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Why Norway is a BS argument for higher taxes

Bergen Norway

August 1, 2012
Bergen, Norway

Ah, Norway. Government-loving statists love to hold this place up as a shining example that big government and high taxes are good. Free education. Free healthcare. “Happy” people.

Yes, Norway is certainly one of the wealthiest countries in the world on the basis of GDP per capita… and in a variety of international surveys, it also ranks as one of the ‘happiest’.

And yes, Norway is one of the most heavily taxed countries in the world with a total tax burden of roughly 45% of GDP– almost 4x Hong Kong and nearly twice the US.

VAT here is a whopping 25%. Personal income tax rates border 55%. Corporate profits tax ranges from 28% to as high as 78%. Norway even has a direct WEALTH TAX.

This place is about as socialist as it gets. The Norwegian tax authority’s own website even states, “The Norwegian tax system is based on the principle that everybody should pay tax according to their means and receive services according to their needs.”

It’s as if Karl Marx himself wrote the country’s tax policy.

Further, when you step back and look at the Norwegian economy, you’ll see that the state drives nearly all of it. The Norwegian government is the controlling shareholder in 8 out of the top 10 employers in the country– companies like Statoil, DNB, Norsk Hydro, etc.

But since everyone seems to agree that Norwegians are so ‘happy’ and have such a high standard of living, is this central economic planning really so bad?

Let’s first dispel this ‘happy’ nonsense.

It goes without saying that when you ask people who receive generous benefits from the government whether they’re happy, chances are high they’ll say yes.

But Norwegian happiness goes much deeper into human psyche and how we naturally compare ourselves to others in our peer group.

For example, when a childhood friend goes from rags to riches, people often feel extreme envy and reflect negatively on their own comparative lack of success.

Norway has created a system that makes it virtually impossible to pull ahead of your peers financially. People are excused for not working hard and squandering the opportunities they could have grabbed.

Everyone is the same status, and such equality imbues a unique socialist variety of happiness.

This attitude has been deeply inculcated in Norwegian society through what’s known as Jante Law; this is an informal dictate which essentially says ‘You’re only as good as everyone else.’

Consequently, Norwegian culture limits aspirations of achievement. Workers come to the office, punch a clock, shuffle papers, and go home. There is no cultural drive to work hard and get promoted. Work is viewed as what you have to do for 30% of your life, not an opportunity to achieve more and do something that actually matters.

As an example, the office complex across from my hotel room was a ghost town by 5:06pm yesterday afternoon. And work hours in general here have declined steadily over past decades to just 31 hours per week.

The office across from my hotel room at 5:06pm yesterday. Ghost town.

It shows. How many Norwegian companies can you name? How many revolutionary products and services come out of Norway? Practically none.

So, yes, people are ‘happy’ here. Happy because the system incentivizes underachievement and leisure without the nasty consequence of watching a peer surge ahead financially.

For most people under the bell curve, this is a suitable arrangement. Bureaucrats call this happiness. Maybe so, but it’s at the expense of someone else’s potential.

The other ridiculous assertion is that Norwegians get ‘a lot of value’ for what they pay in taxes.

To be clear, the average Norwegian household pays roughly $70,000 per year in tax. Including the state’s oil income, government tax revenue exceeds $100,000 per household.

Yes, they get free healthcare, free education, and pretty fountains. But for $100,000 per year? The value they get for what they pay is pitiful.

You could pay privately for the most expensive health plans and private schools in the world and still have tens of thousands of dollars in walking around money.

Not to mention, taxes have really driven up the cost of living. It is no coincidence that Norway is simultaneously the most heavily taxed AND most expensive country in the world.

Because of this, Norwegians have limited after-tax discretionary spending cash. Sure they have ‘free’ healthcare, but when dinner for two costs an arm and a leg, people scale back their activities.

This is by design. In keeping people at the same level, Norwegian society has lowered the bar for everyone. There is limited economic freedom to achieve more.

Sure, the system gives them lots of leisure time to enjoy… but this is not necessarily a choice they make freely, rather the only choice they have.

Now, even if this lack of economic freedom seems a reasonable price to pay for national healthcare… even if tamed aspirations and an uninspired career are valid trade-offs for more leisure and less hard work… Norway is not a replicable model.

People who think that ‘we should just be like Norway’ are missing an even greater point: all of this central planning is made possible by huge oil reserves… and for that matter, oil reserves that are DECADES past their peak production.

Norway’s model is not only unreplicable in most other countries, it is also unsustainable.

Mediocrity works great when you can fool society into accepting it and have the oil wealth to finance it. But the true path to prosperity is, and always will be, a system based on economic freedom that rewards hard work, creativity, and achievement.

 

Our goal is simple: To help you achieve personal liberty and financial prosperity no matter what happens.

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About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • John Pitt-Rivers

    A few comments: The pic could have been taken at 4.05. No one stays longer than they have to in order to work here. And the system is rigged in order to foster mediocrity. Notice also that service tasks – e.g. waiters in restaurants – are often done by foreigners. Norwegians are too lazy to do these things themselves. As I have worked in many countries, I know that the amount left for saving/spending at will is very limited in Norway due to costs and high taxes (there is also a sales tax of 24%; alcohol is incredibly expensive!). One could make half the amount in the US and in reality be equally well-off. Yes, Norway is no model for the rest of the world.

  • http://www.brentdgardner.com/ Brent D. Gardner, CLU, ChFC

    Excellent article! This vaguely reminds me of an episode of Beavis & Butthead, where they (paraphrasing) discuss how to know something is cool. They logically conclude that the only way for anything to be cool is that something else has to suck, and then come up with the brilliant conclusion that if nothing sucked, then nothing could be cool.

    Therefore, with the Norwegian equality of outcome, nothing can be cool, because everything sucks, equally.

    And that’s no way to live, in my opinion.

    • JO SØREN

      SHUT THE FUCK UP

  • http://twitter.com/gkarlsen geir karlsen

    Work less, live more

  • Eli

    What is an example country that is on the other side of the continuum that Norway is on re taxes? Are its residents happy?

  • Craig G.

    Also, another valid consideration is the size and scope of Norway’s socialist way of life. Norway has ONLY 5 million people. That’s hardly anybody. FAR FAR FAR from a fair or legitimate comparable to other countries with 10x 20x 100x the population. With the size of populous being so small the government (or a gang of wealthy leaders) can almost single handily educate and provide economic opportunities for these individuals in their state run businesses. As mentioned in your article, they crush creativity, ingenuity, and destroy wealth. Luckily, for them a few rich oil fields can feed their entire country which is smaller than the city I live in. 
    I could not agree more we need to educate ourselves on why these socialist countries undermine freedom and individual liberties, because they are one of the statist’s favorites examples to try and defend their illegitimate central planning arguments. Thanks for the post and keep it up. 

  • joe_bob_gonzales

    it would be interesting to see how the ruling elites of norway live.  and who are they. the wealth creators or….the govt elites.   hmmm.

    it reminds me of something I used to see in the corporate world here.

    lots of seminars on diversity, for example, but I noticed the highest levels of the company did not pay much attention to that sort of bullshit.

    the corporations were also big on teamwork and company loyalty, but that seemed to flow only up, never saw much teamwork and loyalty flow down.  if you know what I mean, and I know that you do.

     

     

    • Tom Just Olsen

      They live in West Kensington, UK. Because they then don’t have to pay taxes.

  • Colin Ingermanson

    Excellent analysis. Another factor that fosters stability and “happiness” is that the population is relatively homogenous, though decreasingly so. 

  • Rock

    What about entrepreneurs in Norway? Are they happy too with a staff with work ethics like public servants?

    • http://twitter.com/gkarlsen geir karlsen

      Many of us come from families of hard working fishermen and farmers. And thereby we have it in our genes to work hard and honest. But since we got rich, this has changed, drastic. The people first mentioned, are getting older, and have failed to learn their kids the value of good work. (as they themselves has become “slaves of money”, they just dont have the time to spend with their kids, just work). But its not all bad, not at all. We still manage to run a little country over here :) But, still, it does something to people when they get a hold of some money.. they want more. We all do. And when money becomes your primary target in life, life becomes…paper and ink? 

      Its not better or worse in Norway, but were getting there. Now, these days, offshore workers demand 4000NKR (676USD) for having to share the same bed (its 2 beds, one on each side..you flip it upside down) as coworkers(NOT at the same time!), A DAY! (this is only druing, ie maintanance for 14 days max).(they are offered 125USD a day, for the inconvenience, but they want alteast 676USD, a day..)
      May I remind you all, this is besides the normal payment of about 170.000USD year salary. This is atleast the double of normal salary in norway. And may I also remind you that norwegian offshore workers work 14 days, and have 30 days off! (thats work 4 months, and the rest of the year off..) WOW!
      I know this is bad.. its really really bad. Not the demand in itself… ehmm (it is). BUT that the people fail to see the madness. Up until now, our raise in vages have just been raises upon raises, way beoynd the nominal price. And now this with the offshore workers. Its getting worse, thats for sure. Just as I summed up this shit about the workers offshore.. were doomed :D

  • Jo McIntyre

    What socialists don’t realize is that work is fun…when you are doing it for your own satisfaction and the benefit of yourself and your family. This attitude drives them nuts! Remember a few years ago, when when the social “scientists” tried to linke liking to work as a mental illness? Remember “workaholic?” 

    • Rock

      Actually I think every government needs a number of these tax slaves which love to work hard even though a big chunk of their earnings is confiscated. So while you are only a 35%-slave in the US, the Norwegians are maybe 60%-slaves. 

      Think of the taxes not just as money, but a part of your life time (the time you needed to earn this) which nobody and no amount of money can give you back.

      No doubt the US-slaves are happy to work harder because they can keep more. Just keep your cows happy so you will get more milk.

  • Gina

    The numbers you have are completely off! No one are taxed more than 40% in Norway. Also, I get that it’s quite expensive being a tourist here, but we make a lot more than you do, so the prices should be adjusted to the relative income.

    • Øyvind Røed

      Plenty of Norwegians pay more than 100% of their income in taxes as soon as the tax on wealth is counted in.

      • http://twitter.com/Superwacs Torgeir Solem

        if you have that kind of wealth you can afford the tax too…

      • Øyvind Røed

        What others CAN afford, is none of your business. Why don’t you start collectng money from people by yourself, instead of letting the government do the looting? 

      • http://twitter.com/gkarlsen geir karlsen

        Have you forgotten that government is us? Our representatives. Maybe a bunch of dorks, yes, but that can change, or it most definitely will.. 
         We all “chip in” so that we dont have to worry about being sick or otherwise unfortunate. And it will happen, to most of us, one day or the other. Free education, roads all over, jobs for everyone.. you must be in a bad place bro… 
        And if you pay MORE than 100% of your income in taxes..(wow).. how come you have a big new house, an expensive new car, a cabin, a boat, another car and so forth? (maybe you, oyvindbremnes dont have a boat or whatever, but you get the idea)
        Most people do just fine (we are the richest country in the world, or something), but there seems to always be someone that have to have more.. no matter what, and thats somehow a very profound and important last sentence, in a long text almost nobody will ever read.

      • WASP

        Now THAT’s the true socialist/communist approach to income redistribution. The socialist gummint mugs the productive people and steals anything above what THEY feel is sufficient, keeps what it wants, then gives the rest to the unproductive. State capitalism and it’s profits keeps it afloat and income redistribution buys the votes to keep the politweasels in office. THe only thing similar to the US is the gummint. Those crooks are the same world-wide.

      • David Dungan

        how does that math work? You cannot pay more than 100% of your income for anything.

      • graylord

        More than 100% of their income? Riiiiiiiight.
        Failed to pass basic math, did we?

  • AAS

    Wait, you’re saying overworking is a good thing? That we should spend most of our day in the office instead of being with our family and friends? Norway has one of the highest living standards in the world. Isn’t that what every country strives for? Sweden and Denmark have similiar governments and high living standards, and they are not big oil producers. Norway is a very small country with a very small population. I don’t think you can expect much. Can you cite the average per year tax for a Norwegian household?

  • Knut

    Simon, why are you foaming at the mouth over a successful example of socialism? The fact of the matter is, the system they have in Norway works. The people are happy and the country ranks at the top of virtually any national well-being indicator. And as for your its all paid for by oil remark, that is a ridiculous assertion. Norway was wealthy before oil, as are Sweden and Denmark despite the lack thereof. Does this socialist paradise produce a nation of mediocrity? Perhaps, but it is a better than a nation of a few celebrities and CEOs with the masses in misery(the U.S). What’s wrong with a short work week? Is work the only reason for your existence? There are many noble pursuits in life that don’t involve making money. Raising a family, humanitarian work, community service,etc….As for the bang for the buck they get for their taxes, your math is fuzzy. To send 2 kids to private university in the U.S, could itself cost north of $100,000 per year.

    “Sure, the system gives them lots of leisure time to enjoy… but this is
    not necessarily a choice they make freely, rather the only choice they
    have.”

    What sane human being wouldn’t want more leisure time? Statements like the above really reveal what an ideologue you are…

    • http://www.facebook.com/jone.randa Jone Randa

      It works now. But is unsustainable. We norwegians only know about the “oil-fund”. Which makes us believe that we are saving for the future. Dont be fooled.  we are massively taking on state debt to pay for a massive leviathan government. Around 600billion NOK. Over 20% of GDP.  And dont think the oil-fund will help. Because this is specifically for government workers and politicians to live on when they get old, and the next generation is left with the total disaster.

      http://no.wikipedia.org/wiki/Norges_statsgjeld

      • Blue Green Metal

        It “works” now if you don’t need any social services or healthcare. :) They all suck, and are outright dangerous.

        If they measured the quality of schools and hospitals etc after an objective and absolute standard, Norway would drop like a rock

    • http://www.facebook.com/apnyein Aung Pyi Nyein

      “the system they have in Norway works”
      – Communism worked too

      “The people are happy”
      – Have you ever heard of Bread and Circuses? Romans were happy too.

      “the country ranks at the top of virtually any national well-being indicator”
      – they are subjective claims. North Korea claims that China is the happiest country in the whole world too. You would have trusted that claim if you’re a Chinese.

      “Norway was wealthy before oil”
      – Socialism can work in small societies where people have similar attitudes and have family-alike kindness. Socialism is judged to collapse when the population grows bigger and people want more free stuffs but are willing to pay less.

      “it is a better than a nation of a few celebrities and CEOs with the masses in misery”
      – That’s plain envy. Plus the system in US is mixed economy where government protects certain corporations. In Norway politicians, bureaucrats and CEOs in state-owned companies have privileges while normal people have to pay most part of their incomes in direct and indirect taxes.

      “What’s wrong with a short work week?”
      – Great societies are built on hard labor. The socialist attitudes in Norway discourage hard labor. Let me ask you a similar question. What’s wrong with hard labor?

      “To send 2 kids to private university in the U.S, could itself cost north of $100,000 per year. ”
      – One third of Norwegian students prefer to study abroad because Norwegian universities are not good enough. US has higher percentage of people with higher education than Norway. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/the-10-most-educated-countries-in-the-world.html University fees in US is high because of government guaranteed student loans but socialism is not a better alternative. And most Norwegian students who attend private universities need to take a student loan.

      “What sane human being wouldn’t want more leisure time?”
      – The problem is it’s government mandated laziness. People are forced to take vacation every year.

  • Mepoznati

    Croatia have VAT also at 25%. Max personal
    income tax is also r 55%

  • Julian

    Financial equality will never make people happy. One day someone will wake up and say ‘Hey, we earn the same money, but I’m working twice as hard as you’.

    • Mopti

      “working twice as hard …”
      Compared to an earning 2,000 times more than the one of an average worker – occured in financial “industry” – this sounds relatively fair …

      • graylord

        2000 times more than the average worker? Where the hell are you getting your numbers? Also, you do realize the costs of living in Norway is also relative to the increased income?

  • datanerd_76

    Jepp. Take a picture of a office block and use it as an explanation about how medicore and “lazy” socialist are. This article has to be one of the worst generalizations about a country that I have ever read. So heres is my experience as a “lazy” “socialist” who live of oil money. I took over my fathers construction company at a age of 18. And I did all the administration of it while I took a higher education. Today I have my 8-4 work at the office and then I begin working with my real estate company and the paper work with the construction company. So I have organized my “risk taking” business in a AS, I have my real estates organized in another company  because that gives me VERY generous tax benefits and that gives me a tax write off on my “dayjobb”.

    And later this evening I’m going to a meeting in Junior Chambers. A very popular organization for young entreprenours here in Norway. Today we are going to discuss the goverment sponsorship that entreprenours recive if they decide to start a new company. Because today there are about 10 different founding sourced for entreprenours. And you can actually get quite confused about what to choose. Should you for example use Innovation Norway or one of the private founders? And how do you avoid beeing taxed to death, how do you keep controll with the company and how do you find the appropiate staff functions?

    So the reason Norwegians quit working at 4 pm, is that we switch to another working situation. If you have kids, its voulenteer work in sports organizations. If you have some real estate, its always a new renovation project or other improvements. And if your a entreprenour, its alway business meetings and new ideas to discuss. But my work cell phone is turned off. Why? Because this is my “free time”. And that I use this time to earn more money or to improve my life, has nothing to do with my day work.

    Just as an example: When it comes to work effectivity, we are on top in Europe. Even with “only” 8-4 work day. Why? Because we dont have time to work overtime! Our scheduel are way too bussy to waste time on what you should have done between 8-4. After 4 pm, we have our other projects to work on. And this is what foreigners cant understand. So the only thing you are right in, is that Norway is a lousy example for how you can reorganize a foreign country. Beause you will never understand how we work and why we are sucessfull. After all, why havent the other oil producing countries put away money for a rainy day? And something you cant understand, you cant copy……

    • Pepe Pecas

      Why if you work SO HARD and EFFECTIVELY there are no Innovations, new Technology and Inventions made in NORWAY?
      Lazy Socialists !!!

  • 99gross

    Simon you nailed it. Could not have said it better. There are two reasons why this scam is possible. Brainwashing and oil. Brainwashing starts the day norwegians are born. It is incredible because not “evil” power is used. May be the Jante low makes it possible. Norway went repetitively broke in the 70`s and 80´s by devaluing 20- 30% every couple of years. The financial repression was huge (still is). Revenues from oil started coming in in the 90´s and saved the day. The average deficit in the 70`s and 80´s was 12,5% (compare it to Greece´s 8,5%). Today all is forgotten and the country shines. But trust no official socialist data, neither from China or Norway. (Scandinavians are masters of faking, and double morality) Like the official unemployment rate is low, yes? That is if you don’t know that N has the world record in number of people on disability. And people on all kinds of government measures. And then there are some 400k more state employees than in Sweden (Sweden is 2x bigger). 
    And yes I do pay over 70% in taxes, all together. Even thou I earn very well my discretionary spending is very constricted. It is not possible to work or save to prosperity. (At this point every norwegian will tell you that I am still better of than in Africa (this is the level of discussion)). Thous in connection, on government benefits do well- thats sure. And yes if it does not pay off to work you enjoy free time. The only wealth norwegians have are their overpriced houses. Every one is heavily indebted. In Bergen 64% of the households gets support from the government. 
    All of this affects productivity. It takes ages to get a bureaucratic decision, it takes years to build a 100m of road.  The only exception is the export industry. (Which by the way according to a government official is well prepared to meet the future. How? By either closing down or moving aboard). 
    The great awakening will come sone enough. Oil production has been falling the last ten years. Even the official numbers indicate lack of revenues from the beginning of 2020`s. 

    • Mike Renders

      double morality?

  • Sonbyrd

    I would love Norway. Love love love it.  How wonderful to simply make a wage and then spend the rest of my time volunteering (or taking classes or writing the great Norwegian novel or even scheming up my own side business).  How great to get an education equal to that of my peers, how nice to be able to go to the doctor when I need to.  I can’t do any of that in the good ol’ USA even with my college degree.  It’s become impossible to even become a homeowner.  Norway’s socialist system is not for everyone, but for heaven’s sake, you should acknowledge that it’s an incredible gift for the many who operate outside the world of competition and acquisition.

    • Dave

      You should move there.

    • Pepe Pecas

      I hope You moved there already, It’s been 2 years since this!

  • Jesandepuss

    Where did you come to that brilliant conclusion that Norwegian citizen works 9-5 to a maximum of a 31 hour week? Yes they have a different system than what you’re used to, but really?  

    Norway has created a system that makes it virtually impossible to pull ahead of your peers financially” – Seriously? Have you ever been to Norway? What nation do you think has the greatest model? The USA? The UK? Australia? You can’t just piss on everything dude, wake up and get real. That idealistic capitalistic liberalism you’re so proudly parading has not worked yet. It may have worked for you, but to build a whole nation on a system that demands great inequalities is just immoral and will eventually collapse. And as a disclaimer, I don’t think money will ever make people happy Simon… 

    • UpperTen

      Well, if nothing else, we see it unfolding before our eyes right now, the European welfare model collapsing. Truth is, Norway stays afloat because of the oil.

      • http://twitter.com/Superwacs Torgeir Solem

        It stays afloat because we have set aside money for a rainy day…

      • UpperTen

        Clearly, a socalled rainy day fund is a must, and Norway have a sizeable one. But its also tied into foreign corporations, and as their earnings goes, so will also a substantial portion of the fund.

      • Mike Renders

        Wait until you put it into something like the US housing market, and boom that saving is cleared.

  • UpperTen

    Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance, and the gospel of envy, its inherent virtue is the equal sharing of misery.
    Winston Churchill
    Just about right, is it not? Read the Norwegian papers, and you soon discover how malcontent and dissatisfied so many people are, this albeit long vacations, lofty salaries and tranquility.

     

    • http://twitter.com/Superwacs Torgeir Solem

      You wont see people writing to the papers complaining of how good their life is would you? So thats why only negative comments are posted, and whats the fun of letting people know you have a great live. That will not sell papers!

    • Berntv

      And still Norway is considered as the best country in the world to live in, year after year. Not by norwegians, but by international surveys. Strange….. 

      • Pepe Pecas

        only on Paper!! only on Paper!

    • http://twitter.com/gkarlsen geir karlsen

      Like Torgeir Solem said: Like everywhere else in the world, papers sell on scandals and misery, murder and crime. They even make stuff up, all the time(dont know what they are writing about, get things upside down).
      My mother has this book on her table (its norwegian, and goes something like this): “If we are doing so well, why are we not doing better?”
      Now, im not sure that is a good translation, but between the lines: we are the richest country etc etc.. why are we still in misery? (just so much more subtle in the original title). We are not happier than any other people, we just got more money. Still people in Norway fail to see that money aint gonna make you happy. Why? Well, for one, the media tells them their not happy… And there you go. The “whiners” do the rest.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_5SW32GGNXRN2HDTXC4WV6VSHDY WASP

    Russia and the USSR had over 70 years to make Socialism/communism work, and they couldn’t.  The Soviet slave states of the former Warsaw Pact had 45 years to make it work, and couldn’t.  Now the Union of European Socialist Republics, and all of Scandinavia is and has been socialist, and the progressives (who have hijacked the Democratic Party) are pushing socialism in the USA.  If insanity is defined as repeating the same failed actions and expecting a different result, socialist/communists must be the craziest lunatics on earth. But, liberals don’t believe the laws of nature apply to them.

    • http://twitter.com/Superwacs Torgeir Solem

      and yet, we have jobs, houses to live in and food on our tables. We can even travel where we desire all over the world instead of working our ass off for minimum wages…

      • http://www.facebook.com/apnyein Aung Pyi Nyein

         I’m so sure 30% of the population in Norway is on welfare and food is more expensive and worse compared to neighboring countries like Denmark, Sweden and UK. Norway especially Oslo and Stavanger are the most expensive cities to live in the world. You don’t usually have to work your ass off for minimum wages for vacation but you’re required to save 10.2% of your salary starving while civil servants which is about 30% of the total employment have a right to paid vacation. 

      • http://twitter.com/gkarlsen geir karlsen

        You pay the same to live anywhere in Norway. Housing prices are like everywhere else in the world. These “surveys” telling you what place is the most expensive, is just for fun. They compare the price of mcdonalds and absolut vodka.. and so forth. But do they consider what people in the country earn..?  No… so it tells you nothing at all (unless your a tourist..)

      • dejawolf

        income is not a problem as long as your business is within norway. but export, and industry suffer horribly. when the oil stops, Norway is going to crash badly.

      • Empress de Snark

        LOL. Not two weeks ago, I listened to a Norwegian IT engineer at a conference…he was ASTOUNDED that his American tech colleagues can afford to go out to lunch several times a week. “In Norway, most of us bring lunch from home,” he said, “because the cheapest lunch out you can find in Oslo is equivalent to US$20.”
        But oh, sure, tell us more about how the Norwegian cost of living is “like everywhere else in the world.” And tell us more about how your high wages allow everyone to live the good life, because your government picks winners (overpriced food served by uneducated Islamofascist immigrants) and losers (IT engineer with extensive education and experience who gets to fork over half his income to prop up businesses like overpriced restaurants).

      • Pepe Pecas

        Yeah right!
        Norwegians are losers by nature, just look at History on WW2, Germans living, drinking and fucking your women while most Norwegians just watched that happen!
        Most of your people are lazy and gives absolutely nothing to the world: no inventions, technology or innovation…in other words: just parasites!
        oh and yeah, keep using Internet, facebook, youtube, cell phones, etc etc etc…all American Inventions!!

      • Pepe Pecas

        Typical Socialist:
        We have House, Food and we are allowed to Travel!
        hahahaha

    • Tionia

      Oh your talking about the regressive republicans when you say doing the same thing over and over right? Like how they have now voted 56 times to try and repeal or defund the ACA, which the American people are very happy with. Talk about crazy lunatics!!!

  • Blue Green Metal

    Healthcare is only free if you are not paying tax (unemployed) and if you don’t mind waiting years for an operation, or have a death wish.

    4500 people die every year at norwegian socialist hospitals. Half of them is purely because of planned economy. It might not sound like a big number for non-norwegians. But we are barely 5 million people. So hospital deaths caused by socialism per capita is pretty high!

    • http://twitter.com/gkarlsen geir karlsen

      People die in hospitals all the time, everywhere in the world. Its not perfect in Norway, but if you get hurt or sick, you get all the help they can give you (unless its a new medicine that cost 10mill. or whatever, pr. treatment). How can you not be satisfied by something like this? Maybe you want money for getting sick? Well, we got that to (if you are employed and get ill, you will receive a mildly reduced paycheck)

      • Mike Renders

        10 million with Norwegian tax?

      • Adam_Irae

        There is in fact no hard cash limit. There is a general guideline that drugs costing more than 150 000 per year (US dollars) must show documented medical benefits above what the alternatives do. And not just fewer side effects or more comfortable administration vectors etc.

        On the number of people dying in hospital due to untimely or wrong treatment, there is a stat for that: Amendable mortality.
        It is about 20 % higher in the US. That means that, adjusted for population, the US loses 6 people for every 5 lost in Norway.

    • Øyvind Røed

      If Norway changed to the American healthcare system, we would save 1545 lives every year… 

    • Tionia

      And what are your medical costs? Surely they are not as high as they are here…. The United States Citizens are suckers… We believed that our healthcare is superior and so they started charging us through the nose… Before the ACA was enacted many people died because they couldn’t afford to see a Dr much less pay for a needed surgery… I would rather wait then not be able to get the medical help I needed…

  • Auto

    No sense in even saying anything to you elitist wanna-bees’.  You only see what you want to see in a system you have been spoon-fed for your whole lives.  Some people don’t have to be better than their neighbors, and don’t want to be better than their friends they want to be treated as EQUALS.  Bad rapping other systems while your own system is in utter failure wont make things better for you or any one else.
    BGM….”4500 people die each year at norwegian socialist hospitals”….
    “An average of 195,000 people in the USA died due to potentially
    preventable, in-hospital medical errors in each of the years 2000, 2001
    and 2002″,…..(source Medical News Today).
    WASP….”Russia and the USSR had over 70 years to make Socialism/communism work, and they couldn’t. “……….But China did and now they’re a stronger economy than the USA.

    • nevermind

      Do the math: USA population is 316,000,000, 195000 dead equals 0,0617088608 percent dead. In Norway socialist hospitals 4500 equals 0,088867666 deaths (pop. 5,063,709)

      • Tionia

        Did you not read the part that said “died due to potentially preventable, in-hospital medical errors”

        Where as it wasn’t stated that those who died in Norway were “preventable in-hospital medical errors”.

        Maybe you should read the WHOLE thing and not cherry pick!

  • Øyvind Røed

    Notic the extensive use of the word “WE” – favoured by all statists.
    The single human, outside the group is nothing in Norway, with no chance to be heard.
    That’s the reason we got ABB.

  • RobotMoses

    Man, are you talking out of your ASS.

  • akzero2007

    Are people actually reading this? This site must be a satire site.
    Having lived in Norway, Simon Black has it all wrong.
    I can name many Norwegian companies… Statoil, Norsk, Telenor, and Aker to name a few. (All listed on most published “World’s Most Admired Companies”) Statoil is known worldwide for its innovations in energy. The Vikings by the way did “discovered” America. If you want to talk about athletic revelations. Let’s talk about Norway impact on global sports. They invented Telemark Skiing and Slalom. Next time your spraying Pam or your AquaNet… thank the Norwegians, they invented the Aerosol can. Norwegians were also behind the 1G and 2G cellphone network systems. Oh and Telenor was the company that invented the “pinch-to-zoom” function that Apple uses on every one of its iPhones and iPads. Seriously, could go on and on. Like Norwegians have plenty of spare income… they are ferocious travelers and have lots of money to drop while on vacation. This article seriously hurts Simon Black’s credibility. To just attack a country because they have money and are socialistic, to make blanket statements that a country doesn’t make any contributions to the world is at best idiotic but when you’re publishing them, it’s embarrassing. Please do some basic research before publishing.

  • M75462

    All I know is what I see on Liilyhammer. Your men are jokes, but your young women are smoking hot.
    PS. You better watch your immigration or you will all be praying on rugs soon enough

    The Vikings would not be very proud of what their land has become, in my opinion.

  • Tom Just Olsen

    Who is this freak Simon Black? Has he ever read Carl Marx? Really: “The Norwegian tax system is based on the principle that everybody should pay tax according to their means and receive services according to their needs.”

    That is the tax ‘principle’ of all European nation I know of.
    Is he still in this country? Throw him out! For pot smoking.

    • John Anthony

      Tom, truth hurts – keep watching NRK and reading VG, everything is going to be fine!

      • Tom Just Olsen

        Øh, truth hurts….?

      • Tionia

        Maybe your the one who doesn’t see the truth… we can tell that by what you post…

    • Bruce Amsbary

      Actually Tom, Marx does expound that an economic system should be operated under the principle of “from each according to their ability and to each according to their need.” Personally, I think that is a FAR preferable system than to each according to their ability to grab whatever they can from everyone else and to hell with those without the means or ability to take advantage of a system constructed to most benefit those with the most.

      • Tom Just Olsen

        I am allergic to all big thinkers with grand ideas on economic policy. Be it Karl Marx (who did an excellent job describing capitalism) or Milton Friedman. Norway has a system as you describe. The greatest inspirator to the European social democratic movement were Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.

  • Tom Just Olsen

    Norwegians are a hard working people. That’s why they do so well. Norwegians produce a GDP/capita of about 100.000 $ per capita. Twice that of USA. Almost three times that of UK. Only oil? Deduct the 27% of GDP that is oil/gas – and still Norway are far more efficient and productive than most of Europe.
    Norwegians work 37 hours a week and have 5 weeks holiday. That is in the lower end of the European average. While unemployment is less than half of that of ‘European average’ in Norway. See the combination?
    Some 52% of all Norwegians have a job. Check that to USA and UK in which employment is below 45%. In the UK some 9 million, the population of Sweden, don’t do anything…. While trade balance is dramatically in minus and the government go along on deficits of 120 Bn Pounds annually. Sustainable?
    The Norwegian ‘model’ – the Scandinavian model, really, are replicable just about everywhere. But that will threaten the upper 1%. Of which many survive on businesses that would die if the politically set minimum wage of £ 2,62/hour (UK) was to be increased. By this keeping alive businesses that deserves to die in a modern society.

    • John Galt

      Productivity per cqpita is only true when we don’t consider the fact that Norway has very small population compared to 8 millons population in London and NYC. Plus one third of lazy and unproductive Norwegians live on welfare and 100 000 Norwegians between 16 and 67 years old are outside the work force. Moreover Norway has near largest percentage of unproductive and unefficient government employees at 30%. One more fact slap on you, the government owns half of the stock market in Norway and is the largest government ownership in Europe. That is bad because the government is too big and when it fails, it fails big. You Norwegians are so dumb and brainwashed by the state. I live in Norway and these facts are well-known that you can even google them easily.

      • Tom Just Olsen

        Øh. Unproductive Norwegians? Documentation please! Some 2,6 million Norwegians have a paid job. That is 52% of ‘all’ people living in Norway (5,1 million). UK (population: 63,7 million acc. CIA Factbook) has a labour force of only 32,23 million people. Of which 7,7% are unemployed. That leaves only 29,7 million actually working. That is only 46,7% having a paid job in the UK. That explains the poor trade balance and a state budget deficit of 120 Bn Pounds annually. And the BBC news spot saying ‘9 million Brits (in employable age) are outside the economy!’ That’s equal to the total number of inhabitants of, say, Sweden!
        USA has a population of 318,9 million, a labour force (obviously politically defined) of only 155,4 million people. – Even though ‘average age’ in the US are lower than both UK and Norway. Of these 7,4% are unemployed. That leaves only 143,9 million with a real job in the promised land; only 45% of the total population. Which explains the sea of poverty and the federal budget deficit in the region of 700 Bn US$. A bill sent to Americans not yet born.
        Sure, we can complain here in Norway that many are not pulling their own weight. But the relative figures we discuss is far – far better than the two nations you mentioned. Our high ‘labour market participation’ is the key to our wealth. Higher labour market participation is the medicine to improve UK’s and USA’s economic performance.
        Unfortunately, our labour market participation is falling here in Norway. Of two reasons. Our population grows older (demographics) and a growing number of immigrants. Particularly the women of the latter is not used to working in paid jobs. Many of them aren’t qualified, even. More immigrants; more people on the dole.
        ‘Partly’ government ownership is a good thing. Sure, American, British and Russian oligarchs won’t agree. Don’t be fooled. With more than 5.000 Bn NOK in liquidity the Norwegian state won’t fail anytime soon.

      • John Anthony

        Tom, I feel truly sorry for you!

      • Tom Just Olsen

        You don’t understand economy, John. Stick to sports. That’s simpler.
        The government employees, most of them nurses, play an important part in making our society efficient. While they look after our sick and old we, the others, can work with exports. Nor do the Norwegian government own 50% of all stocks on the Oslo Stock Exchange. You are way off.
        Yes, sure we are dumb. (Just imagine what we think of Brits and Americans. Ha, ha!)

      • John Anthony

        “The government employees, most of them nurses, play an important part in making our society efficient.” – Documentation please!

      • Tionia

        Please don’t think all Americans are the same… many of us are very different than those you are laughing at… we also laugh at them but we are also ashamed of so many Americans….

      • Tesla Ink

        absolutely agree. I am not American but it’s too easy for people to point the finger and blame. All my American friends have been extremely open minded, well read & well educated. Just like any other country, good & bad. Too bad that the vast majority including those eager to blame are the biggest consumers of American media, me included. The west wouldn’t have such great culture if it wasn’t for the Americans.

      • http://www.uit.no/ Karl-Erlend Mikalsen

        How come you think of gouverment employees as lazy and unproductive?

        Sure, we’re 30% of the work force, but we run every echelon of education, health care, infrastructure, lawenforcement, military, as well as helping with findin jobs and navigating a complex social aid system. We are effective and hard working.

        I’ve seen US workers. You stay longer in the office, that is true. But you don’t work there. You hang out.

      • Tesla Ink

        I believe this comes from statistics derived from situations and incidents such as when the US Government shut down and over 1 million “Government Workers” had been put out of the job there was no change in the amount of output to the country. However I live in Australia and there is also a general consensus that public servants are “lazy”.

        This stems from what people experience on a day to day basis especially from people working the front end of Governmental institutions. I generally find them to be lazy, unmotivated & embody a strong sense of entitlement.

        I can’t & won’t make any assumptions about the system in Norway as the majority of people that I have met from any Scandinavian country generally have the following in common.

        – Incredibly well spoken
        – Very open minded & well educated
        – Extremely polite
        – Well read & worldly

        Whether or not these are traits are a common thing in Norway it seems from an outside point of view that the Norwegians are definitely onto something. But the real problem for the other western countries is culture and this is something that cannot be so easily adjusted. Australians in general have a culture of laziness and entitlement and most likely would not be willing to pay such high taxes for these benefits. Sad, but very true for the most part.

        Please tell me what you think.

      • Matthew

        Also Australian and sadly I agree with you, Too many of our fellow Aussies have gone from hard working productive members of society to lazy wingers and our politicians are no better.

        I’d love to see a complete re-work of the Australian tax system, And a new breed of government that doesn’t look at the mining taxes and royalties as a requirement but rather as the cream on the top, Should have started decades ago doing with our mining taxes as Norway does with her oil taxes, Could have had a wealth fund matching or exceeding them if we had had politicians that looked at the long term rather then the short term.

      • Tesla Ink

        Hear hear! Self entitlement in all aspects of the country. Even as to who should be here.

        Everyone else is way too lazy to even try and be competitive. They want
        the maximum benefits for the minimum sacrifice. I get left wing hipsters
        tell me how we should be like so many other countries in Europe. However no one
        here is willing to put up more money for tax especially up to 78% for a corporate tax rate.

        Australia does have a sovereign fund, a sovereign fund that gets diddley squat put into it because the Labor Government has run the country into 2 deficits. The problem is not the politics, the Government should be a mechanism that focuses on helping the truly needy & impoverished. Not a fucking atm that puts my tax dollars towards some red neck bogans new wheels on their commodore.
        So the problem is in the culture of Australia being regarded as the lucky country.
        The only silver lining i can take solace in is that Australia is a country where you can achieve nearly anything you want, provided you work hard enough, because the sad truth is the majority of those in the workforce are too lazy to get ahead & compete. I mean for fucks sake my uncle came to Australia in the wake of 3 wars. He told me he came to Australia in a fucken banana boat because he heard that “if you work hard enough you can buy a mercedes benz”. And yes he’s kept the same one for over 25 years.

        The youth are too concerned with bashing our current prime minister (which I am not a fan of either) taking as many quotes they can out of context just so they can be the next thing to trend on social media.

      • the great dane

        You don’t save your money for a rainy day! You’re sitting on it! No nordic country has so much money as Norway.
        So why don’t you e.g. invest in building more public business schools or Universities for medicin students in stead of sending them to Denmark? We have danes that can’t get into their dream study because you occupy up to 1200 places. Mostly in the business schools, in particilar the medicin schools. Here in DK we have free education for everybody (which I believe you also don’t have) and the norwegans even get money for studying like the danes do (paid for with danish taxes). But you don’t pay a dime in taxes afterwards – after having graudated as Master/MD you go directly back to Norway! The Danish government is stupid to allow this/not stopping it and the Norwegian government is without pride! Greed – is the only word I can think of…
        And by the way – the “Jantelov” is danish – Aksel Sandemose created the term in 1933.

      • http://www.uit.no/ Karl-Erlend Mikalsen

        First and foremost: Aksel Sandemose emigrated to Norway in 1931

        Secondly, yes we have free education for everybody in Norway. Of course we have.
        But we only educate as many medical doctors as we think we need, since educating doctors is expensive. This makes it very hard for young students to get into programmes leading to a medical doctorate, and students who can’t get into the programme often look abroad for solutions. Denmark is one example; we also have many who go to Poland.

        We don’t have the same problems with business studies, but you have the very prestigeous Copenhagen Business School (Nice place. Nice people. Been there once, would go again) that attract students from abroad. And its easier for Norwegians to go to CBS than for, for example, german people, since we master the relevant languages for studies in Denmark.

        Personally I wish more Danish people would use the educational agreements between the Scandinavian countries and come to Norway to study. We have some of the best universities in the world and great educational possibilities. (Why don’t I hear more Danish in Tromsø than German? More Danes please. We will welcome you with arms wide open.) For example, Tromsø has one of the best Ship Handling Simulators in Europe. Why aren’t Danish students wishing to become sea captains applying for admission at UiT? Don’t bash Norwegians coming to Denmark to study, ask why Danish students aren’t coming to Norway.

        Now for the money issues:
        The reasons the money isn’t spent all at once in infrastructure is macroeconomical. One problem is that such and expenditure would neccessitate a larger workforce than the one we have, and as such most of the money would be sendt abroad with international contractors. The second is that the expenditure would drive up prices in Norway, driving up our already high salaries and trigger massive inflation. Which is bad.

      • http://thomas.do/ T. K. Running

        Ok, I just had to reply to this utterly misinformed comment. Having lived in both Norway and Denmark (and having studied in both countries), I can tell you that the Norwegian government pays the Danish government more money per Norwegian student in Denmark than what it costs to have that student there. And a lot of Danes also study in Norway, by the way. While education in Denmark is free to EU and Nordic citizens, education in Norway is free to most anyone in the world. Norwegians also do not get education support from the Danish government while studying there (they get it from the Norwegian government instead).

        The only real cost to danish society by having Norwegian students is perhaps free healthcare. But typically 20-25 year olds don’t require many doctor visits. And this is more than offset by all the VAT the Norwegians pay while living in Denmark. And while studying in Denmark, Norwegians also pay income taxes there (a lot of people work while studying).

        While it is true that Aksel Sandemose was born in Denmark, his mother was actually Norwegian. Nevertheless, Janteloven is a thing in both countries.

        All this being said, Denmark is a great country, and I for one will never move back to Norway (but I might move elsewhere). I am even in the process of planting my citizenship flag in the country, and I operate a business from Denmark and pay all my taxes there. I just wanted to correct all your factual errors.

      • Kevin Sæther

        Have you heard of the term “inflation”? :)

  • AborysaProductions .

    This is BS, Norway got the highest social mobility in the world(you can be poor and not have a steady earning and still be able to get a job where you get about 50k$ in netto salary, PS: the average is 30k$), and there is no one that says that you are not allowed to be proud of your achievements, but we don’t like braggers. “Janteloven” which states that you should not think of yourself as better than the person next to you. The thing in Norway is that we wan’t everyone to interact socially with one another despite the social status.

  • JO SØREN

    FUCK OFF RIGHT WING SHITE!Like the corrupt US or UK societies are signing examples of healthy economies ?UK and US society is the way it is at the expense of the vast majority’s potential AND financial survival … health and education
    So fk off

  • Ily Michael

    Never been to Norway but I don’t like this article anyway. If people need to feel they are better than someone else, they need some metal health care! I wanted to learn something but this article did not aide in that.

  • http://bk.com/ Da Burger King

    so many butt hurt Norwegians can’t stand to be criticised…love it, all that “freedom” and wealth yet only 6 billionaires with a big middle finger to the rest of Norwegian society.

  • BobOdette

    well let’s go halfway here – tax the oil companies in north america the same way they do in Norway and reduce income and sales taxes for the people – win win

  • Sam Cat

    waaa waaaa waaaa .the author is a whiner …. and he’s also full of shit

  • Tionia

    Sounds to me like the guy who wrote this is the one who is envious… He may be jealous when someone gets ahead of him but when someone is able to go from rags to riches I am happy for them, not envious… so that whole argument is BS as far as I am concerned. If the people of Norway are happy I don’t see a problem… obviously this guy is so unhappy he is searching for ways to discredit the people of Norway… who does he think he is? I know what he is, he is just one unhappy SOB trying to convince people that the people of Norway are not happy and don’t have a clue to what is going on in their country. Sadly there are people who will believe this schmuck and the vile poisonous things he writes…

  • Tionia

    Haha I bet the oil companies paid simon black to write this BS. As a matter of fact they probably wrote it for him. They are mad because of the taxes they have to pay and they are worried that this will catch on in other countries so they are trying to do everything they can to make people believe the lies in this piece of fiction….

  • constitutionalpower

    I have been to Norway and this is pure BS. Although they get taxed heavily, they get a lot of that tax money BACK in tax refunds, subsidies, and public investment for businesses and entrepreneurship.

  • Adam_Irae

    Simon, you use a lot of big words there, and I don’t think they mean what you think they mean.

    • Mike Renders

      Like?

      • Adam_Irae

        “Tax burden” Tax in general I think. “Sustainability”. “Liberty”. “Prosperity”. But the big one here is…” socialism”.

        Just to be clear: Socialism is when the government owns all the businesses/means of production. Its what you have in North Korea and Cuba. Socialism is not when a government is one of the investors in a functioning stock market. Norway is one of the top 20 most competitive economies in the world. Saying that Norway” is about as socialist as it gets” shows that the author rather fundamentally does not understand what “socialist” means. You could make a good argument that the US is more socialist than Norway, with no-bid contracts and markets where nonperforming actors can be considered too big to fail.

        Then there is “sustainability”. The author claims that Norways model is unsustainable and made possible by oil revenues…but Norway hasn’t spent any oil revenues for decades. Its all saved up in a sovereign wealth fund (which currently owns over 1 % of all publically listed stocks in the world). It takes less than 10 minutes of reading up on Norways economy to figure that out. If Norway budget prosperity is based on anything, its not oil or (non-declining) gas, but a cross-gender high labour force participation.

        Then there is “Tax burden”. The author does not seem to understand how taxes work. I do not get the feeling hes ever had a job. The fact that a maximum income tax is 47 % (Not 55, not that it matters) does not mean that anyone pays that. You don’t pay the maximum from the first dollar. You start off with the first 15 000 tax free, then you pay 9 % for the next X dollars, etc. Statistics Norway, whose job it is to keep track of such things, report that this averages out to 25 % tax overall. And that almost no-one pays more than 34 %, people with that much of their income in the top bracket tend to shift their remuneration to stock options and other non-taxables.

        The author also states that the average household pays 70 000 $ in tax. That’s seems peculiar. Looking it up, there are 2 350 000 households in Norway. The government budget is public and list the income of household taxes as 250 000 million Nkr, about 41 000 million $. Or 17 000$ per household. Not 70 000. If the government took in 70 000 $ per household, the whole budget could be run on just personal taxation!

        Keep in mind that the average income is 80 000 $.

        The author does not appear to have any idea of how a country’s finances work, he seems to think health care is the main thing taxes go to. In reality, utilities and pensions are both larger outlays with social support just behind.

        The rest of it is similar nonsense, Just of the top of my head:

        The Jante Law is from a 1930s book describing social attitudes in a small, behind the times town in Denmark.

        Norway consistently scores in the top in social mobility in the developed world. The US, conversely is in the bottom. It is far easier to work your way up, and have a career in Norway than the US, and a much larger fraction of the population does.

        On liberty, just the health care and education…study whatever you have the ability and ambition for. Pick your job without weighting your dream job against one with health care. Have kids when its right for you as a family. Start your own business if you feel you’ve come as far as you can working for someone else. (There is a reason Norway has more start-ups per head while the US has more people wanting to start their own businesses. Its health care. ) Take a year off for personal reasons. Retire when you can afford to. The total amount of liberty enjoyed by even a poor Norwegian is unattainable to all but the top layer of the US population.
        The whole thing comes across as either written in deep ignorance of fundamental concepts, or in the naïve belief that all readers will buy it and no-one on the internet will bother to check anything.

  • Zoe Emiko

    I spent 3 years living in Norway. What Simon presents is utter BS. I’m not sure what prompted Simon to write this garbage but my guess is there was a payment involved.

  • Matt

    So if I’m the type that likes to work 60hr/wk then where would I look most productive: surrounded by people that work ~40hr/wk or surrounded by people that work ~31hr/wk? It’s easy enough for hard workers to get ahead, but even more so when everyone around them is doing less work.

  • Stacey Routh Laporte

    The cost other countries pay to get ahead means sacrificing family structure and role modeling. I would rather be happy like everyone else than stepping on people or being stepped on to get ahead. Your argument is that of a rich white male who doesn’t care about society but only self improvement. If all my neighbors had enough money to feed their children, a job, and time with the family we would have time to spend together as neighbors strengthening bonds and society would be a better place. It is the money grubbing power seekers that make my country such a horrible place. America would be better off with a set income limit so more people would value life, humanity, family and the things that really matter.

  • Tove Camilla McMorrow

    I am Norwegian and I agree completely!! Norway is as left wing as it gets and the tax burden is enormous. To make it as self- employed you must put in 60 hours +
    What do we get for our money??? Very little. Norway loves mediocrity

    • David

      Jeg skjønner virkelig ikke hva du klager over. For det første, fikk du med deg hva som skjedde ved forrige valg? For det andre, skatten er virkelig ikke så ille som du skal ha det til. Nordmenn er fortsatt helt i verdenstoppen av personlig rikdom. Er du virkelig norsk og bor i Norge? Har du noen tenkt deg hvordan det hadde vært å bli født i ett annet land enn norge? Da hadde du kanskje hatt en ordentlig grunn til å klage.

      • Tove Camilla McMorrow

        Yes I am Norwegian. Do you pay income tax? Easy to say others have nothing to complain about if you don’t pay much yourself. How much do you pay? Taxation is just a way to control people and for the elite to keep power. My husband is Scottish and thought you might like to read what the bard, Scots poet Robert Burns had to say about the taxman:

        The deil cam fiddlin thro’ the toon, and danc’d awa wi the Exciseman,

        And ilka wife cries, ‘Auld Mahoun, I wish you luck o’ the prize, man!’

        Chorus
        The deil’s awa, the deil’s awa, the deil’s awa wi’ the Exciseman,

        He’s danc’d awa, he’s danc’d awa, he’s danc’d awa wi’ the Exciseman!

        We’ll mak our maut, and we’ll brew our drink, we’ll laugh, sing, and rejoice, man,

        And monie braw thanks to the meikle black Deil, that danc’d awa wi’ the Exciseman.

        ‘There’s threesome reels, there’s foursome reels, there’s hornpipes and strathspeys, man,

        But the ae best dance ere cam to the land was The Deil’s Awa wi’ the Exciseman’.

  • David

    ‘But the true path to prosperity is, and always will be, a system based
    on economic freedom that rewards hard work, creativity, and achievement.’
    Do you really believe that? Economic freedom and freedom are actually polar opposites in the world we live in. How is it going in the US? And why do have taxes at all if you don’t get anything in return for it? I really recommend a documentary I watched recently called ‘The lottery of birth’, might give you some insights into different ways of thinking.

    • SharpStick

      The lottery of birth is a pure strawman argument. Unsuccessful people and people who don’t work hard love arguments like it because it allows them to rationalize and scapegoat others. and you are edging into illogic as well.
      The issue isn’t taxes per se as you try to project with your strawman. But those clearly redistributive tax scheme. they destroy freedom.
      Fact is Norway has some success soley because it is a massive OIL producer and exporter

      • Jalmari Ikävalko

        ..Yet the other Nordic countries (Sweden, Finland, Denmark) all rank high in HDI, are regarded as having high level of education, happiness and viewed pretty liberal, while sharing a decently high redistributive schemes without relying on oil in the slightest.

      • SharpStick

        Sweden has among the highest rape rates in the world. Norway funds its social welfare with OIL and would be a basket case like Greece if not for that. And Iceland?

  • Norman Imes

    Norway did not discover or drill their oil finds. That was done by the Evil capitalist US big oil. Then Norway confiscated the oil profits

  • Linda May Kallestein

    I guess you never left your hotel room while in Norway. The standard of living is extremely high in Norway. Go visit a few people at their homes. The level of material goods, house standards etc are extreme even in average households. Ask any Norwegian about how much they travel during their 5 weeks of annual paid vacation. Your article is biased and in no way shows any real comprehension of Norway. I am an American who has lived here some time now. If the average American could be so lucky to experience life as it is in Norway, they would absolutely want it for themselves. The only really negative part of living in Norway is shitty weather.

  • Atle Eika

    I can name at least five norwegian companies. Statoil, Yara, DNB, Kongsberggruppen and Telenor. You also mentioned some of them yourself in this article.

  • Pingback: Norway Tax Uk | Make Money Online()

  • scottld

    Pretty thin argument.

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