The objective of the much celebrated Swedish welfare state was to overcome the class society. However, waves of austerity, liberalization and deregulation policy have pushed this goal further afield. The gap between rich and poor in Sweden has deepened.
The reason for the development is not only globalization and structural change in the economy, but also domestic political decisions. The last 20 years, the upper income brackets have enjoyed substantial tax breaks, while the benefits of the tax-financed welfare state have been reduced. The unemployed, the long-term sick and pensioners have had to stand back. Social mobility has been hampered.
This report is based on the anthology Class in Sweden: The inequality, Power and Politics in the 21st Century (Klass i Sverige: Ojämlikheten, makten och politiken i det 21: a århundradet) by Daniel Suhonen, Göran Therborn and Jesper Weithz. An anthology that summarizes a comprehensive research project on the class-based society in Sweden, carried out by the independent, union-affiliated think tank Katalys in 2018.
About the Author:
The author and journalist Mats Wingborg has written several reports for among others the Swedish think tank Katalys on topics like the class-based society and the health care system.