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An Excerpt from a Recent Article
The Secret of Norway’s Success
by John Brian Shannon
Norway has captured the world’s attention with its high living standards, low income disparity and low crime rate.
“Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark (collectively the Nordic countries) have a combination of high living standards and low income disparity that has captured the world’s attention. At a time when the growing gap between the rich and poor has become a political hot button in developed nations, the region known as Scandinavia has been cited by many scholars as a role model for economic opportunity and equality.” — Investopedia.
There isn’t a country in the world that shouldn’t be able to match the high living standards set by Norway. If we’re doing it right, the stellar Norwegian example would become the standard for a successful economic policy, instead of the outlier.
But first, let us count the ways that Norway succeeds:
- The highest accumulated surplus in the world ($1 Trillion held in a sovereign pension fund)
- Strong and steady GDP growth (see chart)
- Very low Debt-to-GDP (see chart)
- A #1 to #4 ranking on the UN Happiness Index (varies by year)
- A #1 to #5 ranking on the Social Progress Index (varies by year)
- Typically a #1 or #2 ranking on the highest per capita income in the world
- Top 5 in worker productivity rankings across Europe
- One of the lowest crime rates in the world
- Ranked highly on the Corruption Perception Index (#5 )
- An average 2.5% unemployment rate (except during the global financial crisis where it shot up to 5.5%. Not to worry, it’s back to 3%)
- Free university tuition for all citizens and residents
- Free universal healthcare ranked 7th in the world (It would rank higher, but maintaining full-service Hospitals in remote regions with tiny populations is uneconomical)
- Virtually 100% of the country is powered by renewable energy except for some remote settlements where natural gas (a microgrid) is the only choice
- Every world leader knows that Norwegian diplomats are among the best ‘honest brokers’ in the world making them the ‘go-to’ arbitrators for nations in crisis
- Hosted successful Olympic games twice in recent decades
Norway’s economy has grown at a rate better than that of many developed nations (even while employing sustainable resource extraction methods) while growth rates remained steady even during the recent period of low oil prices.
And the growth rate of the Norwegian economy beats many stock market indices as measured over the decades.
Who wouldn’t want to invest in Norway’s public/private investments, in Norwegian business generally, and in a highly educated workforce with high productivity and so much more?… (Continue Reading)