Norway's Common Sense Welfare State Versus U.S. Capitalism
Section: Business & the Economy
Norway was first place in the world in the UNDP Human Development Index (HDI) for six consecutive years (2001-2006) and again in 2009 and 2010. The standard of living in Norway is among the highest in the world. Parental leave is 46 weeks and they have national health insurance. Libertarian websites such as Wikipedia refer to it as one of the biggest welfare states in the world. Thirty percent of all employment is through the government. Norway has the lowest unemployment rate and highest wages in the world (2.6%). Significant portions of the telecommunications and oil industry are owned by the government. Norway has a much lower crime rate and a much better prison system (see video above).
People in the U.S. (see table below) work harder ( by 351 more hours per year), are paid less, have the fewest work protections of any developed country, a higher unemployment rate, more poverty, lower life-expectancies by two years and their children are treated worse at school. However, U.S. CEO and corporate wealth is much higher. U.S. current corporate cash holdings are 1.93 trillion. CEO pay is six times higher than the U.S than in Norway (see table below).
Indicator U.S. Norway Source Year Average CEO Compensation $5.5 Million $1 Million Versi 2006 Hours Worked Per Year 1,775 1,424 BLS 2007 Bond Rating AA+ AAA ZZZ 2012 Life-Expectancy 78.5 80.3 years CIA Factbook 2012 Employment Protections Lowest 6th OECD 2012 Hourly Wages 112.4 132.1 OECD 2011 Unemployment Over 1 Year 32.2% 13.7% OECD 2012 Poverty 24.4% 13.3% OECD Late 2000s Children in Poverty 20.6% 4.6% OECD 2008 Educational Deprivation 4.8% 1.0% OECD 2006 Infant Mortality 6.8% 3.1% OECD 2005 Bullying 11.9% 9.4% OECD 2008 Teen Births per 1,000 50 9.4 2005 Carbon Dioxide Emissions 6802225 53896 OECD 2010 Obesity Rates 33.9% 10% CIA Factbook 2011 GDP 9th 4th Wikipedia 2009 Education Index 23rd 7th Wikipedia 2007 Reading 17th 12th OECD 2008 Math 31st 21st OECD 2008 Science 23rd 24th OECD 2008
OECD statistics are can be foundhere.
by Todd Miller
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