Swedish model better than American dream?
According to a soon-to-be published study by researchers at Harvard and Duke niversities, Americans believe US society is much more equal than it really is, and want it to be even fairer. Business school professors Michael Norton and Dan Ariely asked 5,522 Americans about US wealth distribution and how it should look if things could be changed.
 "Respondents vastly underestimated the actual level of wealth inequality in the United States, believing that the wealthiest quintile (20 %) held about 59 % of the wealth when the actual number is closer to 84 %." Studies show current US wealth inequality is near record highs, with the top one percent of Americans estimated to hold around 50 % of the nation's wealth. According to Norton and Ariely this tops "even the levels seen just before the Great Depression in the 1920s." But when asked how they would like the United States to look, respondents picked "wealth distributions that were far more equitable than even their erroneously low estimates of the actual distribution." In a blind test, about 92 % of respondents said they preferred a model closer to Sweden's wealth distribution to that seen in the United States. The study's authors also reported a "surprising level of consensus" among different groups, with 92 % of Republican voters backing the Swedish model versus 93.5 % of Democratic voters, with the richest and poorest also voting along similar lines. "All demographic groups - even those not usually associated with wealth redistribution such as Republicans and the wealthy - desired a more equal distribution of wealth than the status quo.”

Spain beats Thailand as Swedes´ favorite destination
Favorite travel destination this winter will be Gran Canaria, according to booking statistics from Swedish travel companies. This classic Spanish vacation spot will thus beat Phuket, Thailand, as Swedes' favorite destination for the winter season. The number of booked flights has increased sharply this year, by as much as 37 %, after a tough time for many airlines.

Swedish findings say vitamin E avoids Alzheimer's
High levels of several vitamin E components in the blood decrease risks for Alzheimer's disease in advanced age, and also, vitamin E may help prevent cognitive deterioration in elderly people, says a Swedish study conducted at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm. The work can be significant to the 70% of dementia cases suffered by people over 75, and effects of vitamin E can so much as benefit individuals over 80 years of age. Published in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease, the studies were led by Dr. Francesca Mangialasche, who noted that Vitamin E is a family of eight natural components, but most Alzheimer's disease studies investigate only one. After discovering that subjects with higher blood levels of all vitamin E family forms had reduced risk of developing AD, compared to subjects with lower levels, her project theorized that all the vitamin E family members could be important. "Elderly people as a group are large consumers of vitamin E supplements," explained Dr. Mangialasche, who added that her findings "open up for the possibility that the balanced presence of different vitamin E forms can have an important neuroprotective effect." The study was conducted at the Aging Research Center (ARC), Karolinska Institutet, in Stockholm, Sweden, in collaboration with the Institute of Gerontology and Geriatrics, at the University of Perugia, in Italy. The study included a sample of 232 participants, who were all over 80 and free of dementia at the start.

No antibiotics for children´s ear infections
Treating children's ear infections with antibiotics is in most cases totally unnecessary. This has now been established by the Swedish Medical Products Agency, which now gives new recommendations on treatment of this very common ailment among children. Antibiotics is a very common course of treatment, but an increasing number of studies show that it do not affect the healing process in any significant way. In most cases this harmless bacterial inflammation heals without any treatment at all.

Parliament said no to EU proposal
For the first time ever, the Riksdag rejected a EU proposal with reference to the proximity principle. An unanimous parliament voted no to the EU Commission's proposal that all EU countries should be required to lend money to other member countries unable to deposit insurance and investor protection. The Riksdag believes that the proposal could lead to countries not fully funding their own banking systems.