my final and most enduring impression was how small and unimportant you are as an individual in such a huge city. I could sense the fight-to-survive activity all around me, and i thought how hard if not even impossible it would be to succeed there as an artist. And yet, as you have pointed out, where else could one want to be, trying to present and promote his/her work and ideas? On plainly theoretical grounds, America with its 8-10 hours a day, almost-no-vacation "working ethics" might be good environment for businessmen and lawyers, but not really for artists; yet, America is rich with great artists, and there are notable examples of artists who have made it independently and reached moderate, or even widespread popularity, without compromising their art. So, i suppose it is still possible if you are really good, and lucky. But it is strange, and its quite brutal...

But how about Stockholm, is it any better soil for creative people? I dont pretend to know everything about social system in Sweden, but i guess i understood the basic things properly. I certainly see Scandinavian countries, perhaps Sweden in particular, as the closest thing to "ideal society", and it often seems to me that instead of dabbling in ideology and speculating about some ideal system these countries managed to fulfill something that is here where i live often described as "socialism of Swedish type". We have a long history of both socialist system and ideology, and i personally strongly incline to left, so, seeing welfare socialism in Sweden achieved to some reasonable extent really made me feel, i dunno, kinda comforted i suppose. Yes, you have welfare and support there, state will provide you with food and shelter, not to mention fantastic educational opportunities, and if you really want to work and put yourself up to something you just might make it for a change. If you dont wanna study or work you wont get any privileges, but youll still get the basics. I have a friend in Finland who told me that many writers who want to dedicate themselves to writing (with no hopes of making it big commercially) have the option to take the social support and have some accommodation and money for basic needs, and in fact some of them do. It may seem too little, and it is in a way, but at the same time, its still something, i wish i could have it for myself. At least you have no excuse for not writing if you really want to. Of course, if you want to reach American dream, then you have nothing to look for in Sweden, and ive been informed that in fact many Scandinavian youngsters try to make it to either UK or US at the end of the day.

Nevertheless, as far as i understood it, state doesnt treat artists any different than "normal" people in Sweden. They simply have good welfare. To answer your other question, i think Anders's apartment is not his private property, nor is it granted by the state as a mean of social support; he just got well off and could afford to pay a rent for an apartment in Stockholm, or whatever. So i think at least.

Now about me and my homeland...

I live in Sarajevo, Bosnia. This is how it is here, and it hasnt been this bad since the war days. Power is diffused among a limited number of ignorant, incapable and corrupted people who build their rhetoric on nationalistic ideology and religious paranoia but solely go after their own, often conflicting interests. Democracy project failed dismally here, we have something between plutocracy and anarchy. EU and US are supposed to help, but they messed up everything and now keep the status quo, having no idea, determination or even interest. Our disjointed government cant take care of its citizens, it is weighed down with crimes and scandals, and will probably face bankruptcy by the end of the year. All aspects of budget have been severely cut this year, and not surprisingly, culture got the worst of it, losing another portion of already miserable support.

Obviously none of this is stimulating for young artists, but young people in general are affected as we lose all our will, some of us becoming self-satisfied in ignorance and prejudice, and others (usually educated youngsters) losing all illusions and becoming apathetic, seeing the only solution in trying to make a living abroad. For the most part young people have no private property, no job, no income... and those who do have credits, debts, life consuming jobs...

As for myself, all of this, combined with that "dubious understanding" and "monster of superficiality" kind of friendship you so brilliantly described, has resulted in me leading an increasingly isolated and solipsistic life, having problems finding friends or a lover, getting very little, expecting even less, demanding nothing and nourishing all the more dehumanized and nihilistic worldview. I have big issues finding motivation for anything really. The only thing that keeps me going is art, mostly music and books, but, while art is comforting, it is hardly enough to make one happy. Im not complaining (though i think i could), i feel more like im giving an account.

Still, theres a major paradox in all this. Even though the situation i described (and, as you may have noticed, its not much different from how you describe Ukraine) seems to be suffocating any creativity, and even the sole desire to be creative, and even though economical support is nil, this downgraded, decadent surroundings is also very inspiring and it provides you with insights you may otherwise never get. Therefore, as perverse as it sounds, i consider myself somewhat privileged, i think i understand some things and tendencies in life better than i ever would had i lived in a more prospering environment, so now - since these realizations are also very destructive in nature - i just hope i will stay sober enough to turn it all to my advantage and maybe come out with something creative and positive. But if i dont get on my feet financially (in that respect i studied and graduated completely in vain, moreover to my own harm), i may have to try my luck outside and go for PhD in USA or something...

Oh, BTW:

Quote:
we do pay roughly 30% tax here, but i something happens we do have very good welfare, ond to be honest, noone here in sweden will end up on the street unless they do drugs or really dont want to receive welfare.
ergo, we have pretty few bums on the streets...
lololo
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Old April 29th, 2009, 06:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by truhlo View Post
Dear friend, i enjoyed reading your wonderful story and your thoughts on this very interesting and important topic, so much i felt inspired to tell my views on the issue. Your post was excellent, so beautifully penned, and also very honest, so thanks a lot.

I will give my views on a broader topic first, but then ill make it more personal and tell how things are in my place and in my life.

Firstly, i think this IS Katatonia related topic, and i think social system and artistic production are related to certain degree. But i didnt really understand the financial factor, or even asked myself about it until maybe recently. I suppose it coincided with me facing the same questions myself - how am i gonna make it on my own, and still keep the desire to be creative and live with art - and it was then when i really realized that different social concepts offer very different opportunities for aspiring (AND unwilling to compromise) young artists. Since then ive been thinking about this, learning about situations in different countries and comparing it to how it is in my place.

Atmo, what you say about climate in NY is in no way surprising to me, but your picturesque depictions made me almost sense the harsh megalopolitan atmosphere. Actually i visited NY two years ago, and, as enjoyable as it was, my final and most enduring impression was how small and unimportant you are as an individual in such a huge city. I could sense the fight-to-survive activity all around me, and i thought how hard if not even impossible it would be to succeed there as an artist. And yet, as you have pointed out, where else could one want to be, trying to present and promote his/her work and ideas? On plainly theoretical grounds, America with its 8-10 hours a day, almost-no-vacation "working ethics" might be good environment for businessmen and lawyers, but not really for artists; yet, America is rich with great artists, and there are notable examples of artists who have made it independently and reached moderate, or even widespread popularity, without compromising their art. So, i suppose it is still possible if you are really good, and lucky. But it is strange, and its quite brutal...

But how about Stockholm, is it any better soil for creative people? I dont pretend to know everything about social system in Sweden, but i guess i understood the basic things properly. I certainly see Scandinavian countries, perhaps Sweden in particular, as the closest thing to "ideal society", and it often seems to me that instead of dabbling in ideology and speculating about some ideal system these countries managed to fulfill something that is here where i live often described as "socialism of Swedish type". We have a long history of both socialist system and ideology, and i personally strongly incline to left, so, seeing welfare socialism in Sweden achieved to some reasonable extent really made me feel, i dunno, kinda comforted i suppose. Yes, you have welfare and support there, state will provide you with food and shelter, not to mention fantastic educational opportunities, and if you really want to work and put yourself up to something you just might make it for a change. If you dont wanna study or work you wont get any privileges, but youll still get the basics. I have a friend in Finland who told me that many writers who want to dedicate themselves to writing (with no hopes of making it big commercially) have the option to take the social support and have some accommodation and money for basic needs, and in fact some of them do. It may seem too little, and it is in a way, but at the same time, its still something, i wish i could have it for myself. At least you have no excuse for not writing if you really want to. Of course, if you want to reach American dream, then you have nothing to look for in Sweden, and ive been informed that in fact many Scandinavian youngsters try to make it to either UK or US at the end of the day.

Nevertheless, as far as i understood it, state doesnt treat artists any different than "normal" people in Sweden. They simply have good welfare. To answer your other question, i think Anders's apartment is not his private property, nor is it granted by the state as a mean of social support; he just got well off and could afford to pay a rent for an apartment in Stockholm, or whatever. So i think at least.

Now about me and my homeland...

I live in Sarajevo, Bosnia. This is how it is here, and it hasnt been this bad since the war days. Power is diffused among a limited number of ignorant, incapable and corrupted people who build their rhetoric on nationalistic ideology and religious paranoia but solely go after their own, often conflicting interests. Democracy project failed dismally here, we have something between plutocracy and anarchy. EU and US are supposed to help, but they messed up everything and now keep the status quo, having no idea, determination or even interest. Our disjointed government cant take care of its citizens, it is weighed down with crimes and scandals, and will probably face bankruptcy by the end of the year. All aspects of budget have been severely cut this year, and not surprisingly, culture got the worst of it, losing another portion of already miserable support.

Obviously none of this is stimulating for young artists, but young people in general are affected as we lose all our will, some of us becoming self-satisfied in ignorance and prejudice, and others (usually educated youngsters) losing all illusions and becoming apathetic, seeing the only solution in trying to make a living abroad. For the most part young people have no private property, no job, no income... and those who do have credits, debts, life consuming jobs...

As for myself, all of this, combined with that "dubious understanding" and "monster of superficiality" kind of friendship you so brilliantly described, has resulted in me leading an increasingly isolated and solipsistic life, having problems finding friends or a lover, getting very little, expecting even less, demanding nothing and nourishing all the more dehumanized and nihilistic worldview. I have big issues finding motivation for anything really. The only thing that keeps me going is art, mostly music and books, but, while art is comforting, it is hardly enough to make one happy. Im not complaining (though i think i could), i feel more like im giving an account.

Still, theres a major paradox in all this. Even though the situation i described (and, as you may have noticed, its not much different from how you describe Ukraine) seems to be suffocating any creativity, and even the sole desire to be creative, and even though economical support is nil, this downgraded, decadent surroundings is also very inspiring and it provides you with insights you may otherwise never get. Therefore, as perverse as it sounds, i consider myself somewhat privileged, i think i understand some things and tendencies in life better than i ever would had i lived in a more prospering environment, so now - since these realizations are also very destructive in nature - i just hope i will stay sober enough to turn it all to my advantage and maybe come out with something creative and positive. But if i dont get on my feet financially (in that respect i studied and graduated completely in vain, moreover to my own harm), i may have to try my luck outside and go for PhD in USA or something...

Oh, BTW:



lololo
Wow, worlds longest post answered by the worlds second longest post. Great work! No, seriously...I loved the first post and I love the fact that someone gave a worthy response. It also gives the forum a sudden impact of broader topics...nice!
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Old May 6th, 2009, 02:17 PM   #8 (permalink)
AtmoBirdy
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truhlo,

Looks like you're one awesome person! I didn't even read your very surprising reply completely to see that we have many good common vibes.

But you can be sure that I'll read and reread your reply because it's definitely one to cherish!

I... I'm just slightly shocked right now. But I'll post replies to your post very soon.

Also, thanks to the person right below truhlo's post-sorry, I am typing this message and don't want to click back to see your name again because I worry I may lose my text here-for managing to flatter myself, and, hopefully, truhlo.

I'm telling you, this is one cool place for some really cool people.

Alex
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Old May 6th, 2009, 03:09 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Unbelievable! Wow, is pretty much all I can say.

I had thought by now that I probably will not get any similar responses to my posts, but not too soon after you get Kat fans like Truhlo shocking you with out-of-nowhere presence and response, followed by the slightly disoriented shock-ism of MiniMoose and I realize there is still hope for this world, Kats and this forum.

Truhlo, my friend (and I say this with confidence and sincerity despite not knowing you personally), until I get to ďtalkĒ with you again, try to inhale as much goodness form your uneasy surroundings as you can, and try to stay positive. Donít despair, at least donít let it get to you hard; Iím pretty confident you already know what Iím saying cause from your reply I donít have much doubt in your structural integrity as a phenomenal being, but Iím mostly mentioning this cause you mentioned trying to stay sober.

My friend, life can be so vast and deep with goodness beyond our horizons of perceptions, and even though itís beyond our horizons of perception, doesnít mean that it canít work for us. We can contact this depth with our own deep layers of perception and tactility and then life can open such wonderful vistas for us. But you have to try hard to take care of yourself at the basic level, and really try to get your drinking under control, if you do drink. Please, you have to do this. I donít drink at all (except a bit of wine at celebrations once in a blue moon), and donít feel like Iím missing anything. Trust me.

Weíll talk soon hopefully (I don't have reliable internet access from home and go to the public library),
Best,
Alex
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Old May 6th, 2009, 03:22 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Oh dear.
Thinking solely about the topic title I was about to make a whiney post on how difficult it is to get student grant but then through reading the two long posts I once again had this disturbing remembrance that outside of Scandinavia and other parts of europe life can be pretty fucked.
The Norwegian gouvernment is pretty eager to give money to students but refuse it for em cos I spend the last 19 years in Germany and not in sight of the Fjords, despite em carrying the little red passport like its a warrant for free sex. The german gouvernment is only eager about talking about giving money to students and pretty dodgy about doing so and as bureucratic as the Belgian Kongo about it so no luck there either. The Netherlands (where I want to study) would give me money if I would submit to a job and/or marrying a dutch person. No chance.
So despite all the wellfare state possibilities I have nothing. but what I also don't have is a right to complain because the standard of living i enjoy seems to be insanely inflated. Yes, our gouvernemts are kinda incompetent and dumb and a bit corrupt at times and the big businesses have power and shit but by comparison its all slightly beneath paradise.
All depends on perspective, really..

So I just keep quiet on this issue and go away to beg moeny of my parents or something to finance it all. Could be so much worse.
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Old May 6th, 2009, 07:05 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Only 30% in taxes? We pay that much in the U.S. and we get shit... I think I'd love to live in Sweden, for many reasons.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 02:38 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Well, we here pay like more than 50%. And thats income tax only. STill, scandinavian countries traditionally tax more things so it balances out.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 06:07 AM   #13 (permalink)
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we tax everything... except the taxfree when we travel outside europe.
Gasprices are the best.
first you have the price, then tax, then sales tax, and then we have taxes on the salestaxes
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Old May 7th, 2009, 06:23 AM   #14 (permalink)
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It's still worth the taxes since people are only treated like semi-shit in scandinavia instead of total shit.
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Old May 7th, 2009, 03:03 PM   #15 (permalink)
Hobo
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indeed it is.
As mona Sahlin put; "Itīs fun to pay tax!"
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Old May 9th, 2009, 12:08 PM   #16 (permalink)
truhlo
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Quote:
As mona Sahlin put; "Itīs fun to pay tax!"
lololo

Quote:
It's still worth the taxes since people are only treated like semi-shit in scandinavia instead of total shit.
hehe, thats a blunt way to put it, and quite poignant!


hey, Atmo, dont worry, i dont have a drinking prob, lol, perhaps i should even get drunk more often cause it can be kinda relaxing; i meant staying sober more in terms of attitude, and not letting depressive moods grind me down.

Anyway i absolutely look forward to talking to you and others here (hopefully), i was very moved by this thread of yours, so whenever you can or feel like just say your thoughts, and you can reach me through PMs if you feel its off topic or so...

Perhaps as a sidenote, i would like to comment on this weird fact that death/black metal as arguably the most pessimistic and "misanthropic" form of music to be heard had many of its prominent exponents in economically rather flourishing territories - Scandinavia (take Bathory or Norwegian bands), Switzerland (Hellhammer, Celtic frost) AND Florida (Death and Morbid angel). If that has anything to do with social circumstances then its strikingly contradictory, isnt it? However still it seems logical enough to me. I would say that artists from troubled regions of the world tend to advocate the idea of social changes, as its possible for them to "blame" the bad social state for the failure, but with aforementioned bands existential absurd seemed to have more metaphysical savor perhaps (thats why DM is quite an apolitical genre imo), its as though at some point they had to realize one cant blame people for being the way they are, but can only mourn (or even sacrilegiously praise) their saddening state. I think its a bit far fetched interpretation, but still an interesting one, i dare say...
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Old May 11th, 2009, 03:40 AM   #17 (permalink)
Pecatum
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Hi ev'ryone!
It was very interesting to read each of the posts.
I live in Russia, and our situation is pretty much similar to that of Ukraine. Apartments.
Here I live in a flat that costs 47,000 EUR. This is a 1958's old 40m2 apartmant in one of the most criminal and dirty regions of Volgograd-city. Actually, i bought it for a credit which i'll pay for as long as 30 years. I earn about 518EUR a month, working at three places: as a clinical lab scientist at 2 laboratories (where i get 350EUR), and as a tutor at a Medical university (that gives me 150EUR more). And I'm consided lucky, having such an income and opportunity to pay for apartment.
How do you imaging opporunity of bying apartments for people, when their average income is not more than 250EUR/month (and it is considered good income!)? Government does nothing to improve the status quo.

This year i tried to go to Moscow for Kata show, but when i bought a tickets and went there for a first time, the concert was cancelled. I had to know that during travelling by a train. Sure, the promoter didn't take the tickets right back, and i was full of hope that next time, when Katatonia come, I'll visit their concert. But next time I had no money or time (as i'm employed in clinic, so you always have no time there) to go for that show.
Hope once I'll see them live anyway.
Life is good still.
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