32 thoughts on “Food for thought

  1. Food for thought?

    Maybe, but not very nourishing. The Kingdom of Norway has a total population substantially smaller than that of New York City. For that reason alone it is unlikely that Norway’s approach to social/political organization would work here. As their population grows and becomes more culturally diverse, the so-called Nordic Model may cease to function there, as well.


    1. I suppose that is what the meaning behind “American exceptionalism” really is.

      With our vast resources, broad based population, incredible wealth and favorable climate that cover many zones we should be outdoing piddling countries.

      For one thing, we are putting huge sums into one sector of the economy, healthcare. Yet the stats are mediocre.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. RE: “Yet the stats are mediocre.”

      Says who? Are they the only stats? Are they even applicable to America’s circumstances?

      Shallow thinking advances nothing.


      1. @Roberts

        Says who?

        Anybody and everybody who has a lick of common sense and has gone to the trouble to educate themselves on what other far less fortunate countries have been able to accomplish for their people.

        You are right on one point . . . “Shallow thinking advances nothing.”

        Unfortunately the constant denials of established facts, frequent “so whats?” and general disregard of evidence on every subject could – very generously – be called “shallow thinking.”

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You would find similar comparisons with much larger social democracies. Sweden, Denmark Germany and Japan for example. The closer a country is to our devil-take-the-hindmost philosophy the worse they do by most of these measures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “Devil-take-the-hindmost” is a subjective characterization, and not a very compelling one.

      Why? Because anybody can complain about the world.


        1. RE: ” It is an observable characteristic of our economic system.”

          Because you say so? Sorry tthat’s not enough.


          1. @Roberts

            It is not because I say so any more than the sky is blue because I say so. It is a simple fact that we int his country do not provide much in the way of economic safety for those who cannot cut it, who are ill or who are unlucky or whose businesses fail. It is a devil-take-the-hindmost economy. That is the simple fact of the matter and your goofy counterfactual obtuseness does not change it.

            Liked by 1 person

  3. Ah, but what are the statistics for Norwegians living in the US?

    What are the longevity and infant mortality numbers for Americans of Norwegian extraction. Do US Norwegians commit murder or other crimes more than in Norway.

    If you don’t know, you have no idea what those statistics mean.


    1. Norwegians . . . More identity politics from the folks who decry identity politics. I get it. If we leave out of these statistics those Americans who are not doing well, we look pretty darn good. Neat!

      The statistics show us that lamentations of the destructive nature of democratic socialism are wildly exaggerated.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The problem is that for all you know, Norwegians living in the US may well be happier and healthier than those still in Norway. After all, they came here for a reason.

        You continuously misuse statistics in a manner that would get a high school science fair project thrown out. You’re comparing societies with scores of different variables and crediting all different outcomes to the political systems.


        1. You are beating up a straw man. You denigrate the ACTUAL statistics in the graphic – meaningful measures that would show the same sad picture versus MANY countries – and yet try to debunk it with “statistics” that you imagine that MIGHT be found if the few thousand actual Norwegians who are now U.S. citizens could be surveyed.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. This is why you get so much wrong when science and reason are involved.

            No matter what the subject is, you can’t draw conclusions based on a single variable when there are many others not accounted for. It’s just sloppy thinking.


          2. @Tabor

            I get so much wrong? Like what? Not buying much of your climate science cherry-picking?

            In this case, what did I get wrong? Trick question because I did not say anything except that this graphic I shared provides food for thought. Which it clearly does.

            Of course, these comparative facts imply that the United States has a LOT of room for improvement in a number of ways. Is THAT the thing that I have gotten wrong? You think we are just about perfect the way we are?

            Liked by 1 person

    2. His statistics are bull to start with. The average income tax rate for the US in 2016 was a little over 14%, no where near 37% in his chart and the US doesn’t pay 25% VAT either just for starters. The average “income” tax for norway is over 38%.


      1. @Bobrsmith

        Re: Tax statistics

        The comparison is not just federal income tax rates. It includes all taxes paid by individuals. Before any working person pays ANY federal tax they are effectively paying about 15% in payroll taxes. True other countries have VAT but we state income taxes and we have sales taxes.

        I did not prepare the chart, but when all these taxes effectively paid by individual are considered on an apples to apples basis the comparison seems – to me – likely to be a fair one.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. BS. It is easy to find. If you include all of Norway’s average taxes and social fees, it jumps to well over 45%. The US is more in the low 20% total on average


    3. You have a valid point. You have to remove the genetic component.

      Now, do the same for Mexicans (and all from CentAm). But then Central American sucks as compared to Normay.

      And, remember, Normay is no longer swimming in blond, blue-eyed skiers.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. True, Norway has allowed some immigration.

        But it’s more than just genetics as well. There are cultural factors too.

        The point being that a comparison limited to political/economic systems doesn’t mean much.


    1. “Whose money tree and fairy dust pays for all of this “free” stuff?”

      Same one where we found about $1.5 TRILLION to finance a boondoggle aircraft system (F-35) that NOBODY actually wants. Or many Multi-Trillion dollar aircraft carrier groups that add NOTHING to OUR security. Or, the same magical source that funded the recent TRILLION dollar tax cut for billionaires.

      Plus, a rational method of financing medical care would yield enormous savings on a national scale. Countries with Single Payer insurance systems get better health results while spending about half as much as we do.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. The money we waste on “national defense” is a tragic joke. Says me. We are committed to spending TRILLIONS on the F-35. Why? Who is going to be invading? We spend TRILLIONS building and maintaining aircraft carriers and massive flotillas to try to protect them in battle. Why? Who are they going to do battle with? Do we really need to “project power” in third world countries?

          Each and every one of us is at far more risk from things we should be spending money on but don’t than we are for ANY possible foreign enemy.

          Utopia? No. But safe roads and bridges would be nice. Quality healthcare that does not depend on the goodwill of your boss and the success of his business would be nice. The opportunity for young people to seek higher level skills without incurring crippling lifelong debt would be nice.

          In short, it is a question of priorities – not lack of money – and our priorities are truly screwy.


          1. Well there you go. Says me? Who cares what you think but far left wing extremists and I think you confuse billions,with trillions.


          2. Confusing Trillions with Billions? Sadly, I am not. These are total life cycle costs for these wasteful weapons systems – not the spending for just one year. Same logic that people use to generate big spending numbers for programs that THEY do not like.


  4. BS. It is easy to find. If you include all of Norway’s average taxes and social fees, it jumps to well over 45%. The US is more in the low 20% total on average


    1. @Smith

      BS – If you include the HUGE portion of their incomes that Americans pay for health insurance – to get on an apples to apples basis – then the comparison is still valid. In fact, the further you go with the analysis the more you will find how much better off typical Norwegians and other citizens of “socialist” countries are than typical Americans. Better healthcare, better education, better housing, better public infrastructure, better old age security, better food, better benefits, better parental leave, a lot more vacation, etc., etc. No wonder they are measurably happier than Americans.

      Liked by 1 person

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