Socialism -- Theory, Practice and some Conclusions.

Although I initially studied natural sciences and was not very politically aware, I became somewhat aware of Socialism as a philosophy of life through the writings of progressive writers of that time. My five years in England, 1960-1965, was a hectic period when my research in chemistry co-existed with my struggle for existence. Later on when I migrated to Sweden and studied at the Stockholm University I got time and opportunity to study Socialism, its theory as well as practical application. What I found quite amazing about Socialism was that most of its exponents, from the East or West , who wrote so much about the workers and labourers, had never worked or laboured themselves as wage earners. And those who earned wages seldom wrote anything that we could discuss and take lessons from. Thus, in 1977 I made a very radical decision. As a theorist I had the needed tools*, what I lacked was extended experience. I gave up my job and started driving Taxi, initially for only five-six years but that has now stretched to 39 years.

In 1977 when I started drive Taxi to test the theory against the practice; I had two questions in my mind:

  1. Would I, and my family, be able to live decently on mainly my income as a wage earner?

  2. If yes, then what are the conditions that made it possible in Sweden to live decently on a taxi driver’s salary, whereas in many parts of the world that was not the case?

There were two reasons I chose taxi from all other jobs. Firstly, this is the only job I know that puts one in contact with all kind of people where one can sit beside them and talk freely and exchange ideas. Also, it provides access to, any time of day or night, all kind of places – offices, institutes, restricted areas, private properties, clubs etc – for observation and study. And, secondly, I love driving new and fast marvels of human engineering. All in all I have ridden 37 brand new cars, each with its own personality and kick. One day I may write about it too!

I believe that now I am ready to discuss how socialism applies to society in general but particularly to the wage earners in industrial societies.

I would make a presentation of my study in Toronto, Canada on 10 July, 2016; in a meeting arranged by Family of the Heart. After an initial introduction I hope we could engage in some sort of discussion.

My paper would be posted on the internet (Facebook) day after that meeting, and available to friends for their critique.

Sain Sucha 26 June, 2016

Put socialism under whatever heading its main content remains the same: The word ‘socialism’ finds its root in the Latin sociare, which means to combine or to share. This sharing may be the produce by a people, their earned money or their services. At the local level and very small village societies it could be merely a balanced barter of produced goods or food against other services. But as societies grow larger and complex money is unit that is used to balance all accounts between people. Thus, its mode of generation and subsequent distribution to all members of the society demand a very comprehensive, rigid and just taxation system that is practically applied to all people.

In 1977 I started drive Taxi to test the theory against the practice. I had two questions in my mind:

  1. Would I, and my family, be able to live decently on mainly my income?

  2. If yes, then what are the conditions that made it possible in Sweden to live decently on a taxi driver’s salary, whereas in many parts of the world that was not the case?

Before I proceed with various details I would like to show how taxi worked in Sweden. I was employed by an owner who was an associate member of Taxi Stockholm. Taxi Stockholm is not a business company where persons are employed by the company. It is an association of taxi owners who use the same centre where people ring to order a cab. There were in 1977 some 1200 owners who were associated with the call centre – CC. They collectively shared the expenses of the running of the CC, but each owner had its own taxi car (s) that was driven by him and chuffer employed by him. Thus, whereas expenses of the CC were shared equally, the income and profit made by every owner depended upon the performance of each taxi and its drivers. Each owner was obliged to drive the taxi actively, and allowed to employ persons to work as a chuffer. Although it was permitted to have several taxis by each owner it was compulsory for the owner to be an active driver as well – one could not just buy taxi vehicles and employ people to drive them. As taxi service was provided round the clock, taxis were strictly regulated and scheduled to start and finish at specific time. That time table was provided by the district council.

Taxi owners covered all costs.

Taxi started from 4 am onwards with one hour interval for different batches, so that there were always a certain number of taxis on the road to cover the demand at each hour.

The salaries were calculated in a complex way where numbers of hours worked, kilometres driven with the customer, number of customers and time of day contributed. All that was later on changed to a straight % of the taxameter reading – normally 40%.

It was a tough job but also very rewarding. I have spent 4 years in Pakistan and 4 years in Sweden at the college and university level. They were great years for the theoretical learning, but the 39 years I have spent at the Taxi Stockholm’s academy gave me chances to observe life that is not possible in any other job. One bounces between hospitals, train stations, airports, banquet halls, graveyards and schools, and drove people who were appropriately dressed for each occasion and place. I have driven people who are born in my cab, and the one who died there; People laughing merrily after a wedding ceremony, and women crying rivulets after coming out of a divorce court. Sometimes all in the same day!

And what about the shiver when the thermometer shows minus 30 °C, and the wind is strong enough to pick you up and then drop you wherever it chooses; or plus 30 °C and the customers say that they neither like AC nor open car windows. Great fun! Normally one drives a 9 hours pass, with one hour for lunch and rest; but on the bad days it was a 13 hour pass and many unwanted hours for the rest.

There is six weeks paid holidays in Sweden. In taxi 13% of earned income is paid as holiday salary. Most people take holidays in July – August period, but it is flexible and could be taken out on other occasions.

Thus on a 58000 thousand units the division of the money is as follows: Driver’s salary: 36% = 20880 units +13% holiday salary 2714.

Employer’s tax: 31% = 6473 units.

FORA insurance: 5%= 1044 units = 31111 units

Running costs for the owner for each employed driver: = 50% of actual cost when two persons share driving a cab.

BC 4100 + administration charges 1700 + fuel 4500 + Insurance 500 + Car payment & service 6000 + other 1000 = 17800 units

Total expenditure: 48911 units Employer’s profit: 9089 units.

Employee’s net income: 20880 – 30% income tax 6264 = 14616 + tips ca 2000 = 166161 units.

That is division of money in an average month in Sweden. It varies greatly for the good months April – June and Sept–December, and the bad months, January – March and July– September.

Thus, although not a very well paid job the income of taxi driver supplement by that of his wife (husband) provides a reasonable living for a family. But the same job done by another taxi driver doing the same job in Delhi, Mexico or Singapore does not.

I must also point out the salary in any society is relevant to the total economical structure there. What is the standard of living in a particular country, its social structure, the money in circulation and the facilities fpr local transportation in a city.

Here are some salaries of taxi drivers in different countries for a 40 hours week in Swedish kroner –

USA, 17216; UK, 17402; India, 10847 – daily costs.

The average expected cost for an Uber driver is as follows:

USA, 27766; UK, London, 41690; Stockholm, 32699, India, 10847.

But an Uber driver himself pays the cost for taxi, insurance, fuel, maintenance – ca 12000/month in Europe, and the local tax.

So, where lays the difference? I believe the difference lies in the taxation of the earned income and the social securities that are provided after the taxation.

In Sweden the daily needs for a working person are guaranteed by the social system. The education up to the university level is free; the health system is guaranteed at a nominal fee, covering from an ordinary visit to a doctor to most complex operations or treatment; the social security system, in case of unemployment or sickness, provides the funds for the running of a household up to a certain minimum standard; women under pregnancy are given paid leave and one of the parents can stay with their child up to two years; children are given an allowance up to the age of 18 for their needs with totally free medical and dental treatment.

Add to that six weeks paid holiday and you have a standard of living most other countries of the world.

But if I were to point out one single factor that affects the whole society in a country and makes allowances for a balanced communal life then it is the taxation system of the country. The more comprehensive and effective the taxation system, and its understanding by the people who are taxed, makes all the difference. So long as taxation is considered a burden by the majority in a nation and it does not provide for their needs when in normal life and especially when things go wrong it does not work; but, when people have confidence that the tax paid by them is used efficiently to provide them security at all levels and is not wasted or consumed by the people in the government the situation changes for a healthy atmosphere.

Where does socialism fit in this description of Sweden that I have given above? The basic principle of socialism was and will always remain is – from each according to his capacity to each according to his need. Important is to realise that it is not only ‘from each according to his capacity’ but also ‘to each according to his need.’

That capacity to give and take is applicable at all levels and phases of life. It is not a mere division of the economic funds that caters for ´to each according to his need` but permeates deep into social life that infra structure is constructed to look after people when they are not working – the number of free hours after work, paid holidays, rehabilitation centres in case of longer periods of sickness and assurance for the family of the sick, facilities for the children when parents are at work, opportunities for the retired how they could spend their time and live actively after they are no longer required in the work force etc.

Time and again I have been pointed out by the critics from the East that the Swedes, or Westerners, do not care fore their aged parents, and in some case the very old are abandoned in so called ´Terminal Stations`. I wish people in the other parts of the world knew that long time back Swedes were absolved from the individual care of the parents and children. That does not mean that fine family relations do not exist and each looks after ones own needs. No it is the other way round that each working person collectively pays for the look after of his aged parents and up bringing of children, as well as all other aged persons and children in Sweden, irrespective of if one has living aged parents and children or not. That also means that after paying their contribution through the taxation systems most Swedes do not have a bad conscious about not doing their duty to their parents. Obviously, it is impossible to determine how much an offspring is obliged to look after one’s parents. It would differ from one family to another depending upon the economic structure of the family, emotional relationships between people, home and job locations, personal life of each person etc. But in general most Swedes are quite sociable and things run smoothly. The most difficult situation is that when parents become very old or sick that they become bed ridden. Then the communal help and care is the only practical answer though it gives guilt consciousness to some.

Thus, 166161 units earned in Sweden after the tax are not the same as in another country where one has to pay for the education and after the school care of the children, doctor and medicinal bills, sickness insurance, nominal unemployment benefits, and for all those facilities that I have mentioned above. It is mean primarily the cover abode, food, clothing and other basic routine expenses, and that what is left over is for recreation.

Over here a wage earner, one like me for many years, does have the possibility of living a reasonable life. Life at the bottom of a society always leaves much to desire as compared to those who are at the top; still, the lesser the economic difference at the top and the bottom the greater is the chance that the society as whole would fare well.

One of the greatest socialistic experiments, Soviet Union and its satellite nations, failed because the centre was not aligned with the periphery; and the elite in Kremlin, who were far detached from the working people, never developed the infra structure that was required for the proper transportation of the goods and distribution of resources, nor did they succeed in making people believe that their hard labour would be rewarded in their life time. The promise of a classless society and its benefits in an indefinite future is not much different than an illusion of a paradise after death. Both might appease the people to start with, but when the stomach protests and body aches people require much ready solutions than mere expectations. Among recent events countries like Greece, Spain, Italy and Ireland also failed with their socialist efforts because they failed to develop a taxation system that included all money makers in those countries. One thing is for certain that Socialism and Corruption cannot co- exist. As said earlier Socialism is not a formula that could be applied hurriedly to society – it requires gradual transformation from each for oneself to all for that benefit of all.

I think the modified version of Socialism applied in the Scandinavian countries, that is a mixture of individual enterprise and collective responsibility by the government both at the local communal level and the country as a whole, is an answer that could lead us to societies where people of different physical and intellectual effectiveness could co-exist with mutual care and well being. Those who are more gifted in all societies, physically or mentally, would always have access to higher benefits, but that does not have to cost much to those who are not so well provided.

Another thing, although it is not directly connected with my experiment, is that over the years I have been told and asked by many how different religions also recommend sharing and mutual help, so where Socialism becomes different from religion? My answer is that first and foremost, other than life itself, there is nothing holy in Socialism. Depending upon the circumstances different models can be built that satisfy the needs of people according to the situation prevalent there, both in short and long term perspective. Then, the most important difference is that there is no partial Deity – Yahweh, God, Allah or Bhagwan – that makes special concession for certain people and mistreats the other. No Yahweh making a covenant to the Jews; a God who has created Hell and Paradise, and who had a son who came to Earth to redeem His lost people and got himself crucified in that process, and now all redemption is for the people who believe that and through the sacrifice of His son; no Allah who gives to those he pleases and punish all others who are destined to Hell by His will; or Bhagwan who has divided its worshipers into five castes where each is privileged according to Bhagwan’s wish. No, in Socialism all equalities and disparities in human societies are humanly fixed, and are manageable by human effort and cooperation. There is no place for kings, chiefs or despots who draw their sanction from an invisible God and then treat various members of a society differently.

Humane thinking and a wish to share, inborn or learnt at an early age, is a way that eliminates the promises and dreams for a paradise after death. Once we realise that all reasonable wishes could be fulfilled by proper planning of the society and proportional reward for a person’s labour then praying, without personal effort, becomes irrelevant.

Only a century ago Sweden was not a rich country. Between 1840 and 1930 about 1.5 million Swedes emigrated to USA. It was in early nineteen thirties that they started teaching social democratic value in Sweden and emphasis was lifted from class struggle to economic growth and its just distribution among the people. In 1932 the Social Democrats was the biggest political party that reigned for almost forty years. That is when social awareness was brought from the large cities to small towns and villages that later on became a part of the people’s psyche. What I want to say is that Socialism is not something one introduces through revolution and hope that the people of all aged would get the gist of socialist idea. It is a relatively slow process that starts at home and school, and then subsequently seeps into the society as a whole. The day a tax payer considers his subscription as a mutual assistance to the society and, also, a guarantee to his own needs if the circumstances require so that day we are a long way into a successful socialistic society.

I have worked 39 years as a taxi driver, 18 years as an employee and 19 years as an owner, raised my family with three children on a taxi driver’s salary, which was supplemented by Farida’s 40% job as a teacher. I could have finished driving taxi a long time ago and find an alternative job as an academician but I did not do that. I had intended to drive taxi only five

years, but after that period I realised that I need much longer study – during periods when things went well in Sweden and those periods when all was not well. That extended period became 39 years during which the seventies and forties were flourishing times, but soon afterwards the international economy hit the bottom twice that effected Sweden very adversely too. I survived both. Despite lots of ups and downs in world economy in the recent years Sweden’s Krona has been stable and presently it is one of the most reliable currencies. Also, the exceptional freedom of movement in my job and other visual benefits with it kept me away from all enticement from any other profession. It mixed so beautifully with my other passion – reading and writing – that instead of a hinder it provided me with those insights in life that would be impossible in any other routine job.

Thus, my short answer about practical Socialism is that it works very well in environments where people have succeeded planting its seeds at an early age in the minds of youth and cooperative thinking co-exists with individual venture.

Taxi Driver Salary LONDON

A Taxi Driver eams an average salary of ll7,455 per year. Most people with this job move on to other positions after 20 years in this career. Pay for this job rises steadily for more experienced workers, but goes clown significantly for the few employees with more than 20 years' experience.

l lOK ll2K f 17K f 24K 05K

MEDIAN: ll7,454






Add this chart to your site: ld640px [o300px

Show Hourly Rate

National Salary Data (1) EO ll2K f 24K f36K n

Salary ll0,014 - 05,234

Bonus E0.00 - 006.39

Total Pay (1) f l0,417 - 01,206

Country : United Kingdom I Currency : GBP I Updated : 17 Mar 20 16 [ Individuals Reportin g: 74

Taxi Driver Salaries in New York, New York

Alternate Job Titles: Cab Driver, Taxi Driver

Change Search Criteria


How can Uber cab drivers earn in Delhi, lndia?

4 Answers


Malik Akande , Founder of & Kommen

4.3k Vi ews Most Viewed Wri ter in Uber (com pany) with 60+ answers

I will answer your questi on in three parts : How Uber works, How the Uber driver gets paid and How much Uber drivers make in New Delhi ,Indi a.

  1. How Ubei"Works

    Uber connects passengers with Uber drivers using Sm artphones. (Both the Uber driver, and Uber passenger are equipped with Sm artphones). An Uber passenger re quests an Uber ride using hi s/her Smartphone and is automatically paired with the closest avail able Uber driver.

    An Uber transacti on is a cashless trans acti on (in most cities), where the Uber passenger doesn't have to hand over any cash to the Uber driver . Money is paid by the Uber passenger automatically to Uber vi a the payatm wallet/credit card.

    For more information on the vari ous Uber ser vices, and how to become an Uber driver in India see our bl og post here - How to Become an Uber Driver in India

  2. How Uber Drivers Get Paid

    At the end of a trip, Uber charges its passengers per logged mile, and per minute using the GPS of the Uber driver's phone:

  3. How Much do Ub er drivers m ake in New Delhi, India

    In devel oped Uber markets in Indi a (i.e. -where there is a h ealthy supply and demand for Uber rides), a driver can expect to make up to 1Lakh per m onth.

    In New Delhi specifically a driver can expect to make 1,047,258 Rupees per year . The

    assumption here is


Estimated Eorn ings in S - per year

Estimated Eor nings

Atlanta ,US


in Lacal Currency - per yea r


$46. 032

Chi cago.US

$42. 358

Dallas, TX US


Houston,TX US

$43. 965

Johannesburg.South Africa


R 540. 172



3,899. 670 Naira

London. UK

$60. 058

38,999 Pounds

Los Angel es.US


Mexico City, Mexico


Mex S 264. 343

Mi ami Florida, LIS

$42, 184



New Delhi.lndia


1.047, 258 Rupees

New York, LIS

$63. 127

Rome,l taly

$65. 571

58. 545 Euros

San Oiego.LIS

San Francisco, US




$49, 165


$26. 281

0l5 SGD



392.397 KR



AS 76,805



Mex S 283,414

Toronto ,Canada


55,824 CAD

Washington DC. LIS

$43. 950