Gustav Möller


Gustav Möller

:"For the Swedish track and field athlete, see Gustav Möller; for the American painter, see Gustave Moeller." Gustav Möller (1884 - 1970) was a prominent Swedish Social democratic politician.

Life and career

Gustav Möller was born in an extremely poor family, but was discovered by his employer and given an education as an office accountant; however he used it in the service of the labour movement, initially as a leader of its publishing house.

Minister of Social Affairs 1936-38 and 1939-51 he is credited as the creator of the Swedish social security system and the Welfare statecalled Folkhemmet.

There were two specifics about Möller's welfare policy, coloured by his experiences in childhood:

1. There should be no stigmatization of the poor, no sorting out of those in need. Rich families as well as poor should have their children's allowance, old age pension and free medical treatment.

2. There should be as little bureaucratic paternalism and arbitrariness as possible. Preferably, the welfare assignments should be administred by the recipients themselves, as when unemployment allowances were administred by the trade unions. And allowances should always be cash.

Although a defender of high taxing (and losing the election to the leadership of his party after Per Albin Hansson because of this), he was also a strict master, credited with the quote "Each penny taxed which is not spent properly is theft from the tax-payers".


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