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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 and its low income disparity.
“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. In fact, if we’re doing it right, the stellar Norwegian example will come to be seen as the standard for successful economic policy, instead of the outlier.
But first, let us count the ways that Norway succeeds:
- The highest accumulated revenue surplus in the world, worth $1 Trillion (held in a sovereign pension fund)
- Strong and steady GDP growth (see chart below)
- Very low Debt-to-GDP (see chart below)
- A #1 to #4 ranking on the UN Happiness Index (varies by year)
- A #1 ranking on the Social Progress Index
- Typically a #1 or #2 ranking on the highest per capita income in the world
- In the Top 5 worker productivity rankings in Europe
- One of the lowest crime rates in the world
- One of the ‘least corrupt’ nations. Ranked #5 on the Corruption Perception Index
- An average 2.5% unemployment rate (except during the global financial crisis where it shot up to 5.5%. Not to worry, it’s already fallen to 3.0%)
- 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 a microgrid (natural gas power) is the only choice
- Unparalleled diplomatic credentials. Everyone knows Norwegians are among the best ‘honest brokers’ in the diplomatic world making Norway the ‘go-to’ arbitrators for nations in crisis
- A favorite country of the Olympics committee having hosted successful games twice in recent years
Do you think Norway’s success only happened since 1990 when oil and gas began to be extracted off the Norway coast? Do you think Norway’s success happened by accident?
Well, you’d be wrong on both counts.
The economy of Norway has grown at a rate better than that of any developed nation stock market, just as it was designed to do. And growth rates were steady prior to the large-scale extraction of petroleum in the country, and remain steady.
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 the highly educated workforce with its high productivity rate and so much more?… (Continue Reading)