Friday, November 25, 2011

Taxation Is A Good Thing Says Sweden's Conservative Finance Minister

Sweden's house of finance is in order, despite the recession and economic troubles in Europe and the world. Anders Borg, the conservative Minister of Finance, said in an interview for Swedish TV that Sweden needs the taxes it levies on the population ant that it is a good thing.
"It is my belief that it is basically a good thing that we collect tax revenues in Sweden. It is a good thing that we have our welfare system, social security, foreign aid, education and healthcare. In order to have that, we need taxes," Borg told SVT.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Worst Thing Since the New Coke - Flat-Packed Swedish Food at IKEA

I picked up Lisa at Newark Airport, and then we headed over to Ikea for a romantic dinner with a gorgeous view of the Turnpike (well, it was dark so all we could see through the panorama windows was the lights of cars, streetlights and incoming airplanes). We had stopped at Ikea in Elizabeth to pick up some Swedish food in the mini market, but we came away pretty disappointed. Ikea is doing the "New Coke" thing, phasing-out the good old Swedish brands and replacing them with Ikea-branded food. Flat-packed chocolate doesn't look as appetizing as the Marabou's we used to buy, and they had signs warning us that we better buy the Siljans knäckebröd now, because soon you will have to make do with Ikea branded bread. For ex-patriots like myself, a visit to Ikea is a visit to the old country, and it is nice to be able to buy Kalles kaviar, Västerbottensost and Lingonsaft, but that will soon be history.
Not only that. Ikea is now selling half-size packages of soft tunnbröd for the same price as the full sized bread I used to buy, and the substitute for the "Hönökaka" is not only square, but nouveau in size, or approximately one third of what it used to be.
I left Ikea sad and disappointed. Is it good business? Well, everytime I visit Ikea to pick up Swedish food, I usually spend a couple of hundred dollars in the store. Without the food, I won't bother to drive to Ikea anytime soon.

Krugman Honored With Prize and a Cool Video

The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) honored Princeton's Nobel Laureate economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman with a new prize for a distinguished economist and a video on its 25th anniversary.