Donald Trump’s first year as president was rough.
He never got a ride in the Queen’s golden coach. The tell-all book Fire and Fury shot to No. 1 bestseller. His attorney paid a porn star $130,000 to hush up an affair, but it got out anyway. Special counsel Robert Mueller is closing in. And he produced a government shutdown.
He promised to sign a bipartisan immigration deal. He got one. In true Trump style, he then reneged, not realizing that the deadline to pass a government funding bill was coming up, again. Democrats would have voted for it, again. Stupidly, Republicans forced them to also choose between sick children and Dreamers. Democrats refused to be blackmailed and responded with a filibuster. Time ran out and the shutdown happened automatically. Hilariously, Republicans then whined about being outsmarted.
At least Trump did not destroy mankind when a warning came of a nuclear attack (he was playing golf). And he welcomed Norway’s prime minister without incident. Next day, immigration from Haiti, El Salvador and African countries came up. He asked: “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here? We need to bring in more people from countries like Norway.”
In fact, in 2016, only 1,114 Norwegians moved here, whereas 1,603 Americans moved to Norway. How so?
Norway has one of the world’s highest standards of living. It was No. 1 in the Prosperity Index, again. We are 18th. Wages are far higher in Norway due to a large industrial sector (38 percent of Gross Domestic Product) and high union membership (52 percent of the workforce). Hence, Norway’s median personal wealth is $130,543 (Credit Suisse) versus America’s $55,876. This means that Joe Blow’s personal stash is over twice as large in Norway than here. Norway spreads its wealth.
Furthermore, this does not count Norway’s Sovereign Wealth Fund. This is used for public pensions and investments. It has assets of $1 trillion, or $190,000 per adult. It is derived from an oil extraction tax of 78 percent. Norway taxes oil companies. America subsidizes them.
Furthermore, Norway also has free universal health care, free birth control, free further education, cradle-to-grave social services, a 35-hour workweek, five weeks’ paid vacation, low unemployment, low inequality, low crime, strict gun control, no opioid crisis, full gender equality and 46 weeks’ paid parental leave.
Furthermore, this freedom from anxiety gives Norwegians a life expectancy of 82 years. Ours is 79 years (World Health Organization). Norway was No. 1 in the 2017 World Happiness Report, again. America was No. 14. The United Nation’s Human Development Index has ranked Norway as the world’s best country to live in for 12 straight years.
Who in their right mind would leave Norway for America? The Norwegian Reality beats the American Dream hands down. Norwegians gladly pay taxes for it, like the wealthy paying dues for a top country club. Club Norway is a great place for everyone, unlike Club America, many of whose members live on the edge.
Political commentator Martine Aurdal summed it up in the newspaper Dagbladet: “We live in an egalitarian society where we strive to give everyone good and equal opportunities, regardless of ethnic, gender and social background. Every political party promotes liberal values, gender equality and human rights. The plumber´s son goes to school with the CEO´s daughter, and social mobility is high.”
Clearly, “liberal values” make people RICHER. Norway’s numbers prove it.
Norway was once an oligarchy run to benefit the king’s drinking buddies. But the people used their brains, and their ballot boxes, to defeat the top 1 percent. It is a genuine democracy. Money in politics is strictly limited. Politicians cannot be bought. They work together to make everyone richer, not just billionaires. In 2013, even the conservative Economist magazine concluded: “It is possible to combine competitive capitalism with a large state (i.e., level of public services).” Economically speaking, the Nordic economic model is “the next supermodel.”
Politically speaking, this supermodel is called Democratic Socialism. Here, both major parties do their best to kill it, being beholden to big money donors. But most Americans, younger ones especially, are crying out for it. Their voice is Sen. Bernie Sanders (Ind-Vermont). Trump’s own pollster said Sanders would have beaten him.
Churchill said, “No matter how brilliant the plan, it is wise to occasionally check the results.” How do our results shape up? The United Nations recently sent an investigator to report on America’s Third World level poverty (you read that right). In Alabama he found raw sewage in peoples’ yards. Parasitic hookworms, found in feces in Third World countries, have returned to America in the Republican South.
Yess! Something does trickle down from Reaganomics. Too bad it’s diseased crap in Republican shitholes.