What I don't like in Finland?
I have a bad habit of criticizing other countries. This irritates people and I have been asked why I did not stay in Finland if it is so perfect. Well, Finland is far from perfect. To be more precise: Finland sucks, deep and hard. And so do them who take the criticism of their country personally. If a country sucks it does not mean that everyone who lives in that country suck, too. Therefore I make a difference between countries and people, and criticize countries without comparing them to Finland. It would not make any sense to compare something with zero, right? You just can't divide by zero. Frankly, I don't think that any country on earth is necessary. The worst thing that comes with countries is nationalism. It is a true poison making mass manipulation possible and allowing blood-thirsty maniacs to get power. Borders between countries separate people from each other and create inconveniences in moving around. People need some magic pieces of paper called passports and have to have all kinds of silly stamps and stickers in them.
The past two years I have just traveled around the world. If the life will not be more livable elsewhere or I don't want to travel anymore I might return to Finland to exploit the Finnish welfare system and social security. Free flat, relaxed life of the unemployed, and easy money sound tempting. Otherwise the annual darkness depression on winter time, workaholic culture, and all-the-best-for-everyone-moomin-land may rest in peace in the northern part of earth just below the Arctic Circle.
During my travels I gained perspective and got distance to the Finnish system. Currently Finland appears to be a country that is desperately trying to keep its citizens in the system by tying them up to the rat race with illusions and house loans. People are needed for paying more and more taxes, and for producing new tax payers to secure future taxes. The Berlin Wall was made from concrete, with barbwire and armed soldiers. It was more real but less effective than the Finland Wall. The Finland Wall is made of inward-looking culture which highlights the superiority of Finland, and at the same time undermines all other countries. For example the former Prime Minister of Finland, Mr. Esko Aho once said in 1990's: “Siberia educates.”. He ment that if a Finn don't like Finland he should go to Siberia to learn how great Finland is. Well, I went and discovered that I like Siberia much more than Finland.
Finnish weather sucks. It is either raining or there is half-a-meter of snow. If the sun happens to be shining you must run immediately inside to avoid skin cancer. There is a huge ozone hole in the sky. Finland has no great white-sand beaches to boast with. And the numerous paper mills have caused poisonous algae to spread into lakes and sea. The stink is unimaginable in cities near factories. Society is self-service thanks to excessive taxation. People literally build their own houses, pack their own stuff in shops, take their dogs out, clean their flats, and sort their rubbish. But what is this tiny country of five million inhabitants proud of? Finland is proud of Nokia™, Finlandia Vodka™, Santa Claus, sauna, Kimi Räikkönen, and Finnish welfare. If you memorize one or two items from this list and tell them to a Finn you will instantly be friend's forever. Here comes the reality.
A few years ago the previous CEO of Nokia, Mr. Jorma Ollila, dared to criticize the extortionate taxation level of Finland. He was swiftly silenced by Finnish government officers stating that Nokia should move to Afghanistan if it wants lower taxes. Oh well, I guess Finland was lucky when Ollila did not follow the advice. And probably the utmost reason for Nokia's success in Finland is that most of it is already abroad. It is just a matter of time when the rest will be moved away to the main market areas and more reasonable taxation. In reality Finland do not want to have enterprises or businesses. They create inequality and make some people richer than others. The poor will feel bad. It is much better to grow further the already vast public sector to create new jobs. This creates nicely equality and maintains equilibrium.
Vodka, or precisely Finlandia Vodka™, has been long time the flag ship of Finnish food industry that everyone is claimed to know. In general, the greatness of Finnish alcohol industry began almost 100 years ago. Through the history government has raised alcohol prices higher and higher using extortionate taxation. Thanks to this Finnish consumers perceive the smelly liquid excessively valuable and think that it's cool to drink. The Finnish state monopoly Altia (former Alko) has exclusive sales right protected by the legislation to prevent competition. The official explanation for artificially price manipulation is to protect poor and stupid Finns from killing themselves. Without Altia and the alcohol policy Finns would surely die to alcohol poisoning, or in the worst case quit it's excessive use; this would create tax losses sinking Finnish economy. It is funny, that when you ask where vodka comes from, everyone will answer to you either Russia or Sweden. Exactly the same happens with sauna. And Finland keeps claiming that sauna is a Finnish invention. Pathetic.
Santa Claus lives in Lapland in a tiny hill called Korvatunturi. From there he comes every Christmas to visit the children of earth. Every Finnish child learn this fact early. And they believe just like the rest of Finns that everyone in the world is aware of it. So the Italian folklore about Saint Nikolaus from northern Italy has to be pure crap. Saint has neither visited Finland nor lived in Korvatunturi. The same applies to lies that Santa Claus lives in the North Pole. Lapland is far away from the North Pole and moreover the North Pole is not in Finland. Sad, isn't it? This kind of thinking applies to many things in the Finnish society. Finns respect and believe eternally static authorities blindly, even the rebels and anarchists. Inside the Finnish system things look different. Everything acceptable, understandable, reasonable, and criticism is unnecessary waste of resources. The the meaning of life is to simply kill yourself with excessive working for getting to heaven (read: the Lutheran work ethics).
Kimi Räikkönen is a Finnish world-famous F1-driver. In the past there has been many other great celebrities including Mika Häkkinen, Keke Rosberg, Matti Nykänen, and Paavo Nurmi. Oops, Matti Nykänen was the world champion in ski jumping some twenty years ago, but I shouldn't have mentioned him. He is not a proper Finn even though (unlike all the other champions) he has not moved away from Finland. Matti is a convicted criminal. Tabloids sell with his adventures. The downhill of Matti's life began at the end of his ski jumping career. Young Matti won a shining sports car from a ski jumping contest, but the Finnish taxation officers took it from him. It was because the car was so shiny and new, or for the prize tax which is higher than the retail price of the car, or whatever. Fortunately they did not have taxes for the medals, Matti was allowed to keep them. Anyway, Matti learned that the only one in Finland who benefits from hard work and success is the state. Later Matti has been a porno movie actor, singer, jail bird, and a warning example to all those who long for success. Fortunately Kimi Räikkönen has left Finland and he is living happily in Monaco.
In the next chapters I will describe what Finnish society consists of and how it works in practice. I have selected the following highlights: business, security, church, Finnish welfare, public services, taxation, and justice. And finally I will give you an answer to a question you might have: why don't Finns leave Finland.
One acquaintance of mine started one of the first Internet companies in Finland in the beginning of the 90's. Some years later he managed to sell his quite nicely grown company to a telephone giant. As a payment he got shares of that company. Unfortunately the share prices dropped right after the deal. The poor fellow had to sell all his shares for paying the profit taxes, which were calculated from the highest price. At the end of the day he had only tax debt left. He became the worst kind of Finn and a total looser; an entrepreneur who has failed. As the matter of fact most Finnish entrepreneurs do not take normal salaries. They compensate low profits (after extortionate taxes) with their own income to look more successful and create envy.
Envy is the key driver of both business and Finnish society. One must have better car than his neighbor, more money, and prettier wife. And Finland has to be better than Sweden, and Finns are better than Swedes. The best thing is that there is always someone who has more, so people will never run out envy. It makes them work more, harder, and longer. Without envy Finnish society would undoubtedly collapse. The balancing counter force and equalizer is taxation shoveling the wealth back to the poor. It helps to keep envy levels optimal. When I was running my Finnish rat race I had a successful business, three cars, big house with a swimming pool, two beautiful wifes (just to make sure there is no misunderstandings: not at the same time), two children, a dog, and many trees. It was more than most of my neighbors had and it excited constant envy. However, when I stopped to envy others I found no more reason to continue running in the rat race.
Cars are always the best sources of envy. First of all the car taxation is almost as extortionate as alcohol. Therefore only the rich people can afford to have a nice car. All the rest are driving with old junk from the 80's and 90's. The fuel cost is high as well thanks to taxation that is said to protect the environment. Funny, but at the same time Finland and Iran are the only countries in the world building more nuclear power. And nobody considers that environmentally friendly. Or maybe the Finnish Radiation and Nuclear Safety Authority (STUK) wants to have a second chance after failing totally with Chernobyl accident in 1980's. Finns were neither properly warned nor informed when the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded, and a big part of the radiation landed into Finland. Children were playing in radiating sand boxes and everyone drinking contaminated tab water. I bet those thousands of Finns who are dieing or have already died to cancer would have appreciated to know what was happening.
In the beginning of the 90's there were thousands of similar incidents, when Finnish government promised not to make devaluation and broke the promise. Foreign currency debts perished companies and turned the entrepreneurs into losers. Some committed suicide to avoid the embarrassment.
Finns often refer to Finland as a bird nest. It is such a secure and good place, for both living and raising up children. Recently a European study rated Finland as the most violent country in Europe according to the crime statistics. The Finnish news found acceptable excuses to citizens from alcohol and distant areas. Alcohol and its abusive use makes a great excuse for everything and distant areas sound like they are not in Finland. In the 50's there was a multiple homicide in lake Bodom, that has been trialled multiple times since then. The persecutors have been obsessed in their 50-year-hunt to get at least someone convicted. A few years ago there was a man with an ax trying to kill people in a metro on broad daylight. And a school boy built a bomb which he detonated in a shopping mall. I believe that the false security is the most essential myth keeping Finns in Finland. Thank God there is at least the invincible Finnish army and its Winter War fighting spirit warranting external security. Or maybe not.
Finnish army uses rags made for WWII (World War II). Part of the equipment still in use was stolen from the Soviet army during the war. The rest is excess junk bought mainly from the Soviet Union. The army trains seriously its soldiers to shoot down cruising missiles with assault riffles. And to protect themselves from nuclear explosions with two branches of spruce. According to the army there is plenty of time to take cover under the branches when you see the bright light of nuclear explosion. And after the pressure wave is gone you can easily wipe all radiation away with the branches spruce. Their biggest advancement was having doors to toilets in 1990's. I was there witnessing everything and they really made me a man.
Finland was part of Axis and allied with Nazis in WWII. It attacked Russia with the help of Germans hoping to build a great Finnish empire. As we nowadays know this failed and Finland lost some pieces of land to Soviet Union. Officially Finland explains and teaches at school that the war was an inevitable defense battle. And naturally it claims victory, because Finland remained independent unlike Baltic countries. One can just wonder what was Finland's contribution to Nazis regarding Jewish people. Even Germany has admitted what happened there.
A popular Russian politician, Mr. Zhirinovsky once stated that Finland would make a nice summer cottage area for Russians. Sure. I cannot help asking, why not just to give up Finland if someone wants it so badly. My personal illusion of security in Finland vanished over a decade ago. I founded a company in Estonia a few years after Estonia became independent from the Soviet Union. Russian mafia was quite strong at that time and they started to call me in Finland. The reason why I should have bought protection from them was to protect my Estonian employees and family in Finland. I went to the National Bureau of Investigation (KRP) for advice. The only thing they could say was: “Horrible. We hope they will not spread to Finland and start doing bad things here, too”. Thank you, that really helped. And yes, I chose to pay to mafia.
The church of Finland is Lutheran. I am purposefully talking about church and not religion, because only less than half of Finns believe in Church and just a little bit more to the Lutheran God. However, Lutheran church is very powerful part of the state and protected by laws. It is also privileged to tax both individuals and companies. Church contributes to the everyday life the Lutheran work ethic, which drives Finns to work like crazy. In that sense church is essential part of society. Because most of the people belong to church everyone should. And especially for teachers it is a must as they are role models. Without church Finland would be more communistic than Soviet Union was in the 20th century. For example, I can be thrown to the jail in Finland because I wrote this chapter as it evidently doesn't agree with the official divine truth of Finland's ridiculous, sorry, religious laws.
The most popular party in democratic Finland is the party of non-voters. They get usually around 50% of all votes. Why is that so? In Finland there are many parties, but the only real difference is the name of the party. They do not have different aims, programs or opinions. Populism is the only real interest of each party and thus they are identical. Therefore there is not much reason to vote for anything, because a change is not possible, and anyway, the voted party will behave just like all other parties would have done. This I call Finnish national socialism. It is national, because it is socialism on the national level, independent from parties, politicians, and voters. Everyone must have equally good life, or in other words equally bad life in mediocrity. Everything different needs to be rooted out and punished, and differences must to be equalized. There is only a middle class in Finland. The national socialist system protects monopolies like Altia (the alcohol sales company). It knows better than people themselves what they want and need. And protects citizens from themselves.
The public figure of Finland is the President Mrs. Tarja Halonen. She is the Moomin Mother of Moomin Land. Her election theme was more equal salaries to everyone and the first thing she did after getting elected was raising her own (already very high) salary. She is usually just stating the wishes of the majority of the voters, and making skilled side-steps in all other issues.
Fish starts to rotten from the head and then the tail follows. One Finnish politician was irritated when a journalist asked him some questions and he answered: “I am drinking coffee now.” Another politician, the former Prime Minister, Mr. Paavo Lipponen, visited USA just before the invasion of Iraq. He gave Finland's full support to the aggression while the rest of Finland was strictly opposing it, including the Moomin Mother. Another former Prime Minister, Mr. Esko Aho promised that prices will not hike if Finland joins Euro. Now-a-days everything cost over two times more, but Finns are happy with their expensive prices. If politicians, school or church say something it's the word of God. It may not be criticized or questioned.
Actually the majority, non-voters, vote against the system of national socialism. But their votes don't count. The blacklist of non-voters is for sale so this will change in the future. Even more ballots will have pictures of female genitals and names of famous Finnish rock artists.
It's great to have free services, but there is no such thing as a free lunch. The common factor to all of public services is low efficiency and constant budget cuts. I will talk about health care and schooling, and let the rest (including daycare, libraries, public transport, and consumer advice centers, etc.) be. The police will be discussed in the Justice chapter separately. About old people's homes I have no experience yet, and hopefully will never have. I can just imagine myself sitting in a wheel chair having shit in my pants after waiting several hours for someone to come. If I am lucky they would put me to an appropriate queue to wait for changing my diapers, or wait for the next shit and change both at the same time.
Health care has adjusted to budget cuts by putting people to queues. Those queues solve capacity and funding problems as the most hopeless cases pass away and those who can afford will buy the service from the private sector. Many Finnish health care centers are looking for to hire doctors from Estonia. They are much cheaper and even understand a little bit of Finnish language. On the other hand Finnish doctors prefer private facilities as they have better salaries, equipment, and patients are not roughly terminated in queues. A child is most valued thing in the Finnish health care system. It has the biggest monetary contribution potential (read: pays more taxes) for the society. Other people are valued according to their currently existing potential, which makes pensioners the least valued. We often wondered with my wife why Finnish condoms broke once a week when we lived in Finland. After leaving Finland there has not been a single incident in two years. Maybe that was just Finnish family politics, who cares what the parents want.
School is free as long as you accept the brainwashing of Finnish values and truths. Everyone has to be just like others and brought up the same way. About three years of the nine years of obligatory primary school pupils learn new things and the rest six years is for up bringing and selling national socialist illusions. The Finnish history for example has been rewritten to match foreign politics. That happened because Finland has been licking the Soviet Union's ass since the WWII, and after the Soviet Union collapsed, Russia's. All kind of critique is a taboo. A Finnish Member of Parliament, Ms. Heidi Hautala, broke recently the taboo and was severely punished because she expressed publicly wrong opinions. I remember one thing I learned at school: it's like winning in lottery to be born in Finland. But who the heck wants to win in lottery if the prize requires to move into Finland?
Taxation is integral part of Finnish national socialist system and the key to balancing income and wealth (read: envy). It provides all the funds needed for inefficient and ever growing public services, and is the only institution in Finland independent of legal system. Finnish taxation makes decisions and executes them independently from courts and laws by choosing to disregard judgments. This makes it despotic and unpredictable. In general Finnish legislation and government are very complex and overlapping, and the taxation is not an exception. These complexities and overlaps are impossible to dismantle because that would create bad feelings. Or in the worst case unveil useless employees.
I have had many displeasures in dealing with the taxation. Once the Finnish post office lost a letter they sent me regarding some minor tax deductions. Because I did not answer to the inquiry in time they decided to reject those deductions. I went to complain with the receipts they had earlier requested and managed only to piss them off really well. After that incident everything was wrong in my tax reports, none of my tax deductions were accepted, and I was treated like a trouble maker. My advance taxes hiked up and the Tampere tax office generated more and more bushshit for me. Naturally the Finnish state monopoly Post offered to refund the value of the stamp. Great!
The total level of taxation is way over 50% in Finland including taxes of income, social security, added value, property transferring, gift, inheritance, cigarette, alcohol, gasoline, sales, property, customs, church, profit, origin/source, co2, environmental, and about thirty more other taxes.
The justice system of Finland is a modern Robin Hood. It robs from the rich and gives to the poor. This way it fully supports national socialism. If a poor person does not have any money, the lawyer fees are paid from tax money so that the poor bastard can sue the rich son of a bitch, as many times as needed so that he will eventually give up to save time and money. Courts judge normally everyone to pay their own legal costs so everyone will loose except the poor. This way he can anyway feel like winning. He is at least causing high legal costs to the defendant if nothing else.
The police supports justice by investigating rapidly all cases where a poor person has been infringed. On the other hand, car thieves are never found because usually only the better cars of rich people are worth of stealing. The incredibly poor salaries paid to the Finnish police ensure that only the poor will join the police force. This way they will sympathize with other poor fellows. I was once told, that only half of the Finnish policemen can read and the other half write. Therefore they are always in pairs.
Prosecutors as well as the rest of the justice system are a direct continuation to the values and methods of the police force. They actually use more judging power than courts. They choose which cases to prosecute and which not. In the trial there is a jury of a few persons present. They represent the poor because only poor people have plenty of time to sit in trials. So their sympathies go for the poor as well. This way justice is naturally as biased as it should be by origin, and will follow neatly the principle of Finnish national socialism.
I have wasted one day in the court in Oulu (one of the shit smelling cities in North Finland) and paid a few hundred euro for my costs. That was a really stupid trial against my friend. He was accused of shooting in purpose a protected bird. Because he was not a poor fellow I had to waste the whole day in trial; travelling 1400km, testifying, and listening to idiots. If I had known that beforehand I would have pleaded that I shot that fucking duck and paid the tiny fine. In my humble opinion any institution or individual who is living in the delusion of objectivity is dangerous to both itself and others.
Why don't Finns leave Finland? Avoid my bigotry and biased views, and let shit hit the fan by seeing Finland by yourself! I assure you that you will be warmly welcomed (unless you are a refugee, come from a 3rd world country, have a wrong color of skin or hair, or don't speak Finnish language fluently). Finland is proud to be racist and enjoys the smallest amount of refugees in EU.
Please don't call me “Finn”.
In Siberia on 2006-08-09.
P.S. There is something fantastic in Finland, too. New-Zealand
visa was free of charge for Finns and they save $50.
P.P.S. Don't tell this to taxation, otherwise they will double tax everyone a free-of-charge-visa-gift tax or confiscate the shining visa stickers with a cool hologram from passports and auction them.