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Europe Does Well in Innovation (bloomberg.com)
56 points by hheikinh 37 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 81 comments



It's complicated. There are some factors that make any such comparisons very difficult, the EU is a complicated political entity uniting nearly 30 different cultures. That is a stunning achievement. It's also not really one market, in many ways it is but to actually sell something in all member countries I need to adapt to at least 20 different markets. There are the new eastern european members who actually often have difficult political problems, there are old members like Italy with ridiculous political problems (it's not the EUs fault that founding a company or taking another company to court takes ages in Italy). It's also a rapidly aging continent, that makes a comparison to the US difficult. Sure some things are stupid, sure the EU is bureaucratic (but I always wonder how a common market with 30 countries can be done any other way), sure it's slow (how could it be any way else), but it represents more than 400 million people trying to build a shared future. And it's the only example of something like that in human history. Look how good the relationship with between the US and Mexico works, the way the US structures its relationship (guns, border walls) is mostly responsible for an insane drug war. Look how China structures it's relationship with it's neighbors. I think it's highly likely that most neighboring countries will join the EU step by step, ant the EU will adapt change, become more effective, less effective. But it's hard to compare such a unique human experiment with anything.


Hopefully! Nice to hear something optimistic about Europe. As a Pole still remembering passports and closed borders, I definitely hope we manage to build unified Europe, even with setbacks we face.


Everybody who is always optimistic emigrated to the US in the last 200 years... I think genetic selection might be in play here ;-)


That’s why the US have massive problems with depression, suicide, drugs etc.? Because it is full of optimistic people?


> I definitely hope we manage to build unified Europe

As a fellow European, I share your hopes! But I'm becoming more and more disheartened day by day, as I see its downfall into a simple club of unaccountable states. Somehow the EU thinks it's OK to bully its eastern members like your country, for allegedly being "undemocratic", while at the same time letting Spanish repression roam free. I have no sympathy for the Russian government, but the way that they responded to the cynical EU critique to Navalny's detention was particularly refreshing. I hope we manage to get rid of the authoritarian commission and the council, and most of the power is welded by the parliament.


> for allegedly being "undemocratic",

Isn't the issue in Poland that the judiciary is becoming less independent from the government? Separation of powers between government, parliament & justice system seems to be major feature in a democracy. So if the judiciary is indeed becoming less independent, isn't that a sign of decreasing democracy in a country?

I'm not familiar with the "spanish repression" you refer so I won't comment on that, but Navalny's detention... wasn't he detained because of he violated rules in his probation period[1]... by not being present when he was in a coma... having being poisoned by nerve agent!? I think it was quite fair to criticize that.

1: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-55694598


> I think it was quite fair to criticize that.

Of course it is! The actions of the Russian regime are horrible. I also agree with your views on the dangers of decreasing democracy by having a less independent judiciary.

Regarding Spain, I'm obviously an extremely biased party (against it) and I prefer to suggest you to research about it on your own, and not take my word for it. You may find that Spanish democracy is just as bad as Turkey or Russia. This is why I say that current EU foreign representative being from Spain and criticizing Russia is a very sad state of affairs (at least for a person like me that thinks that the EU is a fundamentally very good idea).


He's referring to Catalonia, Eastern Spain, which speaks a different language altogether. For those who don't know it, a significant number of European majors have a history of suppressing regional languages in modern history - Gaelic, Breton, Occitan, Irish and Basque are some casualties.


If the EU didn't "bully" Poland and Hungary for turning into dictatorships now, and later changed its stance on Catalonia, people would accuse it of hypocrisy the other way round.

Trying to avoid being hypocritical just means you cannot do anything good at all.


I think your comment is an interesting example for the complexity of our small continent, for our shared but complicated history and our massively different viewpoints on everything. I think that makes the EU an even more impressive experiment.


Thanks! I'm sure we will be able to work together towards a better world!


Here is something irrelevant to the original post but relevant to your comment: I'd have a 50 year bet that Russia will join the EU.

From a cultural perspective, many eastern European countries have Russian roots and will make the transition smoother.

From a geopolitical perspective, neither have a choice. Both need to be able to compete with China and U.S. in terms of economy.


Impossible. New member applications must be unanimously approved by the member states, and there are countries in the EU that would never be part of the same political organization with Russia, nor allow russian politicians to influence european politics. Never going to happen, and that‘s a good thing. Russia must deal alone with all the fallout of the terror they imposed on the neighboring countries in the last 100 years of history.


Even if Europeans want it, the U.S. will make sure that isn't going to happen. And they don't need to convince the whole EU and its citizens for that.

EU+Russia is just the worst thing that can happen for the US. Far worst than what Russia+China can bring.


https://longbets.org/ let's you create that bet


I would say you're going to lose that bet, China and Russia are making a completely different order in their backyard. Don't even think the EU has competent enough diplomats/stateman, coffers deep enough to entice Russia to decouple from their China partnership. Just look at the shit show that has become Europe's covid and vaccine response also the shit show of the EU diplomatic mission to Russia recently.

Given the Belt and Road Initiative(marshal plan ultra ultra) and Shanghai Cooperation Organization(NATO extra extra light). With NATO it hard to say which way Europe will go, our leaders might say go east Europeans while the big boss in Washington DC says stay where you are. God knows how many active operation Gladio like cells the US has active in the EU. To keep Europe separated from the greater Eurasian project China and Russia are building.


I just looked up at Operation Gladio. I never had any illusions about CIA but...

CIA is an abomination. I'm an immigrant to the U.S. and I have a deep internal conflict about the morality of the country I live in and the part I play in.

Now, the funny thing is, I come from a deeply corrupted third world country, Iran, which to some people is equivalent of evil (Which is not really far from true)

But I never felt this bad about morality of the society I live in. You know why? Because the Islamic Republic, all the evil, all the crimes against humanity committed by Iranian Regime, is forced on it's people.

But the U.S. nukes other countries, starts wars, makes safe and stable places unstable for smallest of interests AND AMERICANS SUPPORT IT [0].

This kills me. Sorry about the rant.

[0] Of course not all Americans.


Just look up the Phoenix Program, then tell me how much the west really cares about human rights etc. Its a nice story to keep the folks at home nice and quiet.

Then think about the last couple of decades with the Patriot Act and CLOUD act, social media censorship of dissenting voices its the Phoenix Program brought home. Probably helped with removing the socialist movement in the west and its now being replaced with woke imperialism.

Too be honest there is no pure good party on this world, just enjoy life and like you said you have already used your most powerful vote, voting with your feet. Take your labor power to the places you think will make you happy and can offer a future to next generation.


Which countries have Russian roots? I'm not aware of any.


That's a tricky question.

You could say Ukraine has Russian roots in that it split off of the Russian Empire and then the USSR. You could also say Russia has Ukrainian roots because that was the historic domain of the Kievan Rus.

Similarly, you could say Bulgaria has Russian roots because it gained its independence from the Ottoman Empire in the 19th century in the wake of the Russo-Turkish war. Alternatively, you can say Russia has Bulgarian roots in that Cyrillic was invented in Bulgaria in the 9th century and spread to other Slavic cultures.

The bottom line is that Eastern Europe and Russia have, for better or for worse, strong historic and cultural ties.


Although not an EU country, Serbia would be the best example. However, I would say "Russian ties" rather than "Russian roots". For instance, they both are Slavic, Orthodox countries, and have been historically allied.


Serbian is not Eastern Europe...


Serbia is usually counted as being "eastern Europe", although it's not yet in the EU.


Eastern Europe is a word which is a bit contested. In the countries west of the wall, it came to mean all countries east of the wall. Perhaps with the countries around the wall being Central Europe.

However, the wall did come down. In many places that were on the east side of the wall, people take offence of the name "Eastern Europe" as they feel it refers to bad times they had and they want to get rid off. Rumanians and Ukrainians are all Central Europe, and they will refer to Georgia as Eastern Europe. I am not sure what Georgians think of the name.

It is a bit like some Irish taking offence by Ireland named as one of the "British Isles". That name is a reference to a past they want to get rid off.


Should be south Europe actually. Former Yugoslav (Yugoslavia) countries were never behind the wall.


Is there an official definition of “Eastern”? As a Brit, my general cultural impression is that Germany is “Central”, and every other country is northern / eastern / western / southern relative to that


Estonia and the other Baltic states have Russian speaking populations.

I'm not convinced about Russia joining the EU in 50 years; Putin is only 68 and can be reasonably expected to live another thirty-ish years. So we'd have to wait for him to die and the subsequent power consolidation within Russia.


>Estonia and the other Baltic states have Russian speaking populations.

There's a good chance that this point specifically would be why the Baltic states would oppose Russia joining the EU. Take a look at this table:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Estonia#Ethnic...


That is never going to happen.


Russia actually did try to come close to EU(more specifically the West, which includes the US). This was before the US invaded Afghanistan. Russia started co-operation with the NATO on information sharing regarding the terrorist activities in the AfPak region. And also provided some logistical support. In return Putin not only wanted to be part of NATO, but also wanted close collaboration with the West on all matters from finance, tech, media etc. Basically Putin was trying to integrate Russia with the West. Unfortunately, that co-operation was ended once the invasion of Afghanistan started. Putin might have felt that he was used. He went back and started a "modern-style" warfare against the West i.e. cybercrime, social media propoganda, taking down of Russian-origin collaborators of the West etc. This was very well presented in a documentary I saw few years ago on the analysis of Russia's political maneuvering against the West. Unfortunately I am not able to recall the name of that documentary.


> the way the US structures its relationship (guns, border walls) is mostly responsible for an insane drug war.

I suspect the drug war is just a consequence of insane amounts of money to be made due to US banning drugs. Combine it with very weak law enforcement in Mexico and you end up in a medieval-Europe-like scenario, where warlords rule the land, and their rule is bloody.


The title on HN is a bit misleading since the Bloomberg link has the title 'South Korea Leads World in Innovation as U.S. Exits Top Ten'...


And below it: Seven of top 10 places go to European countries; China slips


An account with 14 karma posting a link with a misleading title and went on the front page by appealing to confirmation biases in certain timezones.

How does this get past HN?


Not sure if this is sarcasm or not - just because HN is full of nerds, doesn’t stop us from being just as vulnerable to clickbait and confirmation bias as anybody else :)


Ugh another one of these "we take highly complex systems, a fuzzy property, some questionable proxies (number of patents lol) to measure it by and we compress it into a one-dimensional ranking"

Oversimplification at best, make-believe at worst, especially since there are economists involved who in my book aren't exactly known for methodological rigor.

You know, there might be some truth in this in say that that the top third is on average more innovative than the bottom third or something like that, but without in-depth justification you just can't know, so this is simply economist fantasy?


Im a bit skeptical about rankings by western nations, given the last year. That most prepared for a pandemic ranking picture has pretty much become a meme right now.


Maybe the disconnect here is that they are talking about "innovation" but not necessarily profitable innovation.

There's also something to be said about the kind of innovation that disrupts a whole market, and the kind of innovation that incrementally improves on some process or tool. Maybe another question would be, is there enough of the latter kind of innovation to make up (economically) for the lack of unicorns?


Unicorns are a net negative to the world. Uber isn’t even a business for example. It is using invested money to make taxis cheaper. That’s not innovative or even a business.


Does anyone have an actual free link to the list?

I was surprised not to see it in an article referring to it. Is the article just an advert for Bloomberg’s subscription services?

Also auto-playing video is a bit obnoxious.


A browser extension to bypass paywalls: https://github.com/iamadamdev/bypass-paywalls-chrome


Does it really matter for as long as the US has the economical power to import talent (and purchase innovation) as needed not only from Europe but the whole world?


Well the first country in Europe on that list was Switzerland with 3rd place.

It is a steep bell curve from there, but Switzerland is an order of magnitude more competitive than the neighboring countries and they already do import talent, more easily from Europe but also the whole world.

I don't know man, its not an ego thing. The structure of Switzerland makes it easy to do business. If you think of it like a tiny-USA except with a tiny-Federal government and even tinier states (cantons), all surrounded by the European Union maybe it makes sense, or maybe everyone would still lack context for what ways that comparison would hold. Switzerland is more like a conglomerate with each component all using the same unquestionable brand with the name "Switzerland", and the board stays out of how the conglomerate's units do anything. So for regulations - or making/finding favorable regulations - you really have something like 26 unquestionable Switzerlands without really ever needing to worry about a federal government's overarching restrictions. These 26 cantons also have very tiny populations, so the regulator could just be there waiting to be noticed and will gladly do something competitive for you. Switzerland has competence combined with a collaborative non-adversarial relationship between the government and people. That combination doesn't really exist elsewhere, you might have competence in Germany or competence in Cayman Islands, but it will be adversarial. You might have a lack of competence in an individual United State or federal agency, and you will have an adversarial relationship where you are mostly trying not to be noticed.


The subtext for this article is the general pessimism about post-Brexit Europe these days:

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2021/feb/28/i-hate-to-s...

https://johnhcochrane.blogspot.com/2021/03/the-puzzle-of-eur...


How can I take seriously a piece that opens comparing China and Italy? It’s like comparing the US with San Marino, or Russia with Minnesota.

It’s not 1955 anymore, it’s time to compare (continental superpower) apples to (continental superpower) apples.


It’s not clear to me why you are being downvoted. Maybe HN Italians are longing for the glory days of the Roman Empire? Make Rome Great Again.


That economical power can be gone in an instant if the US dollar ceases to be the worlds reserve currency. An economic crisis could thus literally bring the US to it's knees. Without the dollar being overvalued as it is, the US ceases to function as an economy.


I keep hearing this all the time and it never happens. The US is also recovering much faster from this pandemic than the EU.


Because changing the worlds reserve currency is at most a once in a century event. Just because people are warning that it can happen, or that it is headed that way does not mean it will happen tomorrow.

The US has exorbitant privilege in the world stage. It got this privilege by it's economic strength and military. Now it is slowly hollowing it out.


I think this has been a thing for decades.

The US focuses on economical power above all, so can always afford to import talent. They have far more spending power than countries which spend their resources, for example, feeding people, providing healthcare, etc.


Unfortunately I can't see that index because of paywall. Unfortunately my personal experience here is while I do see innovation here, when it comes to making the money all the companies run to America where the capital is or at best Germany where manufacturing is.


Where is "here"?


mRNA vaccines were rolled out by USA and Germany :)


This analysis is abysmal, the sort of quality I'd expect from the Guardian, and I'm not even American. It's mostly useful as a case study of how openly ideological Bloomberg has become. I can read it as I apparently have some sort of free article quota, so here are the lowlights.

Firstly, the USA is not even in the top 10. Really? Any function that purports to rank countries and not peoples will inevitably place the most populated countries near the top. If that doesn't happen it means they're really trying to rank Americans vs the Swiss vs the Chinese vs the Koreans, but presumably that would sound racist, so they don't admit that. Moreover this doesn't seem to pass a basic reality check: if someone comes up with a ranking function for countries in innovation and the USA isn't even in the top 10 then my first reaction is "your criteria are probably buggy, please double check that". We're talking about the country of rockets that land themselves, cutting edge AI research, self driving cars. They conclude none of this counts because they are redefining the word innovation. Their new definition is unclear and the article switches between multiple very different meanings throughout.

“Innovation is often measured by new ideas, new products and new services,” she said, but it’s their “diffusion and adoption” that is the real metric of success.

Defining innovation in the way people would expect would seem to be a basic requirement for any sort of rigorous analysis. In this paragraph it means commercial success. Most would agree that you can be innovative without being successful, in fact "the better tech doesn't always win" is folk wisdom by now. Their re-definition doesn't stop there:

“We should recognize that the available metrics miss important dimensions of innovation,” said Romer, a professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business. “Officials in Wuhan showed for the first time that in a couple of weeks, it is feasible to test 10 million residents of a city for coronavirus. This was a very important public health innovation.”

Welding people in their houses and forcing them to undergo medical testing is not "innovation" by any kind of definition a normal person would use. Anyone could come up with that idea. All it proves is that the Wuhan government - assuming their reports can be trusted - is willing to do whatever it takes to enforce its policies at high speed. This is an especially poor example of innovation because doctors are trained to not do blanket mass testing of entire populations due to the problem of false positives, and China had no innovation solution to that: they just ignored it.

Korea’s return to the top spot is mainly due to an increase in patent activity, where it ranks top

If patent activity were a good proxy for innovation then IBM would be the world's top tech firm. Anyone who has done R&D knows the patent system is awash with garbage patents.

As the two biggest economies, the U.S. and China account for much of the world’s innovation

Here they switch their definition of innovation again, and the article is by now internally inconsistent: US and China account for "much" of the world's innovation yet neither are in the top 10 most innovative countries. By the end of the article it's become openly politically biased:

The country scores badly in higher education, even though U.S. universities are world-famous. That underperformance was likely made worse by obstacles to foreign students, who are usually prominent in science and technology classes -- first due to the Trump administration’s visa policies, and later to the pandemic. New President Joe Biden ran on a promise to reinvigorate U.S. manufacturing with a $300 billion investment in R&D and breakthrough technologies, a policy he labeled Innovate in America.

Innovation is now about how many foreign students you take in, the US being downranked is all Trump's fault, then innovation becomes about how much manufacturing you do and Biden is going to fix it with state control of the economy.

Sung Won Sohn, an economist at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, says the U.S. is still in the vanguard –- but nowadays its innovations tend to come from smaller companies, and take longer to reach the consumer. “There are a lot of new ideas from many start-ups,” he said. “It will take time for the ideas to be translated into marketable products.”

Back to commercial success again. Anyone familiar with the history of the world's biggest tech firms will see a common recurring pattern:

• They are mostly founded by Americans. The most famous immigrant tech founders are Sergey Brin (but he did it with American Larry Page, and immigrated as a child), and Elon Musk.

• They very frequently drop out of university to found their business.

It's very hard to read all those stories and reach a conclusion that university education for immigrants is the key to innovation success in the world, given how many tech firms are created by Americans who abandoned their education before finishing it.


Number of patents registered in the EU 2019: 180.000

Number of patents registered in US 2019: 669.000


This is like counting the number of commits to check the health status of a project


IBM used to (still does?) measure innovation and research success in total number of patents it holds. It's one of those misaligned incentives that are good for marketing and self-congratulating but rarely translate into actual leadership in business or technology.


Third sentence in the article: "The Bloomberg index analyzes dozens of criteria using seven equally weighted metrics, including research and development spending, manufacturing capability and concentration of high-tech public companies."


innovation != patents


Innovation is still innovation even if nobody holds a monopoly on it.


this better be b8


Europe does well to keep talents in relative poverty compared to our peers in the US.

Most IT people are in the 50-60k/pa bracket.Some are in 80k and anything > 100k/pa is an exception. And this is usually with progressive taxation starting with 30% and going upwards.

Most of the good housing costs > 400k and we are talking small apartments because it's Europe and if you live in the suburbs you give up all the great infrastructure.

Moving around in Europe is a nightmare especially if your spouse is in a field that requires intermediate/native level of the local language.


Your framing is the problem: the US is not the standard, the US is the outlier here. Given American society values based on individualism it's not that strange they get paid more but also don't have as much support from the government as most EU countries do.

In that sense it's a choice of lifestyle, if you want to get rich but also suffer more risks doing that, go live in the US and try it out. For me, personally, coming from an Americanised society such as Brazil I much prefer living in a place where life is stable and comfortable, where I know I won't be left to die if I can't manage for any reason (usually health) to find and/or keep a job. I won't be living extremely comfortably but I won't end up as an addict thrown out in Mission District in SF to suffer alone.

Different values, different views. The US is the outlier in pay, most of the EU tips into a more collectivist view.

All in all, I much prefer the "relative poverty" of living in Sweden rather than getting 2-3x take-home pay while living in a stressful society such as the US. My peace of mind is very, very worth it.


> All in all, I much prefer the "relative poverty" of living in Sweden rather than getting 2-3x take-home pay while living in a stressful society such as the US

I don't get where you get the idea that all Americans are some hamsters spinning the wheel. Lot of IT jobs in USA are high-paying without the kind of stress you are talking about. And no they aren't getting rich to the extent that they are buying yachts or jets. On the opposite, lot of low paying stressful jobs exist in EU.

> The US is the outlier in pay, most of the EU tips into a more collectivist view.

Without much regard to the strength of different kind of economies around EU. A Spanish shouldn't be paying same price as a German has to pay without earning the same salary. This is big downside of EU that the collectivism you are talking about only works when they don't want to pay the salaries but still charge you the same price.


While IT salaries aren't much to brag about in Europe (though the big players start to ramp up their senior+ engineering salaries), you get free healthcare in some european countries and you don't risk getting shot by police based on your skincolor.


Free healthcare in Europe sucks.I usually go to my wife's home country to get superior and efficient healthcare (South Korea).

In Europe at least in german speaking countries the healthcare is mediocre or subpar for what we pay for it in taxes.


Just curious: what bad experience did you have? Long waiting times, bad diagnosis/treatment? Also, private insurance ("tax-paid", nvm)?

Also at least Germany is a country with a relatively old population (median age 47.8).

SK too (median age 43), but suicide rates in the elderly are way higher, which tells me there's problems with QoL. And achieving widespread decent QoL in an old population is quite costly.


You get free healthcare in most part of the world if you work in IT. And usually it's not taken out of your salary. In EU you have to pay it out of your salaries.


Good inner city housing is easy to find at much cheaper than 400k€ even in large cities of Western Europe. I'm talking about >150m² city houses here, not "small apartments" by any standards.

Seeing how you consider 50-60k€ annual salary as "relative poverty" makes me think that your expectations are rather unrealistic. Indeed, a regular IT worker cannot buy a city palace and retire at 40 in Europe, so maybe that's what you consider poverty relative to even richer people.

Also, moving around in Europe is easier than anywhere else (I should know...) and language is basically the only problem. While in the rest of the world, language is a relatively smaller problem compared to the administrative problems you have to face first (if you even can move at all to the country you want).


Language is not the only problem.It's the different rules that apply to the EU countries.Imagine you have non-EU spouse and they are basically constrained to one european country. Here the EU means nothing.


That’s not true, there’s an EU residence permit that transfers: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Long-term_resident_(European...

It’s relatively new (from 2006). I’m sure it will evolve over time to be even easier.


EU permanent residency enables you to live in any EU country, you don't need citizenship to have freedom of movement in the EU.


This is not different from outside the EU, though, which is my point.

The EU is not perfect but moving within it is easier than moving between countries anywhere else in the world (outside of a few much smaller blocks).


Are you joking? 50k is not "relative poverty" by any definition.


This is such a complicated topic that it's hard to make generalisations that apply in all cases.

The US is similar to Europe in that standards can be wildly different between states/countries. 50k EUR in Estonia is a lot different to 50k in Sweden.

But I would say, on average, that the difference is that it's cheaper to have a good life in Europe. If you earn 50k in Sweden, it would roughly give me the same QoL as a person living on 150k in NYC (or 80k in London!), and if I earned 60k in Sweden then it would feel roughly the same as 200k in NYC, because the costs don't scale linearly.

But the difference between me, an IT professional on a "good" wage (which, actually does feel like a good wage btw) and a Waitress at a restaurant is not so incredibly vast as to make sure that the waitress lives in perpetual poverty.

The gap is smaller and because of it the wealth feels attainable and people are a bit more content.

Contentedness is far better than the "dollar amount" of capital you have, wealth is feeling good about your life, some people conflate the fact that it costs a lot of money to feel content and secure in the USA with the rest of the world.

I've lived in Finland, Sweden, Estonia and I was raised in the UK. Income equality has a long way to go in the UK, so what I say does not apply there at all.


> But I would say, on average, that the difference is that it's cheaper to have a good life in Europe. If you earn 50k in Sweden, it would roughly give me the same QoL as a person living on 150k in NYC (or 80k in London!), and if I earned 60k in Sweden then it would feel roughly the same as 200k in NYC, because the costs don't scale linearly.

These numbers seem quite off as far as I see it on numbeo. It's a factor of 1.5 that you need to multiply the Stockholm /Swedish salaries with to get the same standard of life in NYC.

$150K in NYC should be something like ~$100K in Sweden. And $200K in NYC should be something like ~$133K in Sweden.


I see you're hopping the Nordic countries. How similar are they in reality? Is it fair to place all them in the same bucket as always is done in these discussions? What made you move from one to another?


I'm not OP but I live in Sweden for almost 6 years now, had a Norwegian girlfriend and have traveled around, so I will tell how I see from my perspective.

The Nordic countries share some common social philosophies, economic models and ways of life but each one leans in different ways in numerous aspects: culturally, economically, socially. The impression I get is that all stem from a common "root" but have diverged quite a bit when you see them from the inside. Bundling them up together is a useful mental model for some approximations, some aspects of the day-to-day life are similar but I believe that's where it stops.

A good extrapolation would be to look at a more extreme version of this phenomena, like with Spain and Portugal, where history and culture are quite intermingled but each can also be quite different to the other. The Nordics are a bit less extreme on their differences but it's a good analogy to lean to, I believe.


Estonia wants to be Finland but has a large (relatively right wing?) Russian minority.

Finland wants to be left alone.

Sweden wants to be the role model of the world, and has increasing divisions between right and left (because if you talk about immigration you're branded racist immediately).

Denmark is a lot less tolerant than it might be made out to be by being grouped with the nordics (which sounds like I'm saying it's a bad thing). They have at-will employment and put up barriers to people migrating to the country.

The morals/religions typically follow along similar lines (heavy promotion of work/life balance and raising a family) but economically they differ largely and politically there are minor but important differences between the countries.


Don't trust anything Bloomberg says. They have zero credibility. For example, they stated many times that all major companies like Google, Amazon and Apple have hardware from SuperMicro Inc., that contains hidden microchips and can spy on the companies by sending data to China... It was proven later that this was fake news.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supermicro#Allegations_of_comp...


It's pretty hard to form an opinion from reading the wiki page - it basically boils down to "Bloomberg says X about Supermicro, Supermicro and some other companies deny it".




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