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Swedens The Middle Way


Swedish Aging Policy. Universal (based on citizenship) Life-long: 'from cradle to grave' ... Medicare, a universal health insurance program, was also created in ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Swedens The Middle Way

Swedens The Middle Way
  • Swedenis neither a socialist state without
    democratic representation, nor does it have a
    free market economy

Sweden chose the middle way,by being a social
democracy with a highly developed Welfare State.
Swedens The Middle Way
  • Swedens economyis a social market economy,
    based on capitalist free market principles, which
    also values the social aspects of the larger
    community, the solidarity between all citizens.

Swedish Aging Policy
  • Universal (based on citizenship)
  • Life-long from cradle to grave
  • Comprehensive (housing, health care, income

Official Ideology (Sweden)
  • Five Guiding Principles to Aging Policy
  • Normal as possible living conditions
  • Viewing older person as whole
  • Self-determination
  • Influence/participation
  • Partners in stimulating environment

Political Economy of Aging Policy
  • Sweden
  • Aging Services are
  • universal
  • democratizing
  • age-integrating
  • Source Zelkovitz, 1997
  • United States
  • Aging Services
  • Categorical, incremental and residual (Estes)
  • perpetuate inequities
  • age-segregating

Political Economy of Aging Policy
  • Aging Services in the U.S.
  • Area Agencies on Aging
  • AAAs are part of the Administration On Aging
    created via Older Americans Act (1965) to
    alleviate social needs of the older population at
    the community level. (No longer true, AAAs now
    part of the State Units of Aging)
  • Note Medicare, a universal health insurance
    program, was also created in 1965 via amendment
    to the Social Security Act to help families with
    medical bills.

Political Economy of U.S. Aging Policy
  • Aging Services in the U.S.

The budget for OAA aging services, as for most
social services, has been severely cut during the
Bush Administration. Take a look at the AoA
organizational chart http//www.aoa.gov/about/org/
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U.S. Aging Policy is not static, but changing
Difference in ideology between political parties
in the U.S. is striking. Johnson Administration
(1965) vs. Bush Administration (2000-8)
Diverging Views on Role of Government
  • Democrats
  • alleviate inequalities (via progressive tax
    policies not renew the Bush tax cut for
  • provide government services for needy groups,
    such as elderly, kids, poor, etc.
  • provide a safety net (Soc Sec, TANF, food
    stamps, SSI, etc.)
  • regulate the economy (incl. banking industry)
  • Republicans
  • ownership society want to renew the Bush tax
    cut for super rich
  • claim that private sector is better at providing
    goods/services for individuals than government
  • would like to privatize Social Security and
  • are generally for limited government and

Sweden vs. U.S.
  • Different Political Values

Social Democratic Party radical (left of
liberal) by American political standards ? Highly
developed Welfare State
Ideology - Political Values
Lets now look at the spectrum of political
ideology in the U.S. http//crab.rutgers.edu/dep
A Comparative Look at US and Swedish Aging
References Estes, Carroll, Social Policy and
Aging A Critical Perspective, New York, NY
Sage, 2001. Quadagno, Jill, Aging and The Life
Course, New York, NY McGraw Hill, 2008. Stupp,
Herbert W., Area Agencies on Aging A Network of
Services to Maintain Elderly in Their
Communities Management Journal, 2000, Vol 2 (1)
54-62.Zelkowitz, Bruce M., "Transforming the
'Middle Way' A Political Economy of Aging Policy
in Sweden," in Sokolovsky, Jay, ed., The Cultural
Context of Aging Worldwide Perspectives, 2nd
ed., Westport, CN Bergin Garvey, 1997
Reading Assignment
Homework for Next Class Read Chapter 9 Living
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