Citizens of Sweden—a welfare-state society—probably never thought that they would see the day when shantytowns dotted their major cities.
Sharing this worldview, Swedish political elites are reluctant to vacate the shantytowns and discourage begging. Instead, they pledge additional public resources that will serve only to enable the begging behavior and ensure that the problem continues to grow, to the real detriment of the social fabric. Even Sweden’s largest center-right party recently announced that it supported criminalizing “organizers” of begging but keeping the act itself legal. Sweden shows every sign of repeating the destructive story of many American cities a generation ago, as Myron Magnet chronicled in his 1993 book, The Dream and the Nightmare: in which elites churn out the dreams, but society pays the cost. Johan Wennström: Shantytown Sweden The welfare-state country finds itself engulfed by international beggars.