MEA310 From Lebanon, joined Feb 2002, 660 posts, RR: 13 Posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 23 hours ago) and read 1200 times:
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedes spent 2.9 billion Swedish crowns ($410.4 million) on illicit drugs and prostitutes in 2004, the country's statistics office (SCB) estimated on Friday.
The SCB, more used to churning out dry economic statistics on things like the money supply, made the calculations after the European Union ruled in 1996 that national accounts must include all transactions, including black market ones.
Despite some of the toughest laws in Europe, Sweden's nine million people spent 2.3 billion crowns for illegal drugs while alcohol smuggling added an estimated 1.7 billion crowns to the economy, it said. It put spending on prostitutes at 0.6 billion crowns.
Birgitta Magnusson head of the statistics bureau's three-person "vice squad", told Reuters earlier this week that the calculations had been extremely difficult.
To estimate how much Swedes spend on drugs, for example, the team had to find out the street value of the drugs and their import price. The data was then tallied with data on how many hard drug users there are in the country.
The value of smuggled alcohol is estimated in the same way but the problem with prostitutes is not one of price -- you can get a sample of prices from the internet -- but of working out how many clients a prostitute sees each day.
The SCB said its calculations were "experimental" and "based on a very uncertain ground".
JCS17 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 8065 posts, RR: 43 Reply 5, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 1098 times:
It's hard to blame the Swedes for paying $410 million for sex and drugs when a depressant like alcohol is so expensive there. I'm not defending the use of sex and drugs for cash, but at some time you've got to look and say that excessive government regulation of alcohol is causing this problem. As an American, it sucks to go over to Stockholm (and yes, I was there in March) and pay $7USD for a pint of beer. The prices at Systembolaget are ridiculous, something like $33 for a liter of Captain Morgan's Rum when in the states I can buy it at an "expensive liqour store" for $15. From a personal perspective, the Swedish persona is so quiet and demure, that not until a Swede gets a few $10 drinks in them they actually open up. From an American's perspective, who has been to other countries within Europe, your alcohol policies and taxes are causing the problems. If a Swede can get cheaper drugs than alcohol, then you only see the progression into sex.
I'm sorry for not having any experiences with sex (aside from hanging around some Swedes in a club drinking beer) and drugs in Sweden (I didn't want my US passport to be denied at ARN). Basically, from an American's point of view:
1) Allow systembolaget to exist, but do not allow them to tax the way they are.
2)The prices for beer should be much more reasonable and "ohl" should be able to be sold at a reasonablee price at corner stores.....not just Systembolaget.
It was an interesting culture to be sure, but one that could be more lax on alchol.The more alcohol that is cheapily availble to the public, will cut down on drugs amd prostitution.
I still love you Stockholm, and Sweden as whole. Planning to go back next summer, but let people drink alcohol for a reasonable price, you won't be having drug and prostitution issues,
SK A340 From Sweden, joined Mar 2000, 845 posts, RR: 3 Reply 6, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 1092 times:
Have you been following the discussion in the Swedish media? There is quite a debate going on right now about Systembolaget's monopoly and the private import of alcoholic drinks from other EU countries (Germany, Denmark and Estonia) and you summed it up very well, at least the opponent's views on Systembolaget.
I agree with you. Officially the Social democrats are keeping the monopoly to "support the public health" but everyone here knows that Systembolaget (and other monopolies) are a great source of money for the state.
A tax relief would help to bring down the private import (not illegal, but lowers the income of Systembolaget) but as long that we are stuck with the "red party" as a government party that won't happen. They (and their collaborate parties) think that tax raises are the solution to everything.
JCS17 From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 8065 posts, RR: 43 Reply 7, posted (8 years 1 month 3 weeks 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 1082 times:
I'm just saying the excessive taxes levied for alcohol drinkers (and Systembolaget) is causing the Swedes to turn to the much more dangerous sex and drugs for entertainment. If I was a Swede, I'd probably voting Moderat or Folkpartiet--although I have doubts on what those politicians would do about those issues.