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Forum Post: Welfare and Workers' rights in Norway

Posted 2 years ago on March 16, 2012, 4:24 p.m. EST by struggleforfreedom80 (6584)
This content is user submitted and not an official statement

As some of you may know, I live in Norway. Now, as a libertarian socialist there are of course lots of things about Norway that I’d like to see changed. But at the same time, Norway has one of the highest standards of living in the world, and are one of the most democratic, civilized and humane societies in the world. Norwegians have achieved lots of rights that many people in other countries are still struggling for.

I now want to tell you a little bit about the system we have in Norway.

Norway is what’s called a welfare state, meaning that there are elements of private enterprise and marked, but with a democratically run public and state sector, playing a huge role in society. This public sector subsidizes and offers many welfare services; the most important ones are:

  • free or almost free health care (there might occur some affordable fees here and there)

  • free education, whether it’s elementary school, high school, college, university, vocational school etc.

  • guaranteed social security and decent pay for all retired, disabled, unemployed, and sick etc. You also get help from your local community finding work if you’re unemployed, free of charge.

Compared to many other countries we also have strong unions and lots of organized workers. That way working people and their representatives can have more influence on the issues regarding working conditions, pay etc. The organizing that the workers and unions have done in society thru the years has contributed substantially to current rights such as:

  • Right to a decent pay for all workers.

  • Good bargaining rights.

  • Right to decent working conditions, including strict rules associated to safety etc.

  • A certain amount of workers’ representative arrangements in the workplace.

  • Right to full pay if you get sick, and almost full pay if you become unemployed.

But doesn’t all this welfare and rights mean lots of taxation? Well, yes, but in Norway we have a relatively good progressive tax system (although I would like it to be better), which means that the more you earn, the more you pay in taxes. So in other words, a rich guy contributes more to this welfare than a worker. So taxes for the "average Joe" aren’t that high as many might think. Income tax for an average pay (for a teacher or carpenter let’s say) is about 30%. There are of course other kinds of taxes, like property taxes f.ex, but the same principles apply here. The more you own, the more you pay. This progressive tax system of course also creates a less economically unequal society.

Norway has of course also oil revenues, so we have a little more to use than Sweden f.ex, but we only use a certain amount on each national budget. Most of what funds the welfare comes from taxes. In fact we had established most of these rights and welfare before we found oil.

Norway has a representative democracy. We have local elections every fourth year and national elections every forth year (so we vote every second year). There are several parties in parliament you can vote for, all the way from The Socialist Left Party to more conservative parties. The conservatives want to weaken some of these rights mentioned, but even they agree (at least that’s what they say) that most of this welfare is a good thing and worth keeping to a large extent.

The Norwegian Labor Party, being the biggest party, are now running government together with The Socialist Left Party and the Center Party since they got the majority of votes combined in the last national election. This coalition is continuing to maintain the welfare model including the services I’ve mentioned.

Now, Norway is not at all the perfect utopia. We have f.ex, like most other countries, been affected by the so-called “neoliberal” policies, with some privatization and tax cuts for the rich, but it is a fact that ordinary people have, compared to many other countries, achieved a lot of rights and privileges.

The reason why I’ve written this is to show that ideas such as decent workers’ rights, free health care and education etc, are not unattainable like many right-wingers want us to believe. They are rights, not in some mythical utopia, but in a real existing country in Scandinavia (in fact, all the Scandinavian countries have established similar rights like the ones I’ve mentioned here)

All these rights and many more can be achieved. Just hang in there and keep on organizing and growing.

Solidarity from Norway.

struggleforfreedom

63 Comments

63 Comments


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[-] 5 points by shadz66 (17800) 2 years ago

'sff' : Thanx for that & further - for a historical perspective, please also see :

exitus acta probat ...

[-] 4 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Hey. thanks for the link :)

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (17800) 2 years ago

You're wecome 'sff' and also for your refection, please also find :

multum in parvo ...

[-] 3 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Thanks for the link. Let's put an end to this savagery.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (17800) 2 years ago

"Savagery" ... is The Right Word !!! Takk for det ;-)

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

:-)

[-] 4 points by shadz66 (17800) 2 years ago

Takk igjen :-) Also, In case you haven't seen it ...

e tenebris, lux ?!

[-] -3 points by shamefuldays (-42) 2 years ago

Norway is a welfare state based on oil. But American leftists hate oil, so it's pretty funny to see them infatuated with Norway. Yes, glorious Norway, with all that off-shore drilling. LOL.

Funny factoid: More people of Norwegian ancestry live outside Norway than live within Norway. That's true of very few societies on earth. Yeah, Norway's really fantastic.

[-] 2 points by Karlin (350) from Nelson, BC 1 year ago

In the interests of setting the facts straight. you say, quote: " More people of Norwegian ancestry live outside Norway than live within Norway. That's true of very few societies on earth."

I am one of those - my father was born in Norway, came to Canada in about 1920, around age 18. Life was hard, and his family had dealings with the Germans and he did not approve... and so he left for 2 reasons. There are very MANY societies like that, just a few examples: - life was hard in Ireland, many came to Canada and the USA; - life was hard in parts of Russia and Canada inherited entire populations of Doukabours, etc. ; they were, and still are, war resistors and we are proud to have them in Canada.

Besides that, twist it around - EVERYBODY except Natives in America abandonded their homelands to go to America. Those populations bloomed in the new world, but that doesn't mean the homelands were crap. Just some hard times.

Therefore, it has no bearing on the value of a nation whether or not there was a mass migration away at some point - you watch, in the next 1000 years people might just be leaving America for somewhere else. Heck, all it would take is for a dozen nuclear power plants to meltdown due to earthquakes... You are taking a stab, but missing the mark

As a Canadian of Norwegian heritage, I am very proud to have that ancestory.

As for the article, you make a good point "struggleforfreedom". - I often use Norway as an example to highlight the difference between what Alberta [Canada] [tar sands] has done with it's oil and how Norway manages it - I understand that Norway gets about 80% of oil revenues to flow to government and the people, rather than to corporations and their shareholders - is that about right? Alberta gets about 3% of oil revenues for the people, it is a disgrace. Oil and gas belong to the people before it is extracted, and in Alberta the people get very little for it.

Maybe I don't understand "Libertarian" very well, but Iam surprised to see that word associated with Norway - could it be a language problem, and maybe you mean "Liberal".? [by the way, your English is far better than my Norwegian!!].

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

just call me Andy if you want :) Thanks, Glad you liked the article.

"Maybe I don't understand "Libertarian" very well, but Iam surprised to see that word associated with Norway - could it be a language problem, and maybe you mean "Liberal".?"

Could you elaborate on this?

[-] 1 points by Karlin (350) from Nelson, BC 1 year ago

I was wondering if it is different in Norway, because in Canada what we refer to as "Liberals" are like "left of centre", or "socialist", or "progressives" as Americans call it - where government supports social programs like health care and education and welfare, and where corporate activities are regulated for public safety and pollution and worker's rights.... like Norway does it.

The "Libertarians" are very much a different thing - they want "no government at all", to be "liberated from government regulations", no social programs. I cannot imagine this is popular in Norway, but there are some "extremists" there who are ":Libertarians", such as, and I am sorry to remind you of him, the dispicable Brevik.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Yes, we seperate between being a so-called "liberal"/ " social liberal" / "progressive" and being a "libertarian" / free market advocate in Norway as well.

No, ideas of free market capitalism are not popular in Norway at all. You didn't think that either, right? What made you bring up libertarians in Norway? Maybe there's a misunderstanding here :)

Don't worry about mentioning Breivik. It's actually very important to discuss these right-wing nationalist extremists and their views, so that we can find ways to prevent these people and their opinions from getting more influence.

[-] 1 points by Karlin (350) from Nelson, BC 1 year ago

Hei Andy - det er så fint å finne en annen norsk på OWS fora, selv om jeg er en generasjon fjernet fra det.

Free market capitalism is popular amoung about one-third of Canadians, it is one of several ways Canadians have "distinct" cultures within one nation, or within families - my brother is a oil industry executive who froths at the mouth about free market capitalism, a real 1% type is he, and I am an environmental activist who desires a redistribution of wealth in a socialist state.

So, Canadians are not "all on the same page".

As for "libertarian", I understand, now, that you are a socialist {I am also} and it was just a misforståelse.... I got the idea from your first sentence at the top:

  • Quote from Andy: "I live in Norway. Now, as a libertarian socialist there are of course lots of things about Norway that I’d like to see changed."
  • end quote -

{perhaps I expected to see it as "Liberal- Socialist" ??}

As for extremism, we can overcome it with a positive message of understanding and acceptance, rather than hate and domination.

I see socialism as being the political system that is closest to inclusion, and that capitalism demands competition and greed.

I believe that the wealth of a nation should be shared with a degree of equality.

PS - Jeg kjenner ikke det norske språk, jeg bruker en oversetter . :)

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

"my brother is a oil industry executive who froths at the mouth about free market capitalism, a real 1% type is he, and I am an environmental activist who desires a redistribution of wealth in a socialist state."

Hopefully he'll eventually come to understand that what he's doing and believing is wrong.

"As for "libertarian", I understand, now, that you are a socialist {I am also} and it was just a misforståelse"

Probably. Yes I am a socialist - a libertarian socialist. More specifically I lean toward the anarcho-syndicalist/anarcho-communist ideas.

"I got the idea from your first sentence at the top: I live in Norway. Now, as a libertarian socialist there are of course lots of things about Norway that I’d like to see changed."

Oh, ok. Well, "Libertarian" and "Libertarian Socialism" are two very different things. I don't know if you know the history about how this came to be, but back in the 1800s "libertarian" meant anarchist socialists and communists. Libertarians back then were the people who wanted a completely free, classless society without auhtority and domination. Then these ultra-capitalists eventually stole the name and used it to describe their horrific ideology. So now we have to use "libertarian socialism" and "libertarian communism" to describe the ideas of a free, classless society. "Libertarian Socialism" is the anti-authoritarian branch of socialism which wants to dismantle all hierarchies, state included, and create a society with institutions and communities controlled democratically by the participants. LS is often used synonymously with (left) anarchism

Please take time to watch this video I put together: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxYth0ktPsY&feature=plcp

"As for extremism, we can overcome it with a positive message of understanding and acceptance, rather than hate and domination."

I agree.

"I see socialism as being the political system that is closest to inclusion, and that capitalism demands competition and greed."

Capitalism is immoral, and unsustainable; it must be abolished and replaced by a socialist society with workers and communities controlling society.

"I believe that the wealth of a nation should be shared with a degree of equality."

Absolutely. The society we ought to strive for should be classless and egalitarian.

PS - Jeg kjenner ikke det norske språk, jeg bruker en oversetter . :)

ok :)

[-] 1 points by Karlin (350) from Nelson, BC 1 year ago

Thank you, Andy, for that clarification of Libertarian. There are various interpretations of "Libertarian" - there are "capitalist libertarians", etc., who are far from what you want, I dare say.

I hope we can just discuss this a bit. You and I likely want the same kind of world, but I am not so sure I agree with "anarchism" if it means "everyone for themselves without any organisation". There are 7 billion people and I believe we benefit from having some organisation - it just should not be overly authoritarian.

And yes, by "organisation" I mean government - people chosen to help us be organised. The problem is that governments keep getting taken over by the 1% - so we need to protect ourselves from that.... there are ways to do that [we will discuss that at another time ok]..

The thing is that if we are to have "industry" - where we produce goods, supply energy, and so on, I believe they need to be "regulated", as in there has to be some controls on how much they can pollute, how they treat their workers, and how much influence/control they have on government and society. Industry has become dominated by corporations.

Maybe we agree that it is the corporations that need to be reigned in, to leave our government for us.

Anarchist libertarianism seems to leave things open to the same old problem where "those with the biggest guns rule"..... but I am just discussing things here, I don't mean to offend or be negative.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

"You and I likely want the same kind of world"

I want a solidaric, egalitarian, classless and decentralized society built and controlled from below. If you agree, then we want the same kind of world :)

"but I am not so sure I agree with "anarchism" if it means "everyone for themselves without any organisation"."

Don't worry, it doesn't. In fact, it's quite the opposite. A libertarian socialist society would be a highly organized society with democracy and participation on every level in society. That would mean democratically controlled neighborhoods, communities, workplaces and so on. The institutions in society would be controlled by the participants thru different councils, assemblies and broader federated networks of associated organizations and groups etc.

This "anarchism=chaos" is just propaganda. Libertarian Socialism is about creating a modern, highly developed and highly organized society.

"..I mean government - people chosen to help us be organised. The problem is that governments keep getting taken over by the 1%"

As long as we have concentrated private power - which is in fact tyrannical and undemocratic - we need government for self defense. Abolishing state/government is a long term goal. That can gradually be done as we dismantle capitalism and enter into a real participatory democracy. The point is that the society we should strive for should consist of as less hierarchical structures as possible.

"The thing is that if we are to have "industry" - where we produce goods, supply energy, and so on, I believe they need to be "regulated", as in there has to be some controls on how much they can pollute, how they treat their workers, and how much influence/control they have on government and society. Industry has become dominated by corporations."

Sure. I want industry to be not just regulated, but run and controlled by the workforce and the communities.

"Maybe we agree that it is the corporations that need to be reigned in, to leave our government for us."

Capitalism must be dismantled. Government could play some role in this, at least in a short term goal, but as we move towards a sustainable and free society, democracy should be built from below thru community and workers' takeover of industry.

"Anarchist libertarianism seems to leave things open to the same old problem where "those with the biggest guns rule"..... but I am just discussing things here, I don't mean to offend or be negative"

Sure, that's fine. But like I said earlier, Lib.Socialism would not in any way be be a lawless chaos, but a highly organized society based on solidarity, democracy and cooperation. Please watch this video I put together. It'll answer many of your questions, I think: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxYth0ktPsY&feature=plcp

[-] 1 points by Karlin (350) from Nelson, BC 1 year ago

Well, THAT sounds a lot better... now we are getting some understanding, thank you for this.

Perhaps another way to put it, where we agree, could be that LOCAL powers are the key. I agree completely that the problem is CENTRALISED power of national governments, and centralised corporations - I hear corporate types bragging about how great it is that McDonalds has that one facility in Chicago or somewhere producing all the products for North America.... yuck!! The transporation pollution is not accounted for, and the cost of transport, plus advertising, etc... where is the FOOD value??

Not to mention how it sucks money out of communities - just the franchising fees alone {$100,000??}.

So, ya, I get it.

Even centralised electricity production - we can do it on our houses, and maybe neighborhood/community owned wind/tide/wave farms - instead of those big polluting centralised power plants feeding into the low-effiency GRID that we all pay into...

There are several examples of government setting up the infrastructure, and then selling it off to private corporations - "things we all use everyday" like electricity, phones, highways, ... Norway kept much of that in government hands... Canada has largely sold it off ["sold out"] to corporations. The USA has even done it with schools and hospitals!! That is NOT good government, not to my way of thinking at least.

I guess our struggle now is to wrestle the power and control away from the 1% who have taken power from the people... if that is Libertarian, I am with you...

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

It is of course the undemocratic concentration of power that's the worst form of hierarchy and should therefore be the main focus. Dictatorships, police states, corporations, the wealthy business elite, they all have undemocratic control and power in society. This is totally illegitimate. These hierarchies must as soon as possible be dismantled.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Did you read the article? Do you have anything to say about the article?

[-] 1 points by Shule (1696) 1 year ago

But that is only because Norway has some really really cold weather.

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[-] 2 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 1 year ago

Maybe people should look here; http://www.inc.com/magazine/20110201/in-norway-start-ups-say-ja-to-socialism.html Here are a couple of excerpts; "The unemployment rate, just 3.5 percent, is the lowest in Europe and one of the lowest in the world" (In Norway) "Meanwhile, countries with some of the lowest taxes in Europe, like Ireland, Iceland, and Estonia, have suffered profoundly. The first two nearly went bankrupt; Estonia, the darling of antitax groups like the Cato Institute, currently has an unemployment rate of 16 percent. Its economy shrank 14 percent in 2009".

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

The more people study the political and economic systems in Scandinavia, the more they'll discover how right-wing commentators etc are either ignorant or dedicated liars.

[-] 1 points by notaneoliberal (2269) 1 year ago

I agree.

[-] 2 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Norway is a great example of social democracy. I just did a post on direct democracy in Switzerland:

http://occupywallst.org/forum/direct-democracy-modern-switzerland/

I think we can learn from these models, borrow some of their better features, and adapt it to the unique circumstances of the United States. We have to bear in mind, we're a much larger nation compared to either Switzerland or Norway, and a centralized social democracy in a nation as large as the US may not be the best fit.

However, I don't think our size precludes application of these ideas, it just requires doing it in a different way. The population of Norway is less than 5 million people. By contrast, Massachusetts has over 6.5 million people, California has more people than Canada, and so on.

The weird situation we face is "states rights" is usually the clarion call of the right, but it's likely that direct democracy, social democracy, or other alternative forms of government (even borrowing from aspects of anarchism), could work well on a smaller scale (like at the state level). So I guess I would say we shouldn't allow rhetoric from the right to limit the scope of our ideas. Decentralization has always been a signature feature of anarchism. However, we also have to deal with the fact that if left to their own devices, many states would become much worse for average citizens. So we have a lot to think about.

We might be tempted to think a hybrid, something like a "direct social democracy" would be the best possible system, but we probably have some companies that are at least as wealthy as small nations like Norway, and we certainly have industry groups with incredible amounts of money (that rival the wealth of many larger developed nations). With that sort of money, we'd expect corporations to try and influence public opinion under any conditions. I mean, sure, they do that now (sort of), but money could be influential even in a direct democracy, particularly where government is detached from the people (as in a centralized government in a nation as large as the US). So I think we need a healthy dose of respect for how complicated this issue is in the context of the United States.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Thanks for your thoughts. The point with the article was to show that rights and welfare that many right-wingers claim can never be reality actually are very real, and can be made reality in any other geografical area if the people fight for them. As you know I think Libertarian Socialism should be our end goal; how things are being organized in a transition phase if you will, might probably vary depending on political system and demography with different hybrids etc.

[-] 1 points by francismjenkins (3713) 2 years ago

Roughly speaking, I agree.

[-] 1 points by Shayneh (-482) 1 year ago

I'm just curious - what does it cost to purchase a new vehicle or a new house or groceries?

Are those prices comparable to the United States?

[-] 0 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Prices/costs are higher than many countries, but at the same time wages are pretty high, so it kind of evens out. The avarage Norwegian has more purchasing power than ever.

[-] 1 points by Shayneh (-482) 1 year ago

I just posted a article that I found - is it in line with the costs of Norway?

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Yeah, I noticed. So you weren't "just curious", you knew a lot already, right?

I'm not very into consumerism, so I don't know about all the things mentioned, but most of it is accurate, I assume.

But like I said, you have to take into account the purchasing power of the individuals living in the society. If you're not doing that, than that provides a very distorted and inaccurate picture of reality. Prices are a little higher, but wages are high as well. The avarage Norwegian has more purchasing power than ever.

[-] 1 points by penguento (362) 1 year ago

I'm curious about a couple of things -- what's the total tax bill for an average, middle class Norwegian as a percentage of income when you figure in all taxes? What percentage of government spending is covered by oil revenue?

[-] 1 points by Shayneh (-482) 1 year ago

Here is an article posted in 2009 about the cost of goods in Norway:I

Assume there are some that read this blog that are considering a move to Norway.

I thought I might share some very important facts of living here with you. The facts are: a) it is expensive to live here, b) everything is expensive, and c) some things are even more expensive than they should be.

We knew when we came here that it would be more expensive than the U.S. We understood that because many things have to be imported, they would naturally cost more.

We knew the tax rate was very high (as this is essentially a social democracy and taxes pay for all those social support programs – government-run health care included.)

We have been quite surprised at how some things seem to be disproportionately expensive. All prices I mention here will be in U.S. dollars at the current exchange rate of about 5.4 Norwegian kroner to the dollar.

Beer and other alcohol have a heavy “sin tax”, so a single beer is between $2 and $6 in the grocery store (plus deposit on the bottle.) Cars also have several taxes on them, making the typical small car about $45,000 (new) and more luxury models over $100,000.

Several services seem more expensive, and this is because the wages for these service providers must be “fair” and provide them with a living.

A men’s haircut can be from $40 (the cheapest) to over $120. A car wash at one of the automatic car washes (express wash – the least expensive) is $30, compared to about $7 in the U.S. Vacuums are free, though!

Clothing can be quite high, such as the cheapest off-brand blue jeans that are “on sale” for about $30 a pair. Shirts are about the same, and one pair of underwear will be about $10.

The people in California tend to pay a lot for gas, but it is even more expensive here. We pay about $8 a gallon for diesel and about $9 for gas. This is pretty typical of most of Europe, though, so I don’t really think too much of that.

Some foods are very expensive. A two-item large pizza from a pizza restaurant will be about $40. Even “essentials” are high, with milk running about $10 a gallon.

I have splurged a couple of times on an apple cider from the Telemark region that is really quite good, but is about $22 for three liters.

Finally, if there are things from home that you really miss and want to buy here, beware the import tax. Unless it is an item produced in Norway, or it is an item produced for the Norwegian market that doesn’t compete with a Norwegian-produced item, it will be heavily taxed to encourage consumers to by the “Norwegian” product.

An example is Nutella, that wonderful hazelnut/chocolate spread popular all over Europe. It competes with a Norwegian product, so Nutella will cost about $15 a jar instead of the $5 a jar for the Norwegian version.

Other “import” prices – Dr. Pepper - $5 a can, Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup - $10 a bottle, a small can of Crisco - $7.

Some things just can’t be found at all. We have looked in every store in town and not found unsweetened chocolate for baking.

You also cannot find vanilla extract here, though they do have a vanilla flavoring and whole vanilla beans. So if you are moving over, make sure to arrange for care packages of the occasional Kraft Mac and Cheese and other comforts and necessities from home before coming!

One last thing is a little information about the coinage. The Norwegian Krone has denominations that start at 50 ore (1/2 a krone – about 10 cents), then go to one krone, five kroner, 10 kroner, and 20 kroner.

The paper money starts at 50 kroner (about $10) and goes up from there. It is a bit difficult to comprehend how expensive things are when the smallest coin in your pocket is essentially equivalent to a dime, and absolutely nothing costs less than a few kroner.

In fact, we have begun to think of things that cost 10 kroner, no matter what they are, as being “cheap.”

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

I'm not an expert on the Norwegian tax system, so I don't know all details. I touched upon taxes in the article though, and the point I was making is that the tax system is more progressive than many other countries, so that the more you make the more you contribute in taxes.

Here's a chart of taxation of avarage income in Norway: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Average_tax_rates_on_wage_income_in_Norway_2010.JPG

A little under 10% used in the yearly national budget is from oil revenue.

[-] 1 points by Underdog (2971) from Clermont, FL 2 years ago

We spoke before back in January on this during some Forum Posts I put up regarding the Scandinavian Social-Democratic countries, of which I advocate the US adopting your model. If I had no obligations holding me here, could stand the cold, and could learn the native language, I would seriously consider trying to immigrate.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Yeah, I remember that. The economic and political system in the US is not graven in stone, it can be changed. And we know how it can be changed: Organize :)

[-] 0 points by stevebol (1269) from Milwaukee, WI 1 year ago

How many Americans can you adopt? Things sure aren't going to get better here anytime soon.

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Just hang in there. Keep on organizing, and there'll be changes.

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[-] 0 points by aflockofdoofi (-18) 2 years ago

28% of Norways wealth comes from oil. Its natural resource to population ratio is ine of the highest in the world. Its cost of living is 90% higher than in the US.

[-] 0 points by worldwide (6) 2 years ago

Lillyhammer was a hoot. They spent a lot of time poking gentle fun at the craziness of the socialist state. Can I get some NAV?!?!?!

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Haha. Lilyhammer was awsome. I watched every single episode:)

We were poking fun at ourselves in that show, yes, playing on stereotypes and parody, so the "craziness" is of course exaggerated :)

NAV is the public welfare agency you can go to if you're unemployed, disabled etc and they'll help you finding work and money if you don't have any.

[-] 0 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 2 years ago

I still think that the scandanavian model can't be enacted here. This nation is different in almost everyday. It's apples and oranges.

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (17800) 2 years ago

So, "biggus dickus", is that "Black Apples" and "White Oranges" as per your 'commentaries' on http://occupywallst.org/forum/naacp-going-to-un-for-voting-rights-ruling/ ?!

ad iudicium ...

[-] -2 points by BlackSun (275) from Agua León, BC 2 years ago

Oh, you are SO precious!

[-] 3 points by shadz66 (17800) 2 years ago

"Oh, you are SO" racist !!

verum ex absurdo ...

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

American capitalism and political system is not a law of nature. Status quo can be changed (as we've seen again and again in the past)

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[-] -1 points by uncensored (104) 2 years ago

Norway is know for.....hmmm..... pretty much nothing. Thank but no thanks, Norway. I like my USA where I can succeed or fail on my own without big brother (or in the case of Norway, big sister) interfering with everything I do. I'd hate to live my life in mediocrity like you do, but you don't even know the difference. Next time your pussy of a country gets invaded, who ya gonna call? Call Sweden next time.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Ridicule is just a sign that you're all out of arguments. Do you have anything to say about the article, or was the riducule your only contribution?

[-] 1 points by Karlin (350) from Nelson, BC 1 year ago

Maybe they are just jealous and cannot admit it. There is nothing mediocre about Norwegians or Norway, they have produced more esteemed thinkers and writers per capita than almost any nation....[except maybe Canada, lol]

Some people really LOATHE intelligence. I would love to change their minds, it is really not a bad quality. :)

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

Maybe so. All I know is that I'm not going to sink down to their level of ridicule and namecalling.

Oh, you're Canadian. Canadians have also, like the Scandinavian countries, managed to establish pretty decent welfare services, so you probably have access to some of the things I mentioned in the post. It's important that we fight the ones who want to weaken the welfare services and instead try to improve them.

[-] 2 points by Karlin (350) from Nelson, BC 1 year ago

I am Canadian, but my father was born in Norway.

And Yes, you are right, we do have good social progams but they are being eroded by the Conservative government.

And, I was comparing Norway's oil revenues going to "the people", but in Canada the oil revenues are going to the corporations.

I like your way better!!

[-] -1 points by aflockofdoofi (-18) 2 years ago

Per capita income in Norway is $53000, and its an oil rich country. Per capita US $49000 with a population of 310000000.

For our size we absolutely blow away a flyspeck country like Norway.

[-] -1 points by aflockofdoofi (-18) 2 years ago

Norway is an utterly meaningless country. It has oil revenue and 4 million residents. It counts for nothing on the world stage. The countries the US is comparable are Russia, China, Indonesia, Infia, Pakistan, countries with over 200000000 population.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

The point with the article was to show that rights and welfare that many right-wingers claim can never be reality actually are very real, and can be made reality in any other geografical area if the people fight for them.

[-] -1 points by aflockofdoofi (-18) 2 years ago

I know what the point was. There are far more examples of European nations being overwhelmed by their social programs than to select a small insignificant country like Norway, buoyed by massive per capita oil and natural resources per capita and expect it to translate to America.

Also its intellectually dishonest by both the Americans on this site and by our Norwegian friends to portray America as some poverty stricken area with starvation and people goingl cold in the streets. If our population was as homogenous as Norways, then maybe. The neighborhood in which I live is mostly white, highly educated and our per capita income dwarfs Norway. If Norway wants to be set as some shining of social equality, open your borders. I do know that my Jewish friends find Norwegians to be viciously anti Semitic, both personally and institutionally.

Unemployment in Norway is 9.2 % for imigrants, 2.1 for native Norwegians, Why?

Norway has a developing undertone of abject racism. Why only 22000 net influx of immigrants per year? America gets 2200 a day!

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Other country's failures does not change anything in the article.

I have never said, nor have I ever seen anyone else here say, that america is poor. America is superwealthy, but capital, wealth and power are very highly concentrated cuasing lots of misery for many of the non-rich.

"I do know that my Jewish friends find Norwegians to be viciously anti Semitic"

They're wrong.

"Unemployment in Norway is 9.2 % for imigrants, 2.1 for native Norwegians, Why?"

Not good enough at including and intergating them in society and prejudice employers.

[-] -1 points by aflockofdoofi (-18) 2 years ago

Alan Dershowitz was banned by Norwegian Universities from speaking so YES, Norway is institutionally anti Semitic.

I know Norway very well. I generally like the people. I know Kjell Andre Aamodt has been a shining exampe of international charity and good. ( I doubt anyone on this site even knows of whom I speak)

But for you to come here and say "Just follow our example" is intellectually dishonest. Norway has 5 million people, you are a nothing, insignificant country. Its like comparing a small idyllic village on a fjord to Paris or London or Rome. They are no way comparable.

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"Alan Dershowitz was banned by Norwegian Universities from speaking so YES, Norway is institutionally anti Semitic."

You can't be serious. So when the university doesn't invite a jew, that means that the entire population in general don't like jews? So do you have any proof that he was not invited becuase of the fact that he's jewish, or could it have to do with other things.. Chomsky was very well recieved when he was in Norway..how does that fit into your theory..

I also don't think I want to talk to you anymore. You seem unable to debate in a respectful manner.

[-] -2 points by aflockofdoofi (-18) 2 years ago

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Antisemitism_in_Norway

"The most anti Semitic country in Scandanavia" I can only go by what Jews themselves say about your country. I am not Jewish.

Why stifle any voice? Why cant Dershowitz at least be given the right to speak? Why are Norwegian Universities afraid of words?

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

Where are Manfred Gerstenfeld's sources for claiming "The most anti Semitic country in Scandanavia" ?

"I can only go by what Jews themselves say about your country"

That's not a good enough source. Which real sources do you have to back your claims?

"Why stifle any voice? Why cant Dershowitz at least be given the right to speak? Why are Norwegian Universities afraid of words?"

They're not. There's a lot of debate on the public arena, but the universities decide who they wnat to invite, andnot everyone who wants to will be invited. But don't try to change the subject. Where is your proof that AD was not invited because he is jewish?

[-] -2 points by aflockofdoofi (-18) 2 years ago

Alan Dershowitz himself. He said he was denied a forum because he was Jewish.

Now you are claiming Dershowitz and Gersenfeld are lying? Why?

My sources are Jews themselves, and more than one.Who else would know?

[-] 2 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 2 years ago

"Now you are claiming Dershowitz and Gersenfeld are lying? Why?"

That's not the issue. The burden of proof is on them (you). Whwn you claim something, you have to back your claims.

"My sources are Jews themselves, and more than one"

That's not good enough. In order to be taken seriously you have to provide evidence from scientific studies etc.

[-] 1 points by Karlin (350) from Nelson, BC 1 year ago

Well done "struggle" - you held in there really well. We do meet these types here at OWS, it is just something we have to accept.

I am sure you know you are not obligated at all to "entertain" these types of posts and posters here.They come to pick a fight...instead of contribute solutions to the problems we face. They produce negative energy and it drains me pretty quickly.

Your positive attitude is nice to see.

I don't mean to be mean to "Aflock"... so let me leave you both with this - The Dalai Lama said that "the highest form of compassion is to try to understand what makes people the way they are". - as in, the negative ones have just never really felt the benefits of positive energy, how it grows when exchanged with other positive energy people. Or maybe the negative ones have had some unfortunate things happen to them. I am happy to see that you didn't bite back, again, well done "struggle".

[-] 1 points by struggleforfreedom80 (6584) 1 year ago

“I am sure you know you are not obligated at all to "entertain" these types of posts and posters here. They come to pick a fight...instead of contribute solutions to the problems we face.”

Yeah, I know. But if we meet people with respect and a civilized tone, then maybe even some of the trolls will eventually come to understand that they’ve sunk to a level that they don’t want to be anymore.

“The Dalai Lama said that "the highest form of compassion is to try to understand what makes people the way they are".”

I like that!

“the negative ones have just never really felt the benefits of positive energy, how it grows when exchanged with other positive energy people. Or maybe the negative ones have had some unfortunate things happen to them.”

Exactly.

Solidarity and the care for others are fundamental human characteristics; building a civilized society based on this, and treating people with respect makes a better society for all.

“I am happy to see that you didn't bite back, again, well done "struggle".”

Thanks :)

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