Often the US is highlighted as an example of how immigrants get integrated into the society quickly. How fast they are integrated into the labor market and succeed to find their own happiness, running their own business and how easy they make reality of their dreams … There’s a difference – they are in the US!
The question we must ask ourselves really is; why is it that they so easily establish their own businesses and start providing for themselves so quickly? Why can we not see these characteristics of newly arrived here in Sweden? For me it is very simple; here in Sweden we are not as positive as we think regarding entrepreneurship and running our own business. There is a sense of mistrust of the private sector and a large part of the population believe that those who want to earn money do it solely for selfish reasons and that morality is found only in the government! The Swedish society also lacks confidence in the capacity of newly arrived immigrants, which is a huge obstacle for their integration into our society.
The system for business owners today in Sweden is perceived as difficult and, given the tax policy that we have in Sweden, you understand that it’s tough to start your own business and be self-employed. This in combination with the socialist model that is so well established in Swedish society has lead to that many have learned that there is a “security” (false security, I call it) that no matter what you do, the State will always take care of you! Incredible! We must build a system in which your own responsibility is central and where it is you, and only you, that can really have an impact on your own life! It is not a government official or an officer of the welfare-office that will give you good fortune! You are the architect of your own fortune!
The current discussion regarding this topic is poor. We need to broaden our view of what leads to a successful economy and a stable welfare. Economic growth is primarily connected to a strong and talented private sector – it is not the government that produces growth!!! Personally I am not ashamed that I believe in the private sector, I am not ashamed that I believe that a social free market is better than any other system, I am not ashamed that I believe in freedom and choice as a important foundation of society and I am not ashamed that I want as much private sector as possible and as much public sector as necessary! The free market is not perfect, and therefore we need to have a certain social safety net. More and more countries realize this. But this safety net should never be stifling so that people can never get out of it, which has been the case in Sweden.
By changing our view of entrepreneurship and relying more on the creativity and capacity of the new citizens in our society we can grow, both as a nation as well as human beings.