Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Norway Part 2 - Repost

As to be expected, when I got into an arugment with a leftist recently, the immediate knee-jerk reaction was that "Norway" rules.

You see, this is why this is an important post, because the left doesn't think. They don't research, they don't study, they just want free money and anything that maybe, sort of seems to support their cause, they will immediately herald as an example of "socialism" working.

So once again, I shall post this to remind all leftists that your darling children in Scandinavia, while impressive, are no rivals for the US. The only country that beats or rivals the US is Luxembourg and soon to be Ireland.

OK, closest we got was Doink looking up oil as a percent of Norway’s GDP for the latest year. Which was what I was trying to get at, but wanted a nice longitudinal chart which you’ll see below.

Going from practically nothing in 1971, oil now accounts for a full 24% of Norway’s GDP (although I speculate this high percentage has a lot to do with an increase in the price of oil recently and it’s traditionally more around 20%).

Regardless, what I did then was calculate Norway’s GDP per Capita going back to 1971 WITHOUT that evil capitalist abomination we all have learned to hate and which any good socialist would never associate themselves with or be proud of; oil.

And the results are what we’d largely expect. Norwegians only work about 75% as much as Americans, and thus when you take away their cash cow, they enjoy standards of living of roughly 75%.

This further confirmed something I’ve always suspected of Norway, and that’s if you took away the oil, they wouldn’t be materially different than any other Scandinavian country.

So aspiring and junior deputy economists, what’s the lesson to learn from all this?

That the next time you hear some leftist idiot start blathering on about how Norway has higher standards of living than the US and is proof positive that socialism works, you can once again, hit them upside the head with the truth and point out to them that, no in fact, Norway really doesn’t have higher standards of living and just happens to be lucky geologically…that and they should be ashamed for taking such joy in (GASP!) oil!


Captain Capitalism said...

Your lack of knowledge on economic statistics yet your insistence on making false statements to achieve an agenda is amazing.

Anonymous said...

Honestly, when i lived in Norway (for 7 years, starting in '94) there was no comparing the quality of life in the two countries. There wasn't even peanut butter over there until the end of 94, not that that is a statistical argument. However, even if per capita their income was the same as in the US, the cost of living is so much higher, the purchasing power that those in Norway have is much lower. Also, there is NO WAY that the productivity of norwegians would go up if you took away their oil, the socialist nature of the culture discourages excellence and any pride a person might find in working hard.

Captain Capitalism said...

Well, I don't know if I'd say just cause a country doesn't have peanut butter it is 2nd world status.

And while PPP adjustments aren't perfect, you truly thought Norway had much lower standards of living in terms of their purchasing power?

I'm curious in that I woudln't surmise a big difference in perceived standards of living. EXCEPT in the case they are taxed so highly, people's disposable income is so low, it SEEMS they have little purchasing power, yet at the same time, they have free health care and education.

Anonymous said...

Norway is not socialist, it is a market liberal country. Check index of freedom.

Yes, Norway has a large goverment, but so does the US. Norway can afford its social programs because the oil, the US will go bankerupt because of them. But countries need to be more capitalistic to survive the next 50 years.

Anonymous said...

I realize this is a very late comment, but I wanted to point out something rather important:

Norway does not SPEND its oil income. It is all put into a sovereign wealth fund, or tucked away for a rainy day if you will.

The whole standard of living is sustained off the non-oil economy.