Socialism Working Pretty Well For Norway, Thank You Very Much

Norway was named the world’s most prosperous country by the London-based Legatum Institute:

For the sixth time in a row, Norway is named the most prosperous country in an annual ranking by Legatum Institute. The institute has evaluated 142 countries based on their economic performance, as well as other important areas such as education, health, personal freedom, security and safety. Norway takes third place for economy, fifth for health and education, seventh in government and second in personal freedom.

[…]

Senior advisor James Barty at the Legatum Institute thinks that Norway scores high because of both the country’s economy as well as strong social values and progress within education and health.

Heh. It’s almost as if investing in your own people pays off. Who knew? By the way, in case you wondered: the U.S. ranked 10th.

This struck me as funny because yesterday I heard that awful Joni Ernst, in her Sarah Palin voice, say that “America is the greatest nation in the history of mankind.” That just made me laugh. It’s like they’ve descended into self-parody. Really? In the history of mankind? It’s something she says a lot, in fact she even has it on her website.

I just think, you know, really? Maybe you need to get out more often. Yeah America is great but we’re not the only country in the world. Other countries do things pretty well, too. But this is the kind of stupid rah-rah amygdala-tweaking that gets you elected in Dumbfuckistan.

Anyway, I’ve written a lot about Norway. I’ve called it, jokingly (but kinda seriously), “the promised land.” Seems I’m not alone in my estimation of that country.

12 Comments

Filed under Norway, socialism

12 responses to “Socialism Working Pretty Well For Norway, Thank You Very Much

  1. “Socialism never took root in America because the poor see themselves not as an exploited proletariat but as temporarily embarrassed millionaires.” – John Steinbeck

  2. Jim in Memphis

    Norway depends on oil production for about 20% of its economy (not very global warming/climate change friendly there). Hard times could be coming without some changes for them.
    http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/05/08/uk-norway-economy-insight-idUKKBN0DO07520140508

    • Norway’s actually done a great job of protecting its oil revenues to avoid big boom and bust cycles. I’ve written about it a lot over here, might show up if you click on the Norway tag …

  3. James Pope

    Right. I don’t have a problem with socialism and the US aversion to even discussing it is embarrassing, but Norway’s really not the answer. You want that and you’ve got to go look at places like France.

    • Norway’s not traditional socialism, but I’m not sure France is, either?

    • Laughs at Trolls

      Go look at France? At what? The fact that their citizens live longer, in part because of their great healthcare? The fact that they have a generous maternity policy that allows mothers to bond with their children? Universal, high-quality, affordable daycare that even mothers who stay home use because it’s so beneficial to their children? The sensible mentality toward eating and walking that leaves the average French citizen slimmer and healthier than the average American?

  4. As an aside Is “Crony Capitalism” the new euphemism for Socialism? I’m not sure I know how that phrase became part of the Tea Party vocabulary.

    • Don’t you remember? We liberals always levied the “crony capitalism” accusation at the Bush Administration — constantly. And it was true. The Tea Party simply takes what liberals have been saying forever and turns it back on us. If they had an original thought it would die of loneliness. I don’t think they even know what “crony capitalism” means.

      It’s such a hoot to see Tea Partiers steal our ideas for their bumper stickers: you know, the date of the next inauguration with “End Of An Error” on it and all. We did all that 10 years ago.

  5. Brett

    That Norway Sovereign Wealth Fund is something else. It’s almost big enough that they could pay out a substantial Alaska-style dividend to every citizen of Norway basic income style just off of the earnings beyond inflation.

    • Here’s a post I did on Norway’s State Petroleum Fund back in June of 2008. They’ve managed the money really well and are careful in how they spend it to avoid overheating the economy or big boom and bust cycles as oil prices fluctuate. Oil revenue may be down now but their fund is so big and is managed for the long term so as not to feel the effect of a downturn. Only a small % is withdrawn every year to fund the government, the rest is being held and invested in a fund for when the oil is gone. Here’s a piece about the difference between Norway and Alaska when it comes to oil. Alaska collects a royalty; Norway taxes oil company profits.

      Though this article didn’t say so, in my travels through Norway I have met citizens who say they get an oil dividend. I don’t know if that’s every year or for everybody or what. It might have been a one-time thing, who knows.

      I also know that Norway has developed the gold standard of off-shore safety technology and procedures. They’ve been doing things for decades on their offshore operations that we let oil companies like BP skirt. I seem to recall during the BP disaster that the blow-out prevention devices on that rig wouldn’t have been allowed on a Norwegian rig.

  6. democommie

    Southern Beale:

    When all of their other arguments against countries like Norway are debunked KKKonservatoolz like Jimbo(b) like to throw out the:

    “Well it could never work in a REAL country; a country like MurKKKa!”.

    It’s not like Norway doesn’t have asshole polticians–but they’re not te minority of of one party’s office holders.