Sweden and Salaries

Sweden and Australia are quite similar in that they both offer high tax rates and better wages for low-skilled work, due to highly protectionist government policy against cheap immigrants and a generous minimum wage law. In fact, the income distribution for Sweden is so equitable that top professionals don’t really outearn basic service workers that much (doctor 2x that of technician for example). And then the higher earners take an even bigger bite from their income in Sweden such that it becomes more worthwhile to have more time off than to work overtime.

It’s a testament to how Sweden has channeled their tax krona into things that matter (namely education) that there’s little incentive against entering demanding fields. Plus, the natural pathway of top careers such as law, engineering, and medicine are relatively sedate when compared to the Anglo-Saxon world. The process is slower (but compensate by starting earlier) and more relaxed. Mentors support and teach rather than overwork the student.

No wonder there’s better social mobility in these countries compared to the US. In sclerotic Europe, higher wages for the masses enable them to better ascend the class ladders. Oh, and it has a side effect of making everyone more fashion-conscious. When you can’t differentiate from your peers based on income, it’s inevitable to try to compete on clothing, to win in the mating game, of course.