By Nordstjernan columnist Ulf Nilson, May 2010

First and foremost, the great majority of people in both the rich and less wealthy countries have hardly noticed. He or she who has a steady job and not too overwhelming debts has lived about the same as before the crisis. One has read and listened to broadcasts, watched television and so on. Maybe worried a bit too, but was hardly in despair.
Then, of course, we have the experts ... and the very many people who think they are experts, but are not. There is talk, talk, talk and about as many predictions as there are talkers. Some say the situation has steadied, others say it is on its way, still others say new horrible events are on their way. So, is the worst over?
Nobody knows.
My own impression, for what little it’s worth, is that the U.S. is gong to come out of all this (insofar that there is an out) rather well. The figures don’t look particularly good, but better than most, and—never forget it—the U.S. is run by politicians much closer to the ground than the ones in Europe. This should hardly surprise anybody.
The U.S. started as one country in 1776, with freedom and liberty for all, and truly became one after the great Civil War. On the American side of the Atlantic, one holds it to be self evident that people are welcome to come, as long as they are prepared to work and support themselves and, well, at least try to obey the law. You are NOT, repeat not, taken care of—and the tax bill shows it.
In Europe, we have the much more elaborate welfare state. This goes not the least for Sweden. By us, immigrants are allowed to collect their next of kin (anhöriga), who more or less automatically receive a staying permit AND financial support. Many of these kinfolks will never, ever work (and very many never learn the language of the land). Thus, they become a burden on the tax payers, very often living in their own neighborhoods: a foreign body and only nominally a part of Swedish society. To stretch the argument a bit: You go to the U.S. to work, become somebody and contribute to a better life for everybody (if only because you must); you go to Europe and are taken care of. In the U.S. there is no free lunch, in countries like Sweden, there is.
I realize that I am not telling the whole story. That would require a lot more space and, yes, nuances.
But there is one more thing I really want to tell you. In Sweden there exists a consensus that makes it almost impossible to publish an article like the one you have just read. No, no we don’t have outright censorship. It's rather that politicians and, to a surprising degree the media, avoid the immigrant story like it was poisoned. If I wrote this piece in Sweden and— which is unlikely—got it published, I would be stamped a racist, somebody “hostile to foreigners,” a reactionary and so on and on. In fact we have no debate about the fact that the country is changing its face rather rapidly and that the ordinary “Swedish Swede” does not really like it.
Most of you being in America, I just thought you’d like to know.