Once again, why don’t we follow Norway?

May 14, 2009

From the New York Times on how Norway has managed its oil wealth well. The best sentence:

“If you are given a lot, you have responsibility”

12 Responses to “Once again, why don’t we follow Norway?”

  1. Tarzan Says:

    WELFARE STATE!!??
    Norway a Welfare state… kmon man…
    This is tipical us. republican way of think.. if Norway had had 27 million people in the begining of the Norwegian oilboom they had planned the thing for 27 million people… thats the way they do it.

    Coming from the pooorest contry in europe, Danish give it to Swedish because that was a land of poor farmer and fisher… to the first economyin the world…

    Is not a matter of protestantism…is not a matter of being norwegians… i think is only a matter of planification…

    planify a week end with your family with a fixed amount of money… and see waths happends… afterwards maka a week nd without planifications I mean no hotel reservations noticket reservations only going to the counter… and see wath happens..
    If you have “luck” the second time could be a nice week end but without planification that week end could be economically desastrous or not enjoyable for the family….
    I think the problem with Vzla is the politics of “como vaya saliendo vamos viendo” (other that translates)

    cu

  2. Niels C Says:

    Well to be a norwigian, you first have to take a crash course in classic protestantism, and then live like one.
    You wouldn’t like it.

  3. Andres F. Says:

    Norwegian and Norway are definitely not alike Venezuelan and Venezuela.
    Even though the devils excrement aspiration is the same in every country, it probably has a harder time achieving its purpose in developed countries.


  4. I have unwavering faith in Lula’s ability to fuck up every good thing that could possibly come about from Brazil’s ascent as a major oil-producing country.

  5. Gian Silva Says:

    The sad truth is the the Norwegian model, precisely by its advantages, which tend to curb political use of the wealth from oil, is less used world around than the Venezuelan.
    The Brazilian government, for example, wants to follow the Caribbean country, abandoning the system that allowed Brazil pursue the oil autonomy.


  6. Good point, FC. In the long-run, welfare states destroy societies. Look at the United States and most countries in Western Europe to see the way it locks people into cycles of depressing urban squalor on a level not so drastically different from here in São Paulo. What Chavez should be doing is copying the Norwegians in terms of the well-managed Sovereign Wealth Funds, the fruits of which should be going into vital infrastructure in order to attract foreign capital. Instead, the money is lavished on buying off the poor, thus condemning future generations to endemic poverty, and nourishing the pathetic little Napoleon-cum-Bolivar aspirations of Hugo Chavez, a Legend in His Own Mind.

  7. FC Says:

    There are staggering differences between Norway and Venezuela….for one, 4.6 Million in population? Of course their oil wealth is enough to maintain a welfare state… I’d LOVE to see them try it with 27 million people. And they know it too, that’s why they keep their population low. Heck even Norwegians aren’t immune to the corrosive effect of oil wealth: the article mentions that some think their work ethic is being compromised and in the long run their current model isn’t sustainable.

    My point is, although we can follow some of Norway’s ideas, the situation is very different and we can’t simply copy the model, it would fail utterly. We need some form of hybrid structure that manages oil wealth responsibly (which I’m sure is your #1 point about the comparison so I agree we need to be like Norway in that particular regard) but coupled with free enterprise generating the rest of the wealth needed to keep everyone’s neck above the water line.

    Also…remember the FIEM? Quico made an excellent post about how much money Chavez would have now if he’d gone Norwegian and saved instead of American and splurged. I mean the ideas are there, as with all things Venezuelan…it’s the execution…


  8. Firepigette, that is such a cop-out statement. Prudence and common sense are universal concepts. I just found this blog, well done.

  9. firepigette Says:

    why can’t we follow Norway? We are not Norwegians, that simple….and believe me there is a good side to everything.

    Everything has a price, and nothing is for free.

  10. Alex Dalmady Says:

    Wasn’ it Manuel Peñalver who said: “No somos Suizos”

    Guess what? Not Norwegian either!

  11. Stig Hess Says:

    Actually the “socialist” part of Norway is difficult to explain to Venezuelans. Kristin Halvorsen (finance minister) definately is from a very leftist party (the present government is a coalition), but she has been managing our pension fund in a way that all parties and the owners of the large companies alike agree is excellent. Just like a real capitalist 🙂

    There is definately a rather large difference between Norwegian (European) and Latin-American socialism.

    However, I look forward to elections this year, hopefully we´ll kick out the socialdemocrats/socialist/farmers party-coalition, cause some of their rethoric definately reminds me of Chavez. Their populist “we´ll make the rich hurt paying more taxes etc).

  12. Gringo Says:

    Why can’t Venezuela be more like Norway? Because ludefisk and arepas don’t go well together.


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