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A great article

    The NY Times had a great article in it this last
sunday. You can find it here:
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/17/weekinreview/17bawer.html?oref=login
You have to register, but it’s free and it’s well worth it for the
read. It talks about Norway and how they see themselves as the richest
country on Earth vs. economic reality.  Norway is known for far
reaching social programs, welfare systems, and really really high
taxes. The upside to this sort of system is that there is little in the
way of abject poverty in that country. The downsides include an
inefficient workforce, low annual growth in the economy, and among the
lowest in purchasing power in the developed world. It’s pretty clear
that the typical Nowigen really has to watch their budget, getting a
pizza delivered will run the equivilent of $45! The US in comparison
offers an abundence of economic freedom, our purchasing power is among
the highest out there.
    Is Norway’s system a good trade off? I dunno, my gut
feeling is that it isn’t. Want to help poor people? Then make sure the
economy is strong. I can’t help but think that economies like Norway
and France will eventually collapse due to massive inefficiencies and
little to no growth over a long period of time. In the meantime, all
the people in those countries are not able to live the way they would
like to… The title of the article is “We’re Rich and You’re not…”
and I’d be happy to email it to you if you’d like, it’s good reading!

Isaac

One reply on “A great article”

Yeah, but is that 2 pizzas for 45 bucks?

The “Norwegian Model” really cannot be used for the US. They have a huge (per capita) oil base and they are basically a homogeneous nation. Sure, those in Oslo make the cracks about the hicks up north, and those in Tromso consider themselves tougher than those effete city folks (sidebar here: What would a Norwegian C&W song sound like? “I Got Calluses on My Fingers and Herring On my Mind”, now back to the regularly scheduled soapbox) but nothing like here. Folks have to accept that a huge chunk of their income will go to someone else for the system to work, and I just do not see that attitude here.

The French government agrees with you, see how they are attempting to lengthen the work week. Obviously the best way to help everyone is to have the foresight to establish a country on top of a huge pool of oil.

Take Care,

Mark

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