How disorderly is Sweden really?

by on February 21, 2017 at 1:42 pm in Current Affairs, Law, Political Science | Permalink

Here is the latest, which is in the media but not being plastered all over my Twitter feed:

Just two days after President Trump provoked widespread consternation by seeming to imply, incorrectly, that immigrants had perpetrated a recent spate of violence in Sweden, riots broke out in a predominantly immigrant neighborhood in the northern suburbs of Sweden’s capital, Stockholm.

The neighborhood, Rinkeby, was the scene of riots in 2010 and 2013, too. And in most ways, what happened late Monday night was reminiscent of those earlier bouts of anger. Swedish police apparently made an arrest around 8 p.m. near the Rinkeby station. For reasons not yet disclosed by the police, word of the arrest prompted a crowd of youths to gather.

Over four hours, the crowd burned about half a dozen cars, vandalized several shopfronts and threw rocks at police. Police spokesman Lars Bystrom confirmed to Sweden’s Dagens Nyheter newspaper that an officer fired shots with intention to hit a rioter, but did not strike his target. A photographer for the newspaper was attacked by more than a dozen men and his camera was stolen, but ultimately no one was hurt or even arrested.

It remains correct that an American city such as Orlando typically will have more murders than all of Sweden in a year.  But it is also important to process the distinction between objective and subjective metrics of disorder.  A jaywalker in Germany disrupts public order and flouts norms more than is the case for a single jaywalker in New Jersey, for instance.  Sweden is relatively orderly, in part, because the public and psychological reactions to acts of disorder are relatively severe and traumatic, even if those same acts might be perceived as less significant in other contexts.  It is quite possible that Swedish norms are being threatened by the level of disorder currently in the country, even if to a Nigerian it all might seem absurdly neat and tidy.

There is also reasonable evidence that immigrants to Sweden are a major reason for the decline in the average quality of Swedish schooling and also Swedish PISA scores.  In other contexts, we will be told that such variables are incredibly significant, but in this context the result ends up  largely ignored.

The simplest metric, however, would simply be to poll citizens of Nordic and European countries who are familiar with Sweden, but don’t have direct self-interest at stake, and ask them if they want the immigration history of their country to go the Swedish route.  I haven’t seen the data, but I believe the rate of “yes” on that one would be quite low.  You could not say the same about Canada or Australia, I suspect, or for that matter the United States.

On this whole matter, I would not say that Trump’s remarks have been correct and for sure they have been irresponsible on the diplomatic front.  Still, the overall presentation of his critics arguably has been further yet from the reality, and that is part of the reason why Trump finds such an audience.

1 quadrecip February 21, 2017 at 1:48 pm

This is confusing. I can’t past the part where you write, in effect, “Sure Sweden is super safe, but that’s just makes the crime they *do* have all the more horrifying.”

I don’t understand the point of this post, apart from strange desire to carry water for the Trump administration.

2 JWatts February 21, 2017 at 1:56 pm

It’s pretty straight forward.

Let’s assume that someone wants to make a change to my neighborhood that’s going to significantly increase crime and part of their argument is that crime will still be much better than the ghetto down town.

I’m going to say no. My wife if going to say hell no.

3 stephan February 21, 2017 at 3:55 pm


4 EG February 21, 2017 at 5:52 pm


5 Jan February 21, 2017 at 6:35 pm

Now you understand NIMBYist zoning laws favored by liberals in California municipalities.

6 JWatts February 21, 2017 at 8:18 pm

“Now you understand NIMBYist zoning laws favored by liberals in California municipalities.”

NIMBY stands for Not In My Back Yard and is usually used in cases where a group uses a resource, such as a dump or power plant, but doesn’t want to have it in their area. So, they attempt to have the undesirable item moved into the districts of poorer and less politically powerful neighbors.

7 Milo Fan February 21, 2017 at 8:29 pm

I think we all understand. You’re the one who just figured it out.

8 Turkey Vulture February 21, 2017 at 9:14 pm

NIMBYism here would be advocating for and gaining from low skill immigration while knowing they aren’t going to move in next door.

So yeah, restrictive zoning that increases housing costs and thereby keeps poor low skill immigrants out could qualify.

9 JWatts February 22, 2017 at 2:58 pm

So, advocating for low skilled immigration & subsidized public buses so that you can keep your poorly paid house maid, but firm in the conviction that your local housing prices insure that she takes a long bus ride over from the poor side of town and not have her family cause problems for you and your friends.

Ok, that’s a good case for this being “NIMBYist zoning laws favored by liberals in California”.

10 steveslr February 21, 2017 at 7:51 pm

I’m old enough to remember in the late 1960s on TV talk shows, how many celebrities and comedians made nervous jokes about how suddenly it wasn’t safe to walk in Manhattan’s Central Part at night anymore.

Finally, in the 1990s the forces of order in NYC fought back and radically improved public safety.

11 Milo Fan February 21, 2017 at 8:31 pm


The signaling can be annoying, but posts like this remind us that Tyler is woke.

12 Jeff R February 21, 2017 at 2:01 pm

I would interpret it like this: gang-related violence in the US isn’t quite so troubling to the average American because if you’re not in a gang, you’re highly unlikely to be the target of such violence. On the other hand, mob violence is a little more disquieting, in part because it’s more random and because if it involves clashes with police, it starts to resemble an assault on the state’s monopoly on the use of force.

13 steveslr February 21, 2017 at 7:46 pm

The big rise in disorder in northern American cities in the second half of the 1960s that followed the Great Migration to the North and the Civil Rights Era triumphs in the South was hugely troublesome to American northerners, although the history has largely been hushed up and the victims of crime have been cast as the villains for their subsequent crime of “white flight”.

Since the 1960s, white Americans have either retreated to the peripheries of urban life or become much more street savvy.

14 Jeff R February 21, 2017 at 8:46 pm

True. Nonetheless, crime rates have fallen substantially since then, and it’s not just a function of criminals having fewer people with money around to prey on, as the gentrification trend in a lot of American cities shows. A lot of the violence that remains though, which is still disquietingly high in many places, tends to be moron on moron.

15 Darryl February 22, 2017 at 10:25 am

Crime tends to drop when you put the few million most troublesome people into the criminal justice system and abort millions of lower-class babies.

16 mulp February 21, 2017 at 2:14 pm

He’s saying that the leftist anti-religion secular high tax welfare state that is Sweden has created a standard of norms that would make Trump gated communities look like crime ridden hellholes.

17 mulp February 21, 2017 at 2:25 pm

And that mulp should be declared God Emperor

18 The Centrist February 21, 2017 at 2:31 pm

Sweden used to be delightful, with the exception of the drunken louts who would mar the city centres on Friday or Sat. nights.

Now Sweden has the usual drunken louts, plus the souk. (And not really the souk, which at least is a market or exchange.)

19 Joël February 21, 2017 at 2:40 pm

quadrecip,, look up the name of this blog: “marginal revolution”. and its subtitle “small stepss to a much better world”. This refers to the method of focussing not so much of absolute levels, but on the effect of small changes. Tyler has insisted many times on this point of view (the very basic point of view of marginalize economy, and of differential calculus), even once against Alex on a memorable post (which was also on immigration by the way).

So applied to Sweden, Tyler observes that the net effect of recent immigration on several variable such as criminality, quality on the school system is bad. It can be noted, but is largely irrelevant to the marginalize approach, than the absolute level of criminality in Sweden is still very low, and that schools are still good.

20 Joël February 21, 2017 at 2:45 pm
21 whatever February 22, 2017 at 1:03 pm

Wow: from Tyler then (2014): “My original post gave some good evidence that a number of countries — though not the United States — are pretty close to the point of backlash from further immigration. Rather than engaging such evidence, I see many open boarders supporters moving further away from it.”

“though not the United States…”

Thanks for that link, Joël, that was interesting.

22 Doug February 21, 2017 at 2:43 pm

The point is that certain ethno-cultural groups are better adapted to living in chaos and crime than others. Swedes have been evolving under strong legal systems with state monopoly on violence for a thousand years. A people like Arabs or the Scotch-Irish, have evolved under a history of extra-legal violence where equilibrium is enforced by retaliatory clan violence.

Dropping a bunch of Somalis into the middle of Gothenburg is a recipe for unchecked human predation. Dropping a bunch of Puerto Ricans into the African-American neighborhoods of Orlando creates crime but mostly of a different character. The former is much more horrifying, think coeds getting gang-raped walking home versus gangstas taking potshots at each other.

There shouldn’t really be lions wandering near human settlements anywhere, but if you gotta have lions somewhere the Masai are a better choice than the Inuit. If you gotta drag Ozzy Osbourne on tour, it’s probably a better idea to pair him with Three Six Mafia than the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.

23 Millian February 21, 2017 at 4:13 pm

Damned Scotch and Irish. They should stay in, erm, MR above the line.

24 TMC February 21, 2017 at 4:41 pm

Actually the Scotch-Irish are Scotch and English.

25 Anon2 February 21, 2017 at 6:40 pm


26 Art Deco February 21, 2017 at 7:58 pm

A people like Arabs or the Scotch-Irish, have evolved under a history of extra-legal violence where equilibrium is enforced by retaliatory clan violence.

The homicide rate in Ulster is about 0.9 per 100,000. That in West Virginia is 3.0 per 100,000. My granddaddy’s home town in East Tennessee has had 1 homicide in the last 15 years, for a mean annual rate of 1.5 per 100,000

27 Doug February 21, 2017 at 10:13 pm

Sure, and the murder rate in Oman is under 1 per 100,000. The difference is two-fold. First the prey has co-evolved with the predators. Arabs are substantially less likely to be victimized when living around other Arabs. The best defense against the Hatfields are the McCoys. Swedes naturally are a trusting and naive people, “I’m sure that man’s dog really is hurt and needs help down that unlit back alley.”

Second, policing in Arab countries is particularly tailored to an Arab criminal population. Same is true of Appalachian police with a Scotch-Irish population. Swedish prison guards forgot to lock the prison one weekend, and the prisoners used the opportunity to bake a cake. Trust me, the same wouldn’t have happened in West Virginia. Maybe you’ve read Elmore Leonard, or at least have watched Justified, but Raylan Givens policies Eastern Kentucky in a way that’d be pretty out of place in rural Vermont.

One needs only look at the historical dust bowl migrations to see the social pathologies and crime introduced by the Okies to the Western states. It’s pretty analogous to how Arab refugees integrate (or don’t) in Scandinavia. Maybe not to the same degree, but there was certainly a social shock from taking the Scotch-Irish and putting them down into communities populated by Germanic stock peoples.

28 Anon February 22, 2017 at 3:50 am

Recent big study of American genetics threw light on Appalachian genetics (“Clustering of 770,000 genomes reveals post-colonial population structure of North America”) two ancestry clusters, one more general, most ancestry from England and bits across Europe, indistinguishable from lower midwest, one less general (higher Ind sharing, more closely related, more specific to Appalachia), purely British and South German mainly from the Midlands. No bias towards Scotland or Ireland and highest matches in England.

29 smg February 22, 2017 at 10:04 am

Now do Italians & Jews.

30 David Ptr February 22, 2017 at 9:11 am

I’ve never found these historical arguments very convincing. With regards to the Scots-Irish, for example, the Middle Shires were pacified well before immigration began in earnest to the new world, and that area of modern England today is no more violent than the rest. And northern Italy, which was in anarchy for around 1400 years is now more peaceful, industrious and efficient than the United States. If you’re looking for explanations, the present and recent past are more useful. The economic and cultural circumstances of the Scots-Irish in America have much more to do with the situation they found themselves in after immigration than the one they experienced beforehand.

31 Bob from Ohio February 21, 2017 at 2:55 pm

“apart from strange desire to carry water for the Trump administration’

Yup, that is TC for you.

A single fairly pro-Trump post does not cancel out dozens of anti-Trump posts. Please peruse the archives.

32 ttt February 21, 2017 at 4:03 pm

like the one about the Trump surge in the stock market ?

33 Millian February 21, 2017 at 4:14 pm

“I do not favour Trump, but here are fifty-four criticisms I am publicising to make the lives of Trump advocates easier.”

34 Brian Donohue February 21, 2017 at 5:19 pm

Any bad mouthing of the media/administrative state/deep state/Democratic party makes one a Trump supporter and probable racist, misogynist, xenophobe, fascist. Highly suspect at any rate.

35 Daniel Weber February 22, 2017 at 2:34 pm

This line of thought is deranged.

36 Turkey Vulture February 21, 2017 at 5:04 pm

A Trump disloyalty oath is required at the end of any post, otherwise you are a certified Trump supporter, and likely fascist. Tyler forgot to check that box before posting.

37 JWatts February 21, 2017 at 5:33 pm

“and likely fascist.”

Also, other acceptable terms are white nationalist, racist, anti-semite, homophobe or misogynist.

38 Velveteen Ambush February 21, 2017 at 6:56 pm

…authoritarian, xenophobe, white supremacist, extreme nationalist, bigot, deplorable, Islamophobe…

There was no great stagnation in name-calling this election cycle, that’s for sure!

39 Alain February 21, 2017 at 9:03 pm

You forgot, although I guess it hardly needs to be said: the poster needs to be shunned, rejected from the political square, and his livelihood destroyed.

40 Stu February 22, 2017 at 8:39 am


41 anon February 22, 2017 at 8:49 am
42 anon February 22, 2017 at 9:37 am

From that:

“It seems perfunctory to point out the hypocrisy of building a movement and a career on the back of insulting people — Muslims, migrants, women, people of color — while nursing a hair-trigger sensitivity to any personal attack you haven’t pre-approved. That hypocrisy, though, does not appear self-evident to anyone within this movement, because a fundamental tenet of far-right pro-trolling is that it’s only other people’s feelings that are frivolous. Their own feelings, by contrast, including the capacity to feel shame when they’re held accountable for their actions, are so momentous that infringing them is tantamount to censure, practically fascism in and of itself. These are men, in short, who have founded an entire movement on the basis of refusing to handle their emotions like adults.”

43 Turkey Vulture February 22, 2017 at 10:08 am

Of course anon, totally related to the topic at hand, as always. As is your childish inability to handle your candidate losing an election, which causes regular tantrums and a constant projecting of your own childishness onto any who disagree with you.

44 anon February 22, 2017 at 10:13 am

To explain then, I saw a long list of complaints that the right is called names like “white nationalist, racist, anti-semite, homophobe or misogynist.” You should be asking yourself if you did draw a nice bright line between yourself and the people who are. For instance in that bit on “groups” and “prejudice” at the bottom of this page. The one where you took the cruel and false side.

But then I think many on this page are overgrown versions of milo’s alt-right trolls. They have hardened in their cruel and false views, but retain that hair-trigger sensitivity to any reminder that those views are cruel or false.

45 Dick the Butcher February 21, 2017 at 4:03 pm

Each day I grow more elated that we won in November

Sweden was “super safe.”

The lying media (redundant) omit it. Sweden ignores it. Trump calls them as he sees them.

Sweden is being mugged by “reality.”

Das Dicke Ende Kommt Noch (German), The worst is yet to come

I see liberals’ reasoning. Murder and rape simply are (among many) prices we pay for immigrants and refugees being among us: In other words, (great movie) “They Were Expendable.”

More water carrying for President Donald J. Trump: President Trump and I believe that no American is expendable.

46 Thomas Taylor February 21, 2017 at 5:58 pm

“More water carrying for President Donald J. Trump: President Trump and I believe that no American is expendable.”
Unless he is black, was unarmed, posing no risk and whataoever to someone with a badge who shot him. But if no Amsrican is expendable, we will try to move in Sweden’s way, right? Their homicide rate is way lower (I know, murders and jaywalking are more annoying in Sweden where Muslims can be blamed than in New Jersey, but anyway…)

47 Devops Dad February 22, 2017 at 12:23 am

Thomas Taylor do you think Barack Obama will return to Chicago to take up the mantle of Black Lives Matter evangelist and quell the recent surge of black on black violence? In 2016, Chicago experienced the deadliest year in nearly two decades with 762 murders, 3,550 shooting incidents, and 4,331 shooting victims, according to the Chicago police department. Yes, we fondly recall Barack Obama was named the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize laureate. Show us your mettle, Barry!

48 FG February 22, 2017 at 11:51 am

Short answer here is probably that getting cop-kills-civilian is more objectionable than civilian-kills-civilian because cops are ostensibly an arm of the state and 1. held to a higher not-murdering standard than civilians and 2. subject to easier control by the state, being advocates of law and order and everything.

49 FG February 22, 2017 at 11:52 am

*remove “getting” from that sentence.

50 llisa2u2 February 22, 2017 at 4:57 pm


51 mpledger February 21, 2017 at 9:01 pm

No American is expendable unless they are young girl living in Yemen.

52 Cliff February 21, 2017 at 11:51 pm

Thanks Obama!

53 albatross February 21, 2017 at 6:11 pm

Suppose you live in a small town that has little crime and has never had a murder. One day, some drifter blows into town and kills another drifter. People in that town will be justifiably upset, even though one drifter murdering another in Chicago happens once a week.

54 steveslr February 22, 2017 at 7:34 am

All intelligent people know that the real crime problem in Sweden is rightwing Christian billionaires.

Didn’t you see “The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo”?

55 Urso February 22, 2017 at 12:48 pm

That book was the most hilarious example of authorial wish fulfillment I have ever read in my life. A 40 year old paunchy divorced journalists writing about an unending stream of beautiful women flinging themselves at a protagonist who happened to be a 40 year old paunchy divorced journalist.

56 william February 21, 2017 at 1:50 pm

“I haven’t seen the data, but I believe the rate of “yes” on that one would be quite low. ”

You’re joking, right? I mean, with that attitude, why would you even NEED to see the data.

57 msgkings February 21, 2017 at 1:57 pm

william thinks a blogger posting an opinion is actually a laughable joke

I loathe Trump bigly, but Tyler makes a good point that there’s so much hysteria in the opposition that a simple miscommunication (Trump was just noting that Sweden is having problems with their Muslim immigrants, in his usual error-riddled and moronic speaking style) gets blown up and only entrenches the Trump supporters further in their media disrespect.

There’s so much wrong with Trump that there’s no need to make up and over emphasize stuff that’s not so bad about him.

58 Sam the Sham February 21, 2017 at 2:05 pm

“On this whole matter, I would not say that Trump’s remarks have been correct and for sure they have been irresponsible on the diplomatic front. Still, the overall presentation of his critics arguably has been further yet from the reality, and that is part of the reason why Trump finds such an audience.”

I agree with this. I’m thinking of a scandal number between 1 and 100. Stop guessing a thousand, and we can talk (and just because 0 is closer does not mean it’s right either).

59 william February 21, 2017 at 2:24 pm

msgkings, here is the wrong end of the stick. Just get a firm grasp and pull.

60 msgkings February 21, 2017 at 2:25 pm

You should first clarify your apparently opaque comment before insulting your readers.

61 Dick the Butcher February 21, 2017 at 4:09 pm

You have not (yet) been mugged by reality.

Sweet dreams, Nancy.

Maybe some day, your head violently will be jerked out of the sand.

Sudden, violent death has a talent for concentrating the senses, assuming you live through it.

62 msgkings February 21, 2017 at 4:58 pm

Heorogar, why are you such a scared little girl? I can thankfully say I’ve never experienced or seen “sudden violent death” in person. And the thing is that’s true of almost all of us. Have you?

63 Anon7 February 21, 2017 at 10:59 pm

I can thankfully say I’ve never experienced or seen “sudden violent death” in person. And the thing is that’s true of almost all of us. Have you?

I was a libertarian who was mugged twice by reality at gunpoint and managed to survive. Hence I’m now a neoconservative.

64 Cliff February 21, 2017 at 2:27 pm

A huge majority of Europeans favors ending all immigration from Muslim countries. It’s quite astonishing really. About 2-1 or 3-1 approve vs. disapprove.

65 The Centrist February 21, 2017 at 2:36 pm

Why is it astonishing?

A trip to any metropolis in southern Europe (Italy, France, Greece) should reveal to the impartial observer that there is a problem with North African and/or Arab and/or ME inhabitants who seem to be chronically underemployed.

Whether this is down to racism or an overly generous (and thus incompetent) welfare state, or both, is worth debating too.

66 dbreen February 21, 2017 at 3:57 pm

Or maybe it could be stated simply that the surplus population of the middle east and africa is by european standards, human garbage.

67 Cooper February 21, 2017 at 5:10 pm

The minimum qualifications required to be employable in France are quite high.

Many migrants from Algeria lack these minimum qualifications. Thus, they are unemployable at the minimum wage and benefit rates.

The US has much lower standards. You can work for minimum wage without benefits in Arizona if you want to. Thus, it’s relatively easy for a middle school dropout from Chiapas to find *something* to do for work in Phoenix.

America’s weak labor protections make it much easier for new immigrants to join the labor force relative to France’s standard.

68 Joël February 21, 2017 at 2:54 pm

You’re joking, William. Polls data has been very abundant on this and consistent, see e.g. this Pew research center analysis
Tyler is just saying he doesn’t have data readily available, not that he hadn’t seen some or wouldn’t care.

Besides the opinion polls, there are the result of elections, with widespread and unprecedented progress of the anti-immigrant side of the debate: The Front National’s good showing is the last local elections in France (and Marine Le Pen poised to be on the second round), the victory of hard-right parties in Hungary and Poland, the Brexit, the candidate of the Neo-Nazi party making 47% in Austria, Golden Dawn in Greece, the last referendum in Italy (more tricky to interpret but going in the same direction), etc.

69 prior_test2 February 21, 2017 at 1:52 pm

‘A jaywalker in Germany disrupts public order and flaunts norms more than is the case for a single jaywalker in New Jersey, for instance.’

Not in 2017, in a city like Frankfurt, where the number of jaywalkers near the Eurotower is at American standards. Even if the number of jaywalkers wearing suits and ties might be above the typical American average.

70 Philo February 21, 2017 at 2:12 pm

Of course, the jaywalker is *flouting* norms.

71 prior_test2 February 21, 2017 at 2:33 pm

Nah, around this particular intersection – Gallusanlage and Kaiserstraße – it is a one way street with lights at Taunustor that create regular traffic intervals which just about everybody uses to cross the street, without caring about what the light indicates. Mainly because it is a fairly long wait, and because the broad street offers an excellent chance to see that no cars are coming for something like 100 meters. This is also true when traffic backs up, and people just thread their way through the stopped cars.

Very few people stand around waiting, and definitely nobody that works in that area heading towards the main train station. In the rest of that part of Frankfurt, people tend to be fairly casual about crossing against a light, roughly around American standards. Things change over time, and Frankfurt is definitely the sort of place where people in suits have more important things to do than wait for the light to change.

(It just occurs to me – jaywalking here is going against the light, not crossing in the middle of the street. Ah, it seems that is included in the definition of jaywalking – )

72 whahae February 21, 2017 at 11:05 pm

No, jaywalking is completely legal in Germany. Not jaywalking would be flouting norms.

73 Millian February 21, 2017 at 4:16 pm

I have personally jaywalked in that place about four times in the last year. But this blog evidently isn’t about facts any more. (“I haven’t seen the data” writ large.)

74 Cliff February 21, 2017 at 11:53 pm

I guess it’s more to your taste now, then?

75 Jeff R February 21, 2017 at 1:56 pm

For reasons not yet disclosed by the police, word of the arrest prompted a crowd of youths to gather.

The reasons are likely too depressing for public consumption.

76 TMC February 21, 2017 at 1:58 pm

“Police investigator Peter Springare isn’t likely to be among those mocking President Trump for his remarks about refugees in Sweden.
Trump’s comments during a Florida campaign rally on Saturday – which some took as a misstatement about a supposed terror attack – dovetail with what Springare has been seeing during a typical week in Orebro, Sweden. Five rapes, three assaults, a pair of extortions, blackmail, an attempted murder, violence against police and a robbery made up Springare’s caseload for a five-day period earlier this month, according to a Feb. 3 Facebook post he wrote. The suspects were all from Muslim-majority countries – Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia and Turkey – save for one Swedish man nabbed in a drug-related case.”

77 JWatts February 21, 2017 at 1:58 pm

“On this whole matter, I would not say that Trump’s remarks have been correct and for sure they have been irresponsible on the diplomatic front. Still, the overall presentation of his critics arguably has been further yet from the reality, and that is part of the reason why Trump finds such an audience.”

This is a winning strategy for Trump.

78 Sam the Sham February 21, 2017 at 2:07 pm

… and it’s not Trump, his administration, or his supporters that are implementing that strategy. It’s so frustrating.

79 JWatts February 21, 2017 at 5:40 pm

Trump is implementing the strategy of saying outrageous things. His opponents then manage to generally over-react, thus giving him cover for what he said.

When it turns out he was basically correct (Sweden for example), his opponents are tarred as more eager to dispute him than to correct him.

80 Peter Akuleyev February 22, 2017 at 4:27 am

The genius of Trump is that he is almost always wrong if you take his statement literally, but emotionally he is correct and in tune with his supporters. This is why “Trump lies” attacks are usually beside the point.

81 robert February 22, 2017 at 8:51 am

Or as has been stated by others: the media takes Trump literally but not seriously, while Trump’s supporters take him seriously but not literally.

82 August Hurtel February 21, 2017 at 2:00 pm

Title begs for a punchline.

It is unclear to me whether or not Trump’s statements have had a bad effect in the diplomatic realm. Much depend on what he is trying to achieve, and whether or not he achieves.

The Swedish invasion has not ensued.

83 rayward February 21, 2017 at 2:02 pm

Were the rioters from the “predominantly immigrant neighborhood” immigrants? The article in the WP doesn’t say. An odd omission. Is Cowen trying to be a FOT (friend of Trump) or is he simply being his sometimes contrarian self. He does have a valid point about Swedes and Nordic countries generally: anti-immigrant political parties have become much stronger as immigrants have arrived in large numbers. The likely explanation is the same as the explanation for anti-immigrant political parties here: an opportunity too great for people like Trump and Bannon to resist. Even nice folks from the mid-west can be worked up into a frenzy by a talented demagogue.

84 Paul February 21, 2017 at 2:09 pm

I doubt that many of these rioters were Buddhists. I don’t think Swedes are too concerned about “immigrants” per se.

85 Peter Akuleyev February 22, 2017 at 4:28 am

Buddhists actually riot and murder people all the time. Check what is happening in Burma or Sri Lanka.

86 Rentsik Elyk February 22, 2017 at 11:54 am

Far leftist spotted. Only a true degenerate would slander such a noble and peaceful people for the purpose of carrying water for one of the most oppressive, genocidal religions of all time.

87 Cliff February 21, 2017 at 2:29 pm

“The likely explanation is the same as the explanation for anti-immigrant political parties here: an opportunity too great for people like Trump and Bannon to resist.”

Whaaat?? I think you mean that as people got more exposure to immigrants (of the type they have been receiving) they realized that the immigration was catastrophic?

88 zan February 22, 2017 at 5:07 pm

This surely explains the trend in the USA. The exposure to immigration in Trump Country is tremendous. Rural communities taken over by immigrants looking to steal jobs that aren’t even there. Sad!

89 Paul February 21, 2017 at 2:05 pm

Don’t be so sure Australians are not concerned:

Story from Sydney two days ago:

“Muslim schoolboys allowed to refuse women’s handshakes”

90 Art Deco February 21, 2017 at 2:23 pm

I think the dames in question will get over it.

91 The Centrist February 21, 2017 at 2:43 pm

Indeed they will. But doesn’t it open the door to all kinds of other ridiculousness? Why stop at forbidding co-ed swim lessons or co-ed gym classes? Why not, if sensibilities are so delicate, plan for wholesale segregation?

It is maddening that modern secular liberal democracies should be subjected to outdated value systems that we have cast off ages ago (such as the idea that hand shaking is sexual).

92 prior_test2 February 21, 2017 at 2:58 pm

‘It is maddening that modern secular liberal democracies should be subjected to outdated value systems that we have cast off ages ago’

Tell that to a person like this – ‘A Holocaust survivor who was told to move seats on a flight so an Ultra-orthodox Jewish man would not have to sit beside a woman has said the rule is “not in the Torah”.

Renee Rabinowitz is now suing Israel’s national airline for discrimination after being told to change seats after a strictly religious Jewish man requested not to sit next to her.

The 81-year-old retired lawyer said El Al airline would never have agreed to a non-Jewish person saying they did not want to sit next a Jew, and this was “no different”.

“I don’t believe El Al would move a person in those circumstances,” Ms Rabinowitz told The Guardian.

Despite being allocated seats separated by a screen, the ultra-Orthodox man in question asked a male flight attendant to move the pensioner.

After being offered a “better seat” by the El Al flight attendant – which Ms Rabinowitz said clearly was not – she guessed her neighbour had requested the change and confronted him directly.

In particular she said that the Torah does not require opposite sexes to sit separately.

“He started to tell me it was forbidden by The Torah. I interrupted him to say the Torah says nothing about a man sitting next to a woman,” said Ms Rabinowitz.

“He conceded I was right, but said there was a general principle that a person should not put himself in a dangerous situation.”‘

93 Art Deco February 21, 2017 at 7:50 pm

Why not start at freedom of contract and association? If Muslim parents want to set up these contrivances on their own time and their own dime, let them do it. First, we’d have to slaughter that sacred cow, anti-discrimination law, so it will never happen.

94 Alain February 21, 2017 at 10:51 pm

Getting rid of such laws would vastly reduce the power of liberals over others. It would be an abomination!

95 y81 February 21, 2017 at 3:03 pm

And when the boys grow up and work in offices and factories, the dames will get over being banned from the workplace?

96 Art Deco February 21, 2017 at 7:52 pm

A grand total of 1% of the population is Muslim. It’ll only be a problem if the elites make it a problem for the rest of us. (Since our elite is repulsive, they’re likely to do that, of course)

97 DZK February 21, 2017 at 2:06 pm

It’s odd how car burnings seem to be so much more common in Swedish/Danish/French cities than in American ones. In France, thousands of vehicles fall victim to arson every year. Homicide rates are an order of magnitude higher in American ghettoes, yet the act of torching vehicles seems to be mostly absent among gangs in the US.

Do youths in troubled European neighborhoods realise subconsciously that their situation is nowhere near as bad, and so they use knives and pistols far less? Stockholm’s homicide rate has never reached 4 per 100K, but NYC’s in 2016 was 3.92 (which was hailed as the second-lowest rate in NYC’s modern history )

98 msgkings February 21, 2017 at 2:13 pm

They certainly have far fewer pistols (and other guns), so that’s why they are used far less.

99 DZK February 21, 2017 at 2:57 pm

You’d be surprised. Grenades and guns aplenty have flowed into Malmo in recent years thanks to a few key factors; EU freedom-of-movement laws + Malmo’s location as a transit/port city + proliferation of weapons from the Balkan Wars and a huge Balkan diaspora + the fact that it’s not illegal to possess grenades in Sweden

The government is trying to change that last law to crack down on smuggling.

100 Thiago Ribeiro February 21, 2017 at 5:38 pm

“the fact that it’s not illegal to possess grenades in Sweden

The government is trying to change that last law to crack down on smuggling.”

But a well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear grenades, shall not be infringed.

101 Cliff February 21, 2017 at 2:30 pm

Wait… Stockholm’s homicide rate is the same as NYC??

102 aMichael February 21, 2017 at 2:37 pm

NYC has some of the lowest homicide rates for a big city. It’s quite spectacular, even if you don’t agree with some of the means.

103 Christian Hansen February 21, 2017 at 5:24 pm

Tokyo is around 1.

104 Bellisaurius February 21, 2017 at 6:08 pm

Given the neighborhood you’d be trying to burn the car in, someone may come looking for you.

Also, why burn the car when you could just steal it?

105 delurking February 21, 2017 at 2:15 pm

I remember an interview with Condoleeza Rice, where over and over again she stated that Saddam Hussein was flaunting international regulations. I found it very amusing at the time. Some relatively short time later I looked up flaunt in a dictionary, and lo and behold, there was a statement to the effect of, “flaunt and flout have not been considered synonyms, but 11% of our usage experts panel disagrees” (from which I concluded that their panel had 9 people on it). I guess the meaning of flaunt continues to evolve.

106 Todd February 21, 2017 at 2:20 pm

Seems to be burying the lede

107 gab February 21, 2017 at 2:24 pm

“There is also reasonable evidence that immigrants to Sweden are a major reason for the decline in the average quality of Swedish schooling and also Swedish PISA scores”

And here I thought it was because Swedish teachers has all joined the union.

108 gab February 21, 2017 at 2:24 pm

sorry, “had” not “has”

109 megamike February 21, 2017 at 2:25 pm

A mathematician thinks in numbers, a lawyer in laws, and an idiot in words
Nassim Nicholas Taleb

110 msgkings February 21, 2017 at 2:28 pm

I don’t know if it’s ironic that all Taleb does is produce words, but it’s funny.

111 JD February 21, 2017 at 2:31 pm


112 Todd K February 21, 2017 at 2:52 pm

But that adds up: hundreds of jaywalkers over a month, *thousands* of jaywalkers a year and before you know it, a century of over a ***million*** Swedish jaywalkers flouting the law.

113 Thomas February 21, 2017 at 3:40 pm

Grenade attacks and gangrapes

114 JustADude February 21, 2017 at 2:34 pm

Sometimes I think living in any society with a higher crime rate than Japan is type of oppression, one that I feel quite acutely because I grew up in a rough NYC and then spent years in Japan. In NYC I was mugged 11 times before leaving for college, in japan I left my bicycle unlocked at the train station every day during my commute.

I wonder for people with a need for orderliness, people who have more authoritarian personality types, do they feel this pain more than other people? Are their preferences worth considering?

115 prior_test2 February 21, 2017 at 2:37 pm

One hopes that someone in the Trump Administration will now add Sweden to the places where citizens are banned from U.S. entry by executive order, out of an abundance of caution.

Especially considering how one Swedish police officer apparently fired one shot that missed (Spiegel reporting, not the Post). American police know that you need more firepower than that – ‘A police officer feared for his life when he fired the final shots in a barrage of bullets that killed two unarmed suspects, a court has heard.

Michael Brelo, 31, made his first appearance in court in Cleveland, Ohio, on Monday charged with two counts of voluntary manslaughter for the deaths of Timothy Russell, 43, and Malissa Williams, 30.

He is the lone officer among the 13 who fired their weapons that night who is charged criminally because prosecutors say he stood on the hood and opened fire four seconds after the other officers had stopped shooting.

Brelo’s attorney Patrick D’Angelo conceded that his tactics could be called into question given that Brelo exposed himself to danger when he stepped onto the hood of a beat-up Chevy Malibu to fire 15 rounds into the windshield of the suspects’ vehicle.

But Brelo and 12 officers who shot a total of 137 rounds into the car in November 2012 had ample reason to believe that Russell and Williams were shooting at them, he said.’

Brelo was found innocent, one should note. Maybe he could help the Swedes out? Out of an abundance of caution, naturally.

116 Maz February 21, 2017 at 2:39 pm

There’s a new book out about immigration to Sweden. Here’s a google translate version of the description:

Most Swedes have great goodwill and tolerance towards immigrants, and wish that immigration could have done better. Sweden’s experiments with large-scale immigration from the third world to a welfare state has been unique in its scope but have in many respects failed. Sweden’s social problems today is increasingly concentrated in the part of the population has an immigrant background. Foreign-born people account for about 17 percent of the population, and second-generation immigrants, for additional five percent. Foreign-born people make up despite this, 53 percent of them with long prison terms, 54 percent of the unemployed and the group receives 60 per cent of the paid social benefits. 71 percent of the country’s child poverty among households with a foreign background, while 76 percent of the members of criminal gangs have an immigrant background. Although the increase of the problems are driven in large part by immigration. Since the early 1990s, they have an immigrant background accounted for half of the increase in the proportion of low-income people, more than half of the reduction of powers among pupils leaving primary school, about two-thirds of the increase in social assistance and more than one hundred percent of the increase in unemployment – which dropped from Swedish born. Problems such as throwing stones at police and rescue personnel and arson are also highly concentrated in immigrant areas. It is important to develop concrete actions that give all immigrants Sweden has received a place in Swedish society. This in turn requires a sincere and evidence-driven analysis of how Sweden got here, and how to get vidare.Tino Sanandaji have Kurdish background and was born in Iran in 1980. He came to Sweden at the age of 9 with his brother and their parents. He took an MBA at Stockholm School of Economics in 2004, a PhD in Public Policy at the University of Chicago in 2011 and has since conducted research in economics.

Sounds like national suicide to me.

117 anon February 21, 2017 at 2:51 pm

An influx of “Swedish as second language” speakers will produce a dip, it seems hard to project Issei, Nisei, and Sansei – but to use that parallel, I am sure many fewer Issei were doctors.

118 Cliff February 21, 2017 at 11:58 pm

How many generations do we have to wait for them to learn Swedish?

119 DZK February 21, 2017 at 3:00 pm

One of the few benefits I suppose is that the Aramaic language will survive, because most Arabs in Sweden are Assyrian/Syriac refugees from Iraq and Syria. Plus, Sweden did take in a lot of smart Iranians like Tino’s family after the Islamists took over in 1979.

120 anon February 22, 2017 at 5:41 am

Here’s a good interview with the author, Tino Sanandaji (who is in fact Kurdish by birth)… and writes calmly enough that you won’t be excommunicated for sharing it around:

(via iSteve)

121 anon February 21, 2017 at 2:44 pm

I grew up near the town of Whittier, which just has a cop killed.

Perhaps that personal connection makes me view “ultimately no one was hurt or even arrested” less seriously.

Did these two events happen on the same day? If so, was the California violence in Tyler’s Twitter feed?

122 dearieme February 21, 2017 at 2:49 pm

“disrupts public order and flaunts norms”: bloody hell, “flaunts”! Shame, shame, Mr Cowen.

123 dearieme February 21, 2017 at 2:54 pm

Every now and again reports of increases in crime in Malmo appear in the British papers; presumably less often in yours. To ignore the problems that the Swedes have visited on themselves seems to me to fall into the category of wilful blindness.

Maybe Americans should be glad that Trump can be approximately right when so many of their bien pensants are exactly wrong.

124 dearieme February 21, 2017 at 2:58 pm
125 anon February 21, 2017 at 3:12 pm

Wait a sec.

“The letter comes amid reports that witnesses to the murder of 16-year-old Iraqi boy Ahmed Obaid, who was shot in the city’s Rosengard district January 14, were frightened to come forward after racist threats directed at his former schoolmates were posted under the photo of his dead body.”

Was that skinhead violence, and racist follow-on?

126 Thomas February 21, 2017 at 3:43 pm

Anons response brought to you by the “islamic terrorism?!?! What about the abortion clinic bombing 20 years ago?!?!” crowd.

127 anon February 21, 2017 at 3:54 pm

Patiently, no Thomas, that is from dearime’s link.

128 TMC February 21, 2017 at 4:22 pm

Typically, over there, if race is not mentioned, it’s Middle Eastern. At 80% immigrant, I doubt there is much of a skinhead group there.

129 DanC February 21, 2017 at 2:55 pm

Swedes are concerned.

A Pew Research Center survey in early 2016 also found that 46 percent of Swedes believe “refugees in our country are more to blame for crime than other groups.”

The immigrants in Sweden tend to concentrate in a few communities. Most native Swedes will not interact with the immigrants

“While it’s true that immigrants have been over-represented among those committing crimes — particularly in some suburban communities heavily populated by immigrants, he said — the issue of crime and immigration is complex. Upon closer examination, Selin said, researchers have found that the crime is more closely associated with factors like joblessness, poverty and exclusion from society. “It is not clear that immigrants are susceptible to committing such crimes,” he said..”

The English paper the Daily Express ( a bit right wing I admit) reported back in January of 2017 about crime in the city of Malmo “According to the police chief, Malmö police officers are currently investigating 11 murders and 80 attempted murders, as well as “other crimes of violence, beatings, rapes, thefts and frauds”.

This is the city’s second serious surge of violence in the past 12 months – in July last year, national police units were deployed to the city to help stop a spate of bombings, shootings and arson attacks”

From the Globe and Mail

“In a sense. Statistics show that the foreign-born in Sweden, as in most European countries, do have a higher rate of criminal charges than the native-born, in everything from shoplifting to murder (though not enough to affect the crime rate by more than a tiny margin)………. Because people who go to Sweden are poorer, and crime rates are mostly a product not of ethnicity but of class. In a 2013 analysis of 63,000 Swedish residents, Prof. Sarnecki and his colleagues found that 75 per cent of the difference in foreign-born crime is accounted for by income and neighbourhood, both indicators of poverty. Among the Swedish-born children of immigrants, the crime rate falls in half (and is almost entirely concentrated in lesser property crimes) and is 100-per-cent attributable to class – they are no more likely to commit crimes, including rape, than ethnic Swedes of the same family income. ….What also stands out is that almost all the victims of these crimes – especially sex crimes – are also foreign-born. But for a handful of headline-grabbing atrocities, it isn’t a case of swarthy men preying on white women, but of Sweden’s system turning refugees into victims of crime.”

I wonder what would happen if an American writer claimed that we shouldn’t care about crime in Chicago becuase it is mostly black on black and mostly related to class issues?

For some communities in Sweden, largely immigrant communities, crime is a very real and growing problem. If the elites in Sweden and America want to say that it doesn’t affect them or their friends well I guess it just doesn’t happen then.

130 Elias February 21, 2017 at 5:40 pm

Well to be fair, that seems to be a reasonable approach. If immigrant communities are affected by more crime than native communities, that is only a loss if the immigrant communities experience more crime than they would if they had never come to Sweden in the first place.

131 Bob from Ohio February 21, 2017 at 2:59 pm

The Swedish ruling ministry was recently trolling Trump on Twitter with their feminist inclusion, something about the immigration ban.

Then their Trade Minister and female party went to Iran in head scarves and long coats [chardors in local lingo} showing how feminist they really are.

132 Maz February 21, 2017 at 3:09 pm

Kowtowing to Muslim patriarchs is how Western women show their feminist bona fides these days.

133 Millian February 21, 2017 at 4:19 pm

And right-wing men on the internet decided it was now OK for them to tell women (in political office!) what to wear. Same ordure, different god.

134 Bob from Ohio February 21, 2017 at 4:49 pm

Pointing out hypocrisy is not “tell[ing] women what to wear”.

They can mock Trump because they know they are actually completely free of risk.

Kowtowing to the leaders of a dangerous theocracy like Iran is what a real feminist does.

135 Bob from Ohio February 21, 2017 at 4:50 pm

Just noticed Maz also used “Kowtowing”.

A great word used by great minds!

136 TMC February 21, 2017 at 4:52 pm

No, just calling out the left’s most enduring quality: hypocrisy .

137 Michal Lehuta February 21, 2017 at 3:09 pm

“I haven’t seen the data, but I believe the rate of “yes” on that one would be quite low.” And why exactly do you believe so? Just interested to know…

138 Dale February 21, 2017 at 3:26 pm

If you are attempting to cite these riots as evidence that Trump’s claims were in any way valid, then you’d better cite the riots that have taken place in the US since his election. Far more cars have been burned and rocks thrown in response to Trump’s election than these riots in Sweden.

139 Thomas February 21, 2017 at 3:49 pm

Yes but both are the fault of lefties like you.

140 Massimo Heitor February 21, 2017 at 3:52 pm

Yes, just like the immigrants in Sweden causing violence and rioting, American critics of Trump causing violence and rioting are similarly horrible behaviors that cast shame onto their groups. We should admire and model the Trump supporters who generally haven’t endorsed violence and riot as a tool to make their points.

141 Owl February 21, 2017 at 3:50 pm

Central European here, know Sweaden quite well…answer is of course no fu**ing way!

142 Cliff February 22, 2017 at 12:02 am

The answer to what?

143 Cliff February 22, 2017 at 12:03 am

Ah, to whether you want a similar immigration history

144 anon February 21, 2017 at 3:53 pm

Many have linked to data, which is useful. I don’t think it can be denied that an influx of poor people who cannot speak the language produces, at a minimum, first generation problems. But then we know that in America because a long history of immigration has had those problems. Vietnamese, Chinese, Jews, Irish, Catholics, it is an old story.

Ultimately though the story has always resolved itself in America, and members of the maligned group have ended in Congress, or the Supreme Court.

For Sweden it might be more traumatic because they don’t have that history. Regardless though, it does come down to the moral question of that first generation. Is doing X good worth Y cost? Everyone can decide that for themselves, but that is the proposition. Trump and many followers see Y > X, while counter protesters see X > Y.

145 anon February 21, 2017 at 3:57 pm

Interesting to note that “Vietnamese, Chinese, Jews, Irish, Catholics,” all make historical sense with “Gangs” added. Most recently Vietnamese Gangs, but going back to Catholic Gangs of the Victorian era.

146 Maya Angelou February 22, 2017 at 12:05 am

“Always resolved itself”

Willful blindness? How many generations will we have to wait for Mestizo immigration to “resolve itself”? How many generations for African immigration?

147 anon February 22, 2017 at 6:25 am

It is hard for me to call Mestizos “immigrants” when I live on former native, Spanish, and Mexican land.

The size of that population and its history probably have a role in .. well, the argument about whom should integrate with whom.

Similar for African .. did you really call it “immigration?”

148 The Centrist February 21, 2017 at 4:14 pm

“Ultimately though the story has always resolved itself in America”

Tell that to the victims and the taxpayers who paid for the increase in policing…

But more importantly, supposing you are right that the story resolves itself as immigrants and their descendants are integrated into what we used to call “decent society”. Doesn’t that have to do with the immigration rate? What rate would be ideal in terms of integration?

Is there an immigration rate at which integration is forestalled?

149 anon February 21, 2017 at 4:23 pm

Yes, I think it absolutely comes down to rates. And as has been suggested, the US probably is better at this because we do move immigrants to Congress quicker.

Is there a wonky way to determine the optimum?

150 The Centrist February 21, 2017 at 6:18 pm

Maybe there is; hopefully there is.

Find the optimal path to Congress for everyone. As British right-winger Melanie Phillips says, medals for everyone! (“All must have Prizes”, is the title.)

Joking aside, the leftist types might be upset, but in the long run it is good that hard questions are asked about immigration rates and integration.

151 anon February 21, 2017 at 7:46 pm

A Centrist should admit that the Right often assumes that the optimum number of Muslim refugees is zero.

152 anon February 21, 2017 at 5:31 pm

Maybe they will be making a Muslim-American version of this sitcom 50 years from now – “Fresh Off the Boat”

153 Adrian Turcu February 21, 2017 at 6:19 pm

Second generation immigrants are more criminal then first. I believe the comparison with Vietnamese and Chinese is not valid.
“DW reported in 2006 that in Berlin, young male immigrants are three times more likely to commit violent crimes than their German peers.[67] Whereas the Gastarbeiter in the 50s and 60s did not have an elevated crime rate, second- and third-generation of immigrants had significantly higher crime rates.[68]”

154 anon February 21, 2017 at 7:54 pm

That is interesting, but America has very different patterns. Everyone(*) has an immigrant story in their history. That is one reason we have greater sympathy. My grandparents lived briefly in an immigrant apartment in 1920s Chicago. Before moving to sunny California.

* – except the native Americans, to whom we consciously turn a blind eye in such discussion

155 bdubd February 21, 2017 at 10:22 pm

… except the native Americans …

Does this count as a vote against Out of Africa?

156 asdf February 21, 2017 at 6:54 pm

Asian and white immigrants are high IQ.

NAM immigrants are not.

Data for NAMs actually gets worse in the second+ generation. They are assimilating to underclass culture, which befits their IQ.

It will not be the same, because the people are not genetically the same.

157 anon February 21, 2017 at 7:57 pm

The thing that shoots that to hell is that we used to massacre Asians for being not white enough, we used to turn away Jews for the same reason.

We (and by that I mean you) are not so much smarter today.

158 DD0000 February 21, 2017 at 8:22 pm

That refutes his point in absolutely no way. Jews have been regularly persecuted because they were *more intelligent* than the native population (and were accumulating all the wealth). East Asians have been outperforming the white population since the SAT first started tracking ethnic breakdown. There is 0 chance that one day Mexican Americans will outperform Chinese Americans. I would bet my life savings on that

159 DD0000 February 21, 2017 at 8:14 pm

Ah you’re the adorably naive anon that believes all groups of people have exactly the same intellectual capacity. If I recall you refused to take me on in a long term bet. Your idiocy is so adorable

160 anon February 21, 2017 at 8:21 pm

That overtly charming racism aside, let me ask a question.

After a thousand years of ignorant prejudice, what makes you think we suddenly have prejudice right?

Just a glorious time to be alive?

161 DD0000 February 21, 2017 at 8:26 pm

Prejudice? We have countless examples of ethnic differences in intelligence, both across countries and within countries. The difference is we have the data today. It would have to be the most amazing coincidence known to man if the patterns we see are entirely due to chance.

I enjoy seeing you comment in these types of threads because the mental gymnastics you have to go through to explain the world around you is just so fun to watch. Just saying “there are differences in average IQs between ethnic groups” would be such an obvious and easy answer, but you’re the type to refuse to believe anything that doesn’t fit your ideology. And so you come up with fantastical tale after fantastical tale. Keep it up!

162 anon February 21, 2017 at 8:45 pm

You mean me and Tyler keep it up?

Maybe you should write “Why Tyler Cowen is wrong.”

163 Joël February 21, 2017 at 10:10 pm

A textbook argument from authority, one of the purest specimen I have seen in natural conditions, in the heat of the comments section of a blog. Bravo, anon!

164 anon February 21, 2017 at 10:43 pm

You guys just love to reveal who you are.

But no, I linked to Tyler because he made a longer argument that I support. It is not “authority,” it is an essay that dovetails with my knowledge of population genetics.

If I linked to more population genetics you would just call that “authority” as well?

165 Maya Angelou February 22, 2017 at 12:11 am

“Who we are” is people who believe in science and reason even when it is inconvenient. One link to a Scientific American article about something we are not even talking about is just so, so sad.

166 anon February 22, 2017 at 5:45 am

From the article: “In one example that demonstrated genetic differences were not fixed along racial lines, the full genomes of James Watson and Craig Venter, two famous American scientists of European ancestry, were compared to that of a Korean scientist, Seong-Jin Kim. It turned out that Watson (who, ironically, became ostracized in the scientific community after making racist remarks) and Venter shared fewer variations in their genetic sequences than they each shared with Kim.”

I don’t know how any “group” claims hold up to that.

167 albatross February 21, 2017 at 9:06 pm

This strikes me as the strongest challenge to hbd ideas generally. There have been people with firm ideas about where different groups fall out in ability or value or morals forever. It’s surely possible that the currently plausible rankings are wrong in some way. Making the rankings in 1850, would anyone have put East Asians at the top of the lineup?

168 Turkey Vulture February 21, 2017 at 9:22 pm

I think it is fairly weak as a general argument. Saying “you got the rankings wrong, again” doesn’t strongly imply “there are no rankings, everyone is the same.”

It is a good reason to be skeptical of the current rankings though.

169 Potato February 21, 2017 at 11:22 pm

Racists gonna racist. In the spirit of Bryan caplan though I’ll make a bet. In 25 years , I’ll take 1-5 odds that Han Chinese Americans outscore whites on the SAT. I’ll put up $50,000. If, in any year, whites score higher on the composite SAT than Han Chinese in the US then I owe you $250,000. If they don’t, you owe me $50,000.

I’ll take that bet.

170 anon February 22, 2017 at 6:20 am

For what it’s worth, a Chinese friend once told me that Americans have unrealistic expectations of Chinese, because they have not met the ones back in China.

So sure, the American “selection” may continue to dedicate themselves academically, or they may discover pot and hip-hop.

Not something I would bet on.

171 stephan February 21, 2017 at 4:11 pm

This has been going on in France for generations now but has been largely ignored or attributed to the usual white racism/privilege etc. Muslims haven’t integrated well. They account for ~ 70% of prison inmates while ~ 10% of the population. It’s the third generation now. There are other immigrants groups like the Chinese and the Vietnamese . They don’t cause trouble and are generally quite productive/entrepreneurial.They’re the good kind of immigrants. The Chinese are also the victims of Muslim youths who try to rob them when they close their store late in the day.The police hasn’t considered protecting them a priority. The justice system seems very tolerant and generous with young immigrants that break the law. The asylum system is abused and broken. There were 1000 cars burned on New Year’s Eve but the authorities now consider this fairly normal.

I don’t particularly like Le Pen’s economic program but France needs her to restore order and implement a sensible immigration policy, Fillon is OK too if he still has a chance.

172 Millian February 21, 2017 at 4:12 pm

Does the truth or discovery or humanism matter any more, or do we just blog to show off that we know banalities about people’s fear?

173 Maya Angelou February 22, 2017 at 12:14 am

Those matter most of all

174 Millian February 21, 2017 at 4:18 pm

First they came for Muslims, and I said “I haven’t seen the data but I’m pretty sure these people can be let go hang, some of my friends are neoreactos”.

175 JWatts February 21, 2017 at 6:13 pm

No one is “coming” for the Muslims. Not allowing widespread open immigration of a particular group is not the same as allowing the Germans to burn them up in ovens.

176 Sam Haysom February 21, 2017 at 8:41 pm

Hang is this case being made to stay in their home countries and fix the problems they contributed in those countries.

177 Steve le Steve-Steve February 21, 2017 at 4:27 pm

A lot of problems would be solved if we would just cull the immigrants after letting them in. In that way, we could both claim the moral superiority from allowing them in, continue to feel guilty about committing wicked acts, AND not have to worry about the costs of integration, social turmoil, etc. Everyone would win.

178 collin February 21, 2017 at 4:41 pm

This is a weird post….Trump is Right! Immigration in Sweden is out of control!!!

Sweden has less murders than Orlando but Burning Cars in 2013 and….Jaywalking!!! Because it is disruptive there. Hey I did actually get a jaywalking ticket in the states.

179 Maz February 21, 2017 at 4:52 pm

In Sweden, immigrants make up “53 percent of those with long prison terms, 54 percent of the unemployed and get 60 per cent of the paid social benefits… 71 percent of the country’s child poverty is among households with a foreign background… while 76 percent of the members of criminal gangs have an immigrant background.” Clearly, nothing to see here.

180 Adrian Turcu February 21, 2017 at 6:22 pm

So everything is fine until you get killed. Rapes and punches to the face are just a part of living in the 21st century West.

181 Sam Haysom February 21, 2017 at 8:43 pm

To be fair even if murder rates were veering upwards he still wouldn’t see a problem was long as he wasn’t getting murdered. I want to add his family but he’s probally sociopathic enough to put virtue signalling over their safety:

182 Eric Rasmusen February 21, 2017 at 4:48 pm

According to UN data, Sweden’s rape rate was 58 in 2013. Some other values
Norway: 22
England and Wales: 36
Denmark: 6
USA 35
Japan 1

Try googling this and you’ll see what contortions the liberal media go into to try to surround the facts with obfuscation.

183 Bob from Ohio February 21, 2017 at 4:52 pm

The laws are different! They count different things as rape!

184 Philippe Lemoine February 21, 2017 at 4:55 pm

I totally agree that the media is distorting the facts on immigration in Sweden and pretty much everywhere else. But my understanding is that Sweden has a very broad legal definition of rape compared to most other countries, which probably explains at least part of the difference.

185 The Centrist February 21, 2017 at 7:25 pm

We could ask Assange.

186 albatross February 22, 2017 at 7:37 am

If he’d asked first, he wouldn’t be hiding out in the Ecuadoran Embassy.

187 OneGuy February 21, 2017 at 5:15 pm

OK! I think I understand now. If there is violence in Sweden and their government hides it so that it doesn’t look bad and scare the citizens then there is no violence. AND if Trump points out that the violence happened then he is a liar. Did I get that right? I assume that if Hillary had won and pointed out the violence she would be telling the truth. So in the end the “truth” depends on who is telling us.

188 JWatts February 21, 2017 at 6:15 pm

Principals over principles.

189 Sam Haysom February 21, 2017 at 8:44 pm

Kind of- but the principals seem to all have the seem declared principles.

190 M February 21, 2017 at 5:22 pm

This article is vastly understating the frequency of rioting in Sweden. For example, this is far from the first riot in Rinkeby since 2013. Here is a recent example, as reported by Swedish public service media less than two weeks ago. Short summary in English:

On the night of February 11 20-30 people attacked a police patrol in Rinkeby. Three people were arrested for “violent rioting” after hitting, kicking and throwing glass and bottles at the police officers (who were injured although not very seriously).

These incidents are no longer surprising or shocking to most Swedes. They are taken in stride and viewed as minor aberrations despite occurring very frequently. In Malmö, cars being set on fire, bombs going off, people getting shot etc has been reported almost daily for a long time.

This is common knowledge in Sweden and mainstream media report on it, including state-run public service media.

191 prior_test2 February 22, 2017 at 1:13 am

Actually, probably not even weekly for Malmo, using the wikipedia link below as a useful guide.

Many of the attacks seem to be either be explicitly gang related (likely Russian or Balkan or ‘rockers’) or connected to commercial establishments, with an interesting emphasis on nightclubs. Nightclubs also being the sort of place that employ doormen, for example a nice gentleman who just happens to ride a motorcycle, or speak with a certain accent. However, definitely some – around a quarter – are definitely identifiable as being related to certain groups.

Also, looking at the 2016 list, maybe a quarter of the attacks are in Malmo.

The comment noting that grenades occupy a strange place in Swedish law was also interesting – grenades are pretty easy to use, but fairly indiscriminate. It is notable that none of the reported attacks seems to be directed at causing mass slaughter, though the ones against police stations are certainly intended as a threat to those charged with enforcing the law.

192 Maz February 21, 2017 at 5:26 pm
193 Floccina February 21, 2017 at 5:34 pm

SO if they live apart from the ethnic Swedes is it so much of a problem?

194 Floccina February 21, 2017 at 5:39 pm

Since the USA seems determined to police the world anyway perhaps the most charitable thing the west could do would be to let then come and put lots of police on the streets where they live. An interesting sort of charity.

195 Cliff February 22, 2017 at 12:17 am

That would kill the golden goose

196 Bill February 21, 2017 at 5:40 pm

How disorderly is the GMU campus really?

First sign of propaganda and the propagation of false beliefs is to assume that which needs to be proven, or to assert with a question mark something to make you think it is true.

How biased is Marginal Revolution really?

197 Bill February 21, 2017 at 5:47 pm

Another example of the assertive question mark:

Can you believe what’s happening in Sweden? How can this crime rate continue?

198 Sam Haysom February 21, 2017 at 8:45 pm

Is Bill really still a virgin? Isn’t he like seventy-three?

199 Bill February 21, 2017 at 9:37 pm

What you say

Says who you are.

200 JWatts February 22, 2017 at 3:07 pm

A bad poet?

201 Floccina February 21, 2017 at 5:45 pm

Also remember this

In some cases, such as the New York Draft Riot, organizers get people out on the street. In others, such as the 1965 Watts Riot, a peaceful crowd provides cover for initial lawlessness. Sporting events, such as Game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals in Vancouver this year, can easily produce the crowds that allow a riot to start. Most strangely, riots can follow an event that creates a combination of anger and the shared perception that others will be rioting. The acquittal of police officers in the Rodney King case seems to have created these conditions in Los Angeles in 1992.

202 Juhani Huopainen February 21, 2017 at 5:45 pm

There is a recent poll –

“Respondents were given the following statement: ‘All further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped’. They were then asked to what extent did they agree or disagree with this statement. Overall, across all 10 of the European countries an average of 55% agreed that all further migration from mainly Muslim countries should be stopped, 25% neither agreed nor disagreed and 20% disagreed.”

Read here:

203 Wonky anon February 21, 2017 at 5:53 pm

We don’t believe in FACTS anymore. I know the FACTS show that migrants are disproportionately implicated in crime, but in light of such FACTS, we need to change tack to dubious MORAL arguments. Wonder if there’s a WONKY way to do that?

204 The Other Jim February 21, 2017 at 6:01 pm

>(After Trump was) seeming to imply, incorrectly, that immigrants had perpetrated a recent spate of violence in Sweden, riots broke out in a predominantly immigrant neighborhood

I’m dead serious here — this sentence needs to be bronzed so that future generations can be in awe of its awesomeness. There is no other way that anyone will believe it was ever written.

205 jim jones February 21, 2017 at 7:28 pm
206 Borjigid February 21, 2017 at 7:52 pm

Assuming Tyler is correct in everything he says, all that tells us is that Sweden has slightly more crime than otherwise and is overall still a nice place to live.

Which is cool, but like everybody else on this blog I mostly care about the USA. The marginal impact of Muslim immigration may be quite different in the US than in Sweden.

From Wikipedia, it appears that the US had roughly 15,700 murders and a population of 320 million (in 2015), Orlando had 32 murders and a population of 270,000 (in 2014), and Sweden had 100 murders and a population of 10 million (in 2014), of which 500,000 were Muslim.

Unless Swedish Muslims committed more than 60% of the total murders in Sweden, they were more peaceful than Orlando. Unless Swedish Muslims committed more than 25% of total murders in Sweden, they were more peaceful than the US as a whole.

I think it is likely that both of the above statements are true, since Swedish Muslims are less than 1% of the population.

Thinking at the margin and using the Swedish experience as our guide, we should admit as many Muslims as we can if we want to lower our murder rate.

207 Sam Haysom February 21, 2017 at 8:48 pm

The nice thing about the United States is we already have a ton of Muslims. And they generally commit a lot of crime. Some of them are basically out of control- Somalis- some largely confine their criminality to fraud and tax evasion- Persians.

208 albatross February 22, 2017 at 7:39 am

Do you have a link to some statistics on that?

209 msgkings February 22, 2017 at 12:42 pm

LOL, no.

210 Viking February 21, 2017 at 11:07 pm

Why do you think Swedish muslims are less than 1% of the population?

211 Cliff February 22, 2017 at 12:21 am

You just said 500,000 of a 10 million population were Muslim. That’s not 1%.

212 Borjigid February 22, 2017 at 6:50 pm


You are correct. I don’t think it changes my argument much, although obviously it undermines my credibility.

213 OneGuy February 21, 2017 at 8:39 pm

“Bouts of anger” “a crowd of youths” Apologize much for criminals???

214 albatross February 22, 2017 at 7:42 am

Many years ago the medium-sized town where I lived was beginning to have gang problems. For a long time, the local paper would refer to these as “groups of youths” rather than gangs–I’m not sure if that was PC, pressure from advertisers or the mayor, or just innate cluelessness.

215 Massimo Heitor February 22, 2017 at 12:03 am

Tyler Cowen has been red pilled.

216 Inalienable Rights February 22, 2017 at 9:51 am

Absent some compelling statistical analysis (that I’ve yet to see presented), it’s very hard to infer a causal link between the 2004-2015 immigration time series in sweden:

and the crime trends in Sweden over that same time interval:

Of course one can come up with anecdotal evidence to support such a narrative, after all in a country of 10 million bad shit will happen with some frequency.

I’m not surprised that surveys of Swedish citizens would reveal that the majority perceive an increase in crime. The puzzle for Sweden and the US is why the public perception of crime trends is so at odds with reality:

Note that if we believe the (limited) cross sectional evidence that the immigrants commit crimes at higher frequency, then this is probably very good news for native born Swedes. Since logically:

The rates of crime are unchanged from 2005 + immigrants tend to cluster + most criminals commit crimes within their own neighborhood => native born swedes are *less* likely to be victims of crime.

217 JWatts February 22, 2017 at 3:18 pm

“The puzzle for Sweden and the US is why the public perception of crime trends is so at odds with reality:”

Riots in immigrant areas of Sweden have become a regular event. There are pictures and plenty of news stories indicating the riots are happening. And yet the stats indicate that society is more peaceful than ever. I think the populace is losing faith that the official stats are accurate.

Who are you going to believe, my official government stats or your lying eyes?

218 Inalienable Rights February 23, 2017 at 2:44 pm

Oh, so it must be a government conspiracy, rather than a change in perceptions following a change in media coverage. But then such a conspiracy must also exist in the US, since there seems to be *no* correlation between rates of violent crime and fear of crime:

Are we to believe that there was a massive unreported surge in violent crime: 2006-2008, then again 2012-2013, and yet again 2014-2016? A government cover up that spans a decade and multiple administrations? In a country in which the president can’t get a blow job from an intern without it becoming national news?

Or maybe it’s more plausible that media focus on crime changes over time and public perceptions follow this change in focus?

219 Daven February 23, 2017 at 7:05 am

Sweden resident here.

The latest article above very much understates the current feeling of lawlessness going on it Sweden.

Perhaps the most shocking crime of late was a murder just after 6pm in a busy public square in central malmo just outside a family-friendly restaurant

Malmo is a city of only 300k people. From my personal network alone of 40+ year olds I know many who have been victims of random beatings, robbery, break and enter. I know one family who recently came under ransom threats; its unclear why they specifically were targeted, but my hunch is the father has an occupation with a high salary by Swedish standards. Many families flee to the suburbs but many don’t, and those still living in the city center are very concerned.

Even uber lefty types who used to say “well crime is still worse in other places, like major u.s. cites” have stopped regurgitating that narrative.

220 Throwaway February 23, 2017 at 9:52 am

Male, Nordic resident here, Swedish speaker, intimately familiar with Stockholm. I find the effects of immigration on Stockholm to be underwhelming in practice. I for example never experience that immigrants I randomly come into contact with distrust me, or that they expect me to distrust them. That includes young men hanging around on street corners. Most second-generation immigrants seem to be considerably more Swedish than I am.

On a side note: most US news stories on small countries I know something about appear to be mostly false, especially when they make exceptional claims. That must make it really hard for Americans to evaluate US policies based on such stories.

221 Augustina March 9, 2017 at 2:33 am

An inlgtlieent point of view, well expressed! Thanks!

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