I very much appreciate Dave Anderson's column in the Skagit Valley Herald on July 3, titled "Socialism? Capitalism? Democrats need a terminology intervention."

It turns out that my country is a social democracy with a "mix economy." Mixed between government programs, "social" and private enterprise, "capitalism," and none of the Democratic candidates are socialist.

Sweden is also a social democracy with  booming businesses because of capitalism. They have free health care, free education, free child care and over 400-day parental leave for newborns.

They claim to be more capitalistic than we are. They have no minimum wage, no inheritance or gift taxes, no property taxes. They have lower corporate and capital gains taxes. They have a two-tier progressive income tax that is less than ours.

In responding to a U.N. question "Do you feel your government cares about you?" the people of Sweden said "yes," reporting one of the highest levels of overall happiness. Our country's happiness ranked by the U.N. was 19th. Clearly we answered "not so much."

The connection between happiness and longevity is well established. The Swedes ranked ninth on longevity, and we ranked 31st.

Oh, by the way, our life expectancy in this country is currently going down. This will continue as long as we maintain this Republican-structured economy where the system is rigged to transfer all wealth upward. The increased financial stress on our people below the rich forces us to work harder to make a living. Prolonged stress will continue to be a killer.

Sweden also has one of the lowest rates of infant mortality rates, and the richest country in the world has the highest of all modern countries. We also have seven times the death rate by gun homicides than Sweden.

The Republicans will spend millions to confuse you with mislabels.

Hal Pullin

Mount Vernon

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