Mark J. Perry is scandalized ("Yikes!") that "Tax Freedom Day" arrived in Sweden only on August 8 (link), making Sweden again one of the (but not "the") most highly taxed country in the Western world.
This is a fairly standard mantra among libertarian groupies. And I can't quarrel with the data. And I'm just as glad I'm not there. And I see no reason for a tax regime in the US that imposes such a burden.
But there's an embarrassing fact for tax critics to gag on: the Swedes don't seem to mind all that much. Nobody suggests that this burden is imposed on them by a foreign imperial power, or gaggle of gangster kleptocrats. Granted that the Social Democrats get about 30 percent less vote than they got 30 years ago, and the (former) right-wing party have taken up a lot of that slack--but the former right-wing party has renamed itself "the Moderate Party" and shows no disposition at all to dismantle the traditional Swedish welfare state--only to "reduction of the public-sector growth rate" (per Wiki) which is one of those political mantras you can't recite without a giggle.
I can think of two or three reasons why the Swedes might be disposed to hang on to their old ways. One is ethnic homogeneity. Granted that the population has changed over the generation, and granted the Sweden has a fair amount of racial tension and outright racial conflict--still it retains a sense of common identity that we've perhaps never enjoyed in the United States.
Another--perhaps a subset of the first--is that Sweden seems to have a long tradition of communal cooperation. Many have noted that the Scandinavians are about the only people have ever run a "socialist" government that anybody else would be willing to live under--think Wisconsin, Minnesota, the Dakotas. Going further back--I'm riffing now, but I think I'm onto something--I gather that the tradition of the Viking marauder* was in large measure a communal ethos: local folks built the boat, and manned it, and split up the swag.
And second (or third) Sweden's the kind of environment where a lot of the "taxation" can be thought of as a kind of group buying, where the government organizes the volume purchase of goods and services the taxpayers would buy anyway (think what happens in the US in tightly organized UMC suburbs). This perspective necesarily raises question about which services could be better privatized, and Sweden has a lot of that kind of discussion. But framed in this way, the issues become a lot less poisonous than they might in societies where "taxation" might be seen as wealth transfer --or worse, wealth transfer from locals to strangers.