"Nor was it straightforward to resign from his job. When al-Kasim broke the news to his boss in London, “he said: ‘Damn you, Farouk. We were counting on you. Now you are letting us down.’” The top director put pressure on him to stay, but al-Kasim explained that only Norway offered the care his son needed. In the end, his superiors relented. “My immediate boss said: ‘I can’t promise you that you will get a job, but I can say now that we will not stop you getting one.’”
And so no one interfered when Norway’s Ministry of Industry hired al-Kasim as a consultant. His job would be to analyse the North Sea exploration results – at a salary just above that of the prime minister."
That he had to rely on the graciousness of his employer to refrain from blackballing him is still a reality for a lot of professionals.
Even though he didn't get enough credit for the work he had done, his goal to provide better health care for his son is fulfilled; that should provide him the satisfaction above everything else.
Being a good parent above all other considerations is not a universally held moral.
With 5.3 million Norwegian, that equates to $198k per capita. Impressive.
Also: "Since 1998 the fund has generated an annual return of 5.5 percent".
Well done Norway, and well done Farouk al-Kasim.
What a pity that the Iraqi government didn't let him run a similar scheme for the Iraqi oil. Things would be much different today.
Check out Nobel if you want to watch another Norwegian political thriller with a focus on the interplay between energy resources and international relations- this time about a Norwegian guy who comes home from Afganistan only to become a pawn for international politics
The idea of Russia invading Norway to resume Norwegian oil production because the EU asked it is absurd.
Were it to happen in real life, Russia would be applauding Norway for rising the oil price and ramping up its own oil production as much as it can.
Magic is fine. People should act the way that people act.
Would you reply with the same "So you're saying that a fictional show is... fictional"?
Judaism is a somewhat vaguely defined cultural/religious grouping.
In European history the last large scale attempt to blur the distinction between race and state ended with attempted genocide. It's somewhat distasteful to continue repeating that mistake.
All this nonsense like 'we don't like Russian state but love Russian people" doesn't fool anyone.
The way America treats Russia (in TV, movies and the media, where it's the bogeyman du jour), on the other hand, is vastly different and arguably quite russophobic.
I only wanted to highlight the question of whether stopping oil production could lead to war. Sorry, I should have made that clear.
Current balance is $120B which is actually a lot considering the province has only 3M people (~$40,000 per person balance).
However, it’s be rife with mismanagement.
Alberts has an estimated population of 4.3 million, so they have about $3500 per person only.
https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alberta (For population stats)
Regardless, if Alberta had done the same as Norway (100% of royalties), they still wouldn't have as much money in the fund.
Instead of taxing it heavily and using it to build an enormous pool of money for the common good, we've simply handed it over to private interests.
Australia has also squandered opportunity in its retirement system: 2.6 trillion in high fee individual accounts (1% given away to the financial sector in fees every year!) instead of in a sovereign wealth fund like Norway's with a fraction of the admin costs.
Every country with an interest in a wealthy, fair society should be following in Norway's footsteps.
Fun fact: Norway is mostly socialist. The government owns the majority of the country's wealth.
If this article (referencing a 2008 paper) https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/13/north-... is to be believed, the UK had the same thing, but the money went to tax cuts for the rich. So it does smell like corruption to me.
[He talked about some conservative governments being corrupt, to which I think:] Conservatism is a con anyway, selling austerity as a pain that the citizenry needs to suffer to get a "healthy economy", which means cutting budgets where somehow the solution is to outsource things (e.g. with the NHS), meaning the private companies owned by the elites rake in the money. And then they sell the "it's the immigrants who are overtaxing our resources" to get the public to vote for Brexit. (Where less EU regulations mean the elite will have more power to influence the government to allow worker exploitation)
They could therefore argue for a mandate for the policy.
 This is a weird, UK government definition of the word. Don't think Plato.
The subsidies of agriculture are kind of ludicrous, I agree.
The same goes for their attitudes towards taxing pollution / promoting EVs, but that's a side story.
The stories about Rosemary Rogers are bewildering.
There are aspects of Norway that is socialist, but the country by historical standards and by the very definition is far far from being socialist.
It is difficult to categorize countries as socialist or free markets, since all countries has a bit of a mix. However, it is easy to see what it is decidedly not. Compared to socialist countries like USSR, East Germany, North Korea, Venezuela, we can all agree that Norway is not like those, it is indeed far closer to free markets than compared to socialism.
They look at social democracy which is just markets with redistribution and safety nets, and they say “socialism”.
Any welfare programs that help the poor - they say “socialism”.
They look at cities and countries engaging in State Capitalism and call it socialism.
Socialism is collective ownership of the Means of Production.
Examples of textbook socialism include:
Communes and Kibbutzes
Employee owned corporations
Open source projects
And you can have democratic governance of larger structures, which MAY be called socialism:
The public stock market (capitalism and socialism can coexist).
facism has aspects based on syndicalism, a subset of the socialism true, but its far from the defining characteristics of a true social equalization. syndicalism (and then facism) is based on categories within a society.
the best definition, used in a trotsky speach, is that facism is "socialism for the upper and middle classes". if you apreaciate the sweet irony you can clearly see why facism can never truly be seen as socialism. if you miss the irony, you should just call yourself alt-rigth.
Actual socialism has never, and will never, be implemented. People are not idealistic enough (most people just want to avoid work) and it is always the wrong people who grab power.
The creator of Fascism was Mr Mussolini, himself a member of the communist party in Italy.
It was only that Mussolini wanted to create a socialist movement independent of the International Socialist , the Komintern, which was controlled(and financed) by Soviet Russia, following the interests of that country.
So he created a socialist movement with the interest of Italians first, nationalistic. Hitler then copied the movement in Germany.
To say that nazis were not socialistic(and socialized the means of production) is like saying that Trosky was not communist because he was assassinated by Stalin.
Of course they were the worst enemies between each other, but there were not big differences in the way they planned the economy.
In the civil war in Spain, in the left side there were independent anarchist and socialistic leaders and they were killed by Stalin, not Franco.
Far too much effort is wasted arguing along the way.
- Individualism is squashed in both systems. The citizen solely exists for the state and is to be exploited as a worker or cannon fodder.
- Both systems had worker holiday cities for propaganda and constant reeducation.
- Both systems had many youth organizations for indoctrination.
- Both systems had nationalized radio.
- Both systems sent their opponents into Gulags/camps.
- In both systems, if you pretended to be a follower, you'd be taken care of (that arguably is the socialist aspect of national socialism).
National socialism did not actually nationalize companies, but they were certainly under control of the state.
The point is that while the ideologies were different, the outcome was not completely dissimilar (even antisemitism with purges was there under Stalin). National socialism had an overtly murderous ideology, while the marxist one pretended to do one thing and did quite another.
At most you can look at efficient surface similarities and say this ideology does not prohibit these actions.
Obviously NS is not 100% equal to abstract pure socialism, I think we can assume that everyone here knows that.
The idea is that people are expected to work for their benefits, save up money to form capital and then invest that capital to create a safety net for themselves. Most people on the conservative side are not opposed to helping people who can't help themselves or giving people who did their best but fell on hard times, a break, through bankruptcy.
If a country has a large amount of natural resources like Norway, it can be somewhat successful in dispensing with individual excellence. For example, Qatar has the highest per capita income in the world. However, this may not be sustainable since natural resource eventually run out. For example : https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Nauru#Modern-day_Na...
Norway used its oil profits to create a sovereign wealth fund and invested it in stocks. What is the system called when dispensable income is used to form capital which is then invested in other ventures to create additional revenue streams ? I would call it capitalism.
If all countries where Norwegian money is invested decided to become socialist and seized their property, Norway will not be upheld as a socialist success, would it ?
I'm not sure what is meant by this? I would assume that the more resources the government or the community has, the more they can support people's talents.
You can invest more in education and arts.
> Norway used its oil profits to create a sovereign wealth fund and invested it in stocks. What is the system called when dispensable income is used to form capital which is then invested in other ventures to create additional revenue streams ? I would call it capitalism.
True, that's a good point, it's state level capitalism.
If instead the oil money went into tax cuts, what would one call that policy then? Antisocialism?
Just investing in arts and education is not enough to bring about people's talents : https://www.heritage.org/education/report/does-spending-more...
> True, that's a good point, it's state level capitalism.
> If instead the oil money went into tax cuts, what would one call that policy then? Antisocialism?
You have missed the point here : even by Marxist standards, Norway's success is due to capitalism. It is better to think about economies in terms of the amount of economic freedom each permits. Capitalism-Socialism dichotomy is largely just fiction.
> One promising way to improve resource allocation is to give parents the ability to use their children's share of public Education funding to choose the right school for their children. Children benefiting from school choice programs have higher test scores than their peers who do not benefit from school choice.
Or could it be that parents who would use vouchers are the same parents who are actively involved in their children’s education so those are the same kids who would do better anyway?
“It Turns Out Spending More Probably Does Improve Education”:
That said, my understand is that “it’s the teachers, stupid”. Systems that have better teachers, through a combination of means (better pay, better prestige, better training and continuity) have the best outcomes:
So yes, pouring money into the system isn’t a magic fix, especially if none of it goes to teacher salaries.
Erm, the wealth comes from finding a valuable resource. The oil isn't there due to following a particular ideology.
A capitalist system would give that resource to private wealthy individuals as reward for being wealthy (eg owning the land where the well-heads are). The sovereign wealth fund is more like common ownership, socialist-communist.
The socialist-capitalist dichotomy is based on ownership and the profit (financial or otherwise) of that ownership. Capitalism means narrow private ownership, the profit going to those owners; socialism democratises the ownership and benefit -- they are contradictory.
> The means of production, be it machinery or brains, are privately owned.
They are not. The government literally owns the bulk of the wealth. Not only in the oil sector but in a wide variety of industries, both directly and through the fund.
This is not the definition of socialism.
"The Nordic model refers to the economic and social policies common to the Nordic countries (Denmark, Finland, Norway, Iceland, Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and Sweden). This includes a comprehensive welfare state and collective bargaining at the national level with a high percentage of the workforce unionised while being based on the economic foundations of free market capitalism."
I'm not sure why people get so vehement about denying this fact. Perhaps because it requires acknowledging that socialism actually works really well?
I think social democracy is probably closer.
There's free enterprise and the government owns some part of some companies.
I gues this will help you to understand:
"Ownership: In a capitalist economy, property and businesses are owned and controlled by individuals. In a socialist economy, the state owns and controls the major means of production. In some socialist economic models, worker cooperatives have primacy over production"
Finally, no socialism never has been working very well. There is not a single example of it working well in all recorded human history.
I guess if you define "socialism" in a sufficiently narrow way you can ensure that no existent successful country will meet the chosen definition, a clever rhetorical trick.
Heavy taxation is also not Socialism. Otherwise the British taxation of their American colonies could be deemed to be the same, while they were clearly not. Instead (largely) American companies accept the heavy taxation of the oil industry in Norway for two reasons. First of all, it is on sovereign Norwegian territory. Second, they still go home with a cool profit at the end of the day.
Keeping the tax profits from that venture, and investing it in order to make it grow, is not Socialist either. In fact that could be seen as directly contrary to Socialist doctrines. In fact it can be viewed as a completely Capitalist doctrine! But one where the people benefits from those invesments, since the Sovereign Wealth Fund is designed to work for the benefit of its owners, who just happens to be the Norwegian people.
Not in the same way. You can even be quite wealthy and still have very negative consequences from getting fired, evicted or having the housing market crash. Not only as result of the direct or financial consequences, but also to your sense of freedom and self-image. I guess you could say that the Nordics at their best isn't so much about being happy, as in the pursuit of happiness, but about being trouble free.
There are advantages to having hundreds of thousands of individual accounts over one sovereign wealth fund. The latter is a case of putting all your eggs in one basket. Centralization poses enormous risks.
Reducing fees by having a smaller number of fund managers managing a larger amount of capital can also reduce the ROI, as a result of fund managers having to limit their objects of investment to very large companies/projects that can efficiently utilize large capital infusions.
Also, NOBODY pays 1% for investment management anymore. You can open a brokerage account in the US and pay .08%(yes, from private investment companies) and get a very diversified portfolio using standardized funds.
I really don't see the benefits of a centralized pension...other than being able to offload payments to future generations, ofcourse.
LOL, look it up. This is the average annual fee for super funds in Australia
You can view the Norway fund's holdings on their website: https://www.nbim.no/en/the-fund/holdings/holdings-as-at-31.1...
It seems pretty diversified to me!
A larger fund also has advantages for ROI (even putting aside the much lower fees) because you can be a more activist shareholder and invest in more sophisticated ways.
>>A larger fund also has advantages for ROI (even putting aside the much lower fees) because you can be a more activist shareholder and invest in more sophisticated ways.
Small fund managers are free to invest in large funds to gain these advantages. They have the added advantage of being able to select from smaller cap investment options as well.
This is true for any kind of industry that a country has a competitive advantage in.
If it comes from resources then the incentive to develop the people is lost and they're either bought off or ignored. Look at what happens in Russia or Venezuela or Saudi Arabia.
Now Bolivia is the poorest country in the Americas and the US is the richest. This is basically why.
The answer is - it works fine until the resource price drops or you run out of it.
Kuwait may be fat and content now but it has a dark future ahead of it once they stop being able to live off foreign cash.
Most other cases of competitive advantage lack this element, though network-based superiority resembles it in parts (comms, transport, trade, urbanisation, IT, banking, military & political power).
Europe is currently 'struggling' with immigration, the subtext being they don't bring skills, lower wages for the poorest, etc.
Here you have an immigrant that brings massive wealth to a country, (and he's essentially a healthcare tourist!)
He is Iraqi, but his wife is Norwegian. They met in London, during his study. They have a child together, who need cares only available in Norway.
In most countries this kind of immigration is doable (high skills and related to the country by marriage). Is it called immigration?
Migrants moving to a country without having an initial link with that country is a more complex problem.
I don't really think that nuance really enters into the debate though.
So surely that can work both ways. If we paint all immigrants as skill-less criminals, than we can also lump this guy in with them, to show the other side.
My intent was to show this as immigration as a success, rather than immigration as job stealing, so often portrayed in the media.
I wouldn't say so. While of course it is hard to be informed as a refugee, the big European countries are naturally much more well known. Refugees to some extent go to Nordic countries because they have heard that it is a place were you can get an apartment, a decent wage and there are resources so you can get on with your life. At this point they probably believe more in the Nordic model than we do ourselves.
And looking at how Trump is behaving over the Mexican border, the US has the same fears also.
But yes the US probably does do better at attracting the most talented, certainly in the tech industry.
Not even a little bit. His wife is Norwegian, so presumably the son who needed healthcare also had Norwegian nationality. If anything he's an immigrant by marriage.
The fact that he stayed in Norway for decades also disqualifies him from being called a "tourist".
Most of the immigrants(at leat those comming over the Mediterranean sea) have been young male with no education. Unfortunately many European countries are not willing or are just not able to commit the effort required to make unskilled immigrants good european citizens.
I don't understand why the EU leaders didn't emphasis the skills requirement more and instead started stupid arguments about religion and culture.
This might be the immediate intuition, and also the perception that the huge media cknglomerates push, but this is NOT true!
What are you expecting people with no skill to do? Most likely they form their own "communities" with little to no integration in the host society. Maybe they will integrate after 1-2 generations or maybe never(see how gypsies communities "integrated" in Europe).
Why would you want mass immigration of unskilled people? What good can it bring? My opinion is that you either make sure you have the money and logistics to make them good citizens or reject them at the border.
borders are a really stupid way people isolate themselves out - it’s just a step above wild animals instinct.
Not really. There could be simple tests to establish basic knowledge of their expertise. It doesn't need to be a hard test but it would stop the bulk of false applications. After all the scope is not to allow only the most skilled but to stop the peoole with low/no skills.
>> if there is a chance that one person out of a thousand can be at this level, it’s pretty much a no brainer to let everyone in.
I doubt that this guy would fail a 60 seconds interview with basic question about its expertise so there is no need to let everyone in.
Why so you want to let everyone in? Do you expect a big economic return from unskilled immigrants? Is it a moral thing to do? Who would be affected by them? How do you compensante the people affected? I think there are some unanswered questions that need to be addressed before to let everyone in.
There's no point in bringing people to do the low-level jobs without much room to grow (or worse, do what Canada does and be overly selective then just keep people at survival jobs)
That's an incorrect summation of the "Dutch Disease". Productivity growth doesn't suffer. Productivity growth, or GDP growth, increases with higher oil output.
The Dutch Disease is a politically slanted term to describe how other industries languish when one expands. But a rise in oil production is not associated with declining productivity growth, and the Dutch Disease theory does not include that proposition. A rise in oil production/exports makes an economy more capital-rich, which raises productivity.