-25 votes

Norway, Finland, The Netherlands etc. Most Socialist- highest standards of Living?

The most socialist counties in the world have the highest standards of living-it appears to be from the very responsive governance they have established.

Why do these full on socialists have such a high standard of "sustainable" living. Parents with newborns 4 months off to bond. free great sustainable health care-for all, almost free college where they chase talent not cash or legacy-- the list goes on and on!

Sounds pretty appealing -with a proven track record of sustained success- where has libertarianism proven itself viable- it has not, not to say it would not given a chance

but we do have a proven path to prosperity- we do not need to reinvent the wheel

Trending on the Web

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

Well like I mentioned, I

Well like I mentioned, I didn't say *nothing* came from these countries. Just few and far between compared to the United State (from Apple and Google to Ford in the 1900s to light bulb, TV, and flight). An innovative furniture company pales in comparison to what's come out of the United States. For every Ikea, there's 10 more businsses or inventions in the United States that have had more of an impact.

Unfortunately, we're slowly getting away from that sort of economic freedom.

Here is the deal with many of

Here is the deal with many of these countries. They are Ponzi schemes. Like all Ponzi schemes they are great until eventually they run out of those being scammed. As for Europe, the have a negative birth rate. That is why they Re bringing in more and more immigrants - the scammed so that they can provide a tax base for those living off the state. Sooner or later, like our Social Security system and the Ponzi scheme will fail.

"When the people fear their government, there is tyranny; when the government fears the people, there is liberty."

Neither Norway nor Sweden spend huge amounts...

on the military; nor do they "bleed money" with military empire. Both Central Banks are more open and accountable than the Federal Reserve.

For me, the issue is not "capitalism" or "socialism," per se; for me, the issues are liberty and the rule of lie, as these are inseparable.

Aha, I wonder why others cannot just copy

and live in prosperity.

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — The Palestinian finance minister in the West Bank has announced his resignation in a show of frustration over the government's widening budget deficit.

Nabil Qassis told reporters Sunday that the Palestinian Authority's 2013 budget deficit is expected to reach $1.4 billion. He says he decided to step down after politicians and labor unions objected to a number of proposed austerity measures.

The Palestinian Authority, the self-rule government in the West Bank, has been struggling with a financial crisis in recent years due to the failure by Arab allies to deliver hundreds of millions of dollars in promised assistance.

It's bad, but it's not socialism

We really need to be conscious of the words we use to describe things. "Socialism" has come to be used more as a pejorative than a name for a specific economic system. This makes debate difficult when the very words used to describe the subject are laden with value judgments.

Socialism in the strict sense of the word is an economic system where the means of production (e.g. business and industry) are owned, operated, and managed through democratic control; typically through government. While the European social democracies (by and large capitalist) in the OP have some state-run programs, they are hardly socialist economies like Cuba, North Korea, the old Soviet Union, etc.

I am no fan of welfare statism, but I think to call countries like Holland "socialist" smacks of ignorance and prejudice that we need to avoid in order to have the kind of honest discussion that can eventually change minds on the left.

Our opponents on the left - most of them - are not arguing for socialism. While some of their positions have been informed by socialist theory, they are by and large arguing for state-managed capitalism. What we often call corporatism or crony-capitalism is really what the left in this country believes in, and I think we can make a much stronger argument against these practices than arguing past each other about elements of Marxism and such. Only a handful of people in the left are arguing from such an extreme perspective.

In their criticism of the common use of the word socialism those on the left are correct, and we should be more careful in the words we choose.

Just my two cents.

“Wasting a vote is sometimes voting for somebody that you don't really believe in."
-Ron Paul

"they are hardly socialist

"they are hardly socialist economies like Cuba, North Korea, the old Soviet Union"

Those are/were communist, not socialist. Socialism is a slow way to reach communism. And both terms SHOULD be pejorative words. They mean taken by force what doesn't belong to you and minimizes the amount of freedom individuals have.

If you disagree with me on anything you are not a real libertarian...


Communism is socialism, just a more specific form.

With all due respect, the

With all due respect, the countries I named are socialist, per definition. The government runs most or all of the economy. While this is necessary to achieve communism (a form of socialism), it is not sufficient. Communism has other criteria that these countries lack and probably always will because at their hearts they are dictatorships and oligarchies with a rigid class hierarchy, which is anathema to communism.

I don't believe we have any communist nations, regardless of what they call themselves, and we probably never will.

My main point, though, is that we're not debating with real socialists (i.e. those who advocate bona fide socialism). Most of the time we're debating with those who are enamored with European style democracy where the preferred economy - whether or not they will admit it and regardless of what the call it - is corporatism: a cooperative, managed system between capitalist actors and the state. This is a nice word for crony-capitalism, or in extreme cases, fascism. By arguing from this position we achieve two objectives:

1. We stop trying to attribute Marxist dogma and objectives to those with whom we disagree and we stop arguing past them. Most of them don't even know what real socialism is and wouldn't want any part of it if they did.

2. We force our opponents to admit that they are capitalists at heart: that we could not have achieved the society we have without capitalism, and that they have no desire to end capitalism as the predominant economic model in civilized society.

Once we have established these positions, we can argue the relative merits of an economy regulated by the state and one where the free market controls production.

“Wasting a vote is sometimes voting for somebody that you don't really believe in."
-Ron Paul

"Capitalism Built The Country" by Bo Södersten.

The author of the book has been in
*high position of the largest political party
*member the parliament for a decade
*part of the Finance Commitee
*and was a professor in political economy

The book was written in 1991.First he recognized during his travel that the difference between the asian tigers (Singapore, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea and Japan) and the rest of asia was freedom of movement/speech and right to ownership. This was also true of the west.

Scandinavia was no different. Sweden was one of the poorest countries in Europe in 1860. In 1860-1870 came the Liberal Party to power, and made reforms which gave people freedom and right to ownership. Sweden started its industrial revolution and had a continuesly growth, and also one of Europes highest, for 50 years before the Social Democratic Party came to power. The Social Democrats where very carefull, and made no large reforms until 1968. Because of the people being free and staying out of the World Wars, swedens managed to build on of the most valued industries in the world. But the socialist movement during the 70s and 80s destroyed much of the economy, the debt went almost out of control, and today are we paying the worlds highest taxes and are working much harder than before. We had more time because of the great industries ower forfathers built, but it is really a borrowed time. The avarage swedish person today:

*Has a libability of at least 170%. I believe US is 117% (Denmark is even worse!).
*Savings for only a month ahead.
*Long qeues for healthcare, and with often poor performance
*Schools in decline. We are today doing worse than US, despite being more homogeneous!
*Taxes at 70 - 80%!
*And we are now borrowing!

And recession never really hit us during 2008! Imagine what will happen now when the financial crisis is finally arriving. This Scandinavian glorification in media is a myth, leaving out a lot of important information. Capitalism built our countries, socialism is taking it away!

And one more thing for all you Ron Paulers out there. He mentions shortly, because he was in the financial commitee of the government, that they [the governments] where planning a world currency to coup with currency differences. But this project needed much more time, and he argued it would first be ready long in the future, as late as 2010.

Not Like America

This might not be popular to say but a big part of their success comes from being small countries with relatively homogeneous populations. The US is huge with a very diverse population. Not everyone in the US has the same idea of "the American dream." As a libertarian I embrace America's diversity and founding premise of equality in liberty not property.

Oh yeah, just another thought. What percentage of their budget do these other countries spend on the military?

The Scandinavian-Welfare Myth Revisited - Mises Institute


We have seen that while the Scandinavian countries have extremely high amounts of what Rothbard called binary intervention, i.e., taxation, their saving grace is their relatively lower amount of triangular intervention, i.e., regulation. This puts the Scandinavian countries on a level playing field with other developed countries and helps explain why they are able to have equal or higher living standards. The misconception that the other Western countries are a lot more free-market oriented than Scandinavia is very unfortunate; it feeds the notion that more government expansion would bring joy and happiness to all, when in fact it would make things worse.

However, the real point of all this is that the world at large is so unfree that even the massive Scandinavian welfare states can be considered among the "most free" countries in the world. While things have generally moved in the right direction in Scandinavia in terms of increased economic freedom, the very opposite trend seems to be taking place in several other countries, particularly the United States. Seeing as the United States has already descended to the level of Denmark in terms of economic freedom, one can only wonder how long it will be before it finds itself approaching Finland, Norway, and Sweden.

1. Americans enjoy higher average disposable (after tax) AND gross (before tax) income than Norwegians do.
2. Americans enjoy a significantly lower cost of living than do Norwegians (1.00 vs. 1.487).

Neither Finland nor holland

Neither Finland nor holland are any wealthier than the US. Norway certainly is, but it's an oil country. Qatar is Even wealthier. When you have a small population and massive amounts of natural resources, normal rules don't necessarily apply.

Also, it is a bit of a myth that these countries are all that more socialistic than the us. In California, if you add federal and state taxes, they are as high as European taxes. On top of that, things that are mandated by government in Europe, are mandated by lawyers and lawsuits in the us.

Also the U.S has the warfare state...

Much of U.S taxes are used for warfare instead of welfare.

I would argue they are more welfare-ist but since their vital 1993 reforms they are more economically liberal than the U.S.


if you go by the Fraser institute Denmark and Finland are more economically free than the USA.

Sweden and Norway are right below the USA all in the top thirty.

I heard a researcher give a speech on the index and basically if you are in the top 30 you have similar economic freedom and similar wealth to nearly every one else in that bracket. Notice every country is in the 7-point-something range except for the top 5. So we really are not that different than these great place you mention. Similar story on the heritage list too!

So what is sad is that the USA is roughly the same in economic freedom level as these socialist countries everyone thinks we should copy. Similar wealth too. If you want to make a comparison you have to use HK/singapore to Sweden. everything else is somewhere in-between and not vastly different. Zimbabwe compared to the Netherlands though...now the argument becomes clear...more freedom is better. Notice sound currency plays a huge role in this too.

We aren't talking giant differences in wealth between the usa and these counties listed.

Of course this is looking at the economy as a whole and it might not have statist touch in just the right places you are looking for.




America had the freest market (i.e., most libertarian economy/society) in history up to the early 20th century...and this is coincidentally, in the late 19th early 20th century when the market really got cooking, where the modern world was created. HUGE growth in all areas, ballooning middle class, skyrocketing average quality of life....every gizmo and technological advancement that changed everything about how the human race conducted its affairs was either invented, or finally produced efficiently enough to be useful, right here.

THIS is where libertarianism has been tried and has produced astounding positive results. Everything about how humans live, travel, think, communicate, etc., changed all of a sudden because the market went into high gear when all the "help" of government "experts" was almost completely removed for a period.

There was also, before the early/mid 20th century, very limited government education, a pretty wide open free press, little emphasis on licensing and higher education. The market was working (and the gov. wasn't "working") in a lot of ways that might not be immediately apparent, and the progress, overall, was phenomenal.

These socialist countries have tiny, homogeneous populations. Everyone looks and feels more or less the same, opportunities and hardships are flattened out. You're born, You run on your designated treadmill, you die. Who cares? Where's their world-changing art and technology....not tweaking things that already exist, but generating brand new things like the USA consistently has? They're duds in this area, because real art and innovation are responses to market incentives, not to having the state make sure your life is uneventful.

These places also have, I guarantee you, aspects of the market generating enough wealth to keep their systems afloat.....this is inevitable, because if they didn't have some market mechanisms at work, they'd go the way of the Soviet Union...so, to whatever extent wealth is generated in these places, that's libertarianism working, not socialism.

I have lived in both

I have lived in both countries (Sweden and Denmark) and sure it looks nice and people are nice, BUT there is no growth. You pay really high taxes and it is near impossible to go above the average wealth. I.e. it is comfortable communist country, just don't try to make your own fame and fortune bigger than anyone else.

They look at self-confidence as arrogance and there is a collectivist mindset that saying good things about yourself is a big no-no.

Someone who owned a business there told me he paid 73% in tax. They need all that money to pay for all the non-productive people and the welfare system, which includes "free" health care.

FYI Sweden has made changes and become more free market after their big housing bubble bursted.

Do some research on it. There are a few documentaries made, like Free to Choose part 2.

If you disagree with me on anything you are not a real libertarian...

because they aren't even trying 'free enterprise'--

the globalists don't hijack them--

leave them alone--

America made the mistake of trying 'free enterprise' and has been sabotaged/hijacked, but also *our* own arrogance has done that to us--

Norwegian ships were the first to show up in Haiti, too; those nations are 'liberal' in more ways than one--

it's hard to be awake; it's easier to dream--

They All Share Something In Common

They don't waste money on huge military budgets like the USA does. This has allowed them to direct a greater portion of revenues to fund their socialist utopian programs instead. It appears successful for now, but in the long run it is not likely to last.

no negros

that is their secret

All the world's most violent cities are Black or Hispanic.

Generally speaking, countries without significant Black or Hispanic populations have lower violent crime and murder rates.

I'm surprised to see all the thumbs down on the bitterly short, but truthful posting above.

~The 50 Most Dangerous Cities In The World~

Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/most-dangerous-cities-in-the-...

"Timid men prefer the calm of despotism to the tempestuous sea of liberty" TJ

Also, the people aren't wasteful

There is a very big difference in values: Americans are materialistic in the extreme. But Norwegians especially tend towards minimalism. It's not uncommon for single apartment dwellers in Norway to own just one small set plates, bowls, and utensils..enough to invite a few guests for dinner. Nothing more.

Likewise, Germans prefer to spend money on vacations and disposable experiences rather than living in McMansions are hoarding up goods. There is no incentive to amass wealth just to flaunt it (except with your car, perhaps) in these countries where waste is seriously frowned upon.

Also do not forget that the

Also do not forget that the US funds the bulk of NATO so we are paying for their defense. Europe's socialism would have already failed miserably without the US financially propping it up. If the dollar collapses, it's over for them, too.

Classical liberalism (libertarianism)

proved itself viable at the start of this country. Two hundred years ago, the United States was the most prosperous and freest nation on earth. It proved itself viable a hundred years ago during the age of so-called "big business." Americans experience more economic growth during the late 1800s than any other people in the history of the world in any time period. Sure, it wasn't pure libertarianism, but, Holland, Norway, and Denmark are not pure socialist economies.

I agree with Ron Paul

when he said that for socialism it generates an idea that "somebody owes me something, this mentality comes from poor self esteem, it destroys a person's ability to work, whereas production and creativity(both thrive in free nations)generates and gives a feeling of accomplishment and healthy self esteem, like building a car, writing a song, or filming a movie, this is extremely vital for a free nation because it promotes excellence and virtue, and brings people together, it sows the seeds for trust and communities

Ron Paul" I am convinced that when people lose their self esteem, there more likely to do violence to others, because they don't even have enough respect for themselves, so injuring others doesn't matter"

just awesome, thank you Dr.Paul

Personally, I find these ideas rather comical...

There are only two ways to organized exchanges, just like there are only two ways to acquire wealth!!!

1. An individual makes their own decisions.(market economy)
2. Someone else violently prevents the individual from making their own decisions.(planned economy)

"A little socialism" is just like "a touch of pregnancy". There is no sliding scale.

In the real world, we live under a condition called a "hampered economy". A hampered economy is one in which an entity who resources aren't linked to profit/loss interferes with the production of goods and services. This interference screws with the price mechanism, and always produces a result that always provides LESS human satisfaction that what would have occurred absent the interference.

In a hampered economy, the specific goods and services that the gov't interferes, entrepreneurs and investors get "crowded out" by the gov't, and these services no longer respond to the demands of customers. The result is always a LOWER standard of living than possible.

Most countries throughout the world are organized as market economies, with certain markets being hampered by the gov't. Because of the damage that hampering an economy MUST cause with the price mechanism, the situation should be judged relative to what COULD have been, if things weren't hampered.

The OP is comparing one hampered economy with another hampered economy, and then ASSUMING that the U.S. is less hampered than the others. The fact that the standard of living in those countries is higher PROVES that the people are LESS hampered than we are.

Any percieved "sustainability" is probably just another bubble.

Remember, you can completely blow your rent money and instantly become that much richer from that point all the way until you get evicted. doesn't mean that you are succeeding.

"I do not add 'within the limits of the law,' because law is often but the tyrant's will, and always so when it violates the right of an individual."

I lived in Scandinavia many years

The secret to their success is their protestant frame. The message of Luther came and changed their way of thinking. They built a society on: Honesty, hard work, charity, respect, etc, etc. BUT they are substituting their roots by the a postmodernist frame and that is spelling their doom. Some of the highest suicide rates in the world are found in Scandinavia: http://www.nordregio.se/templates/nordregio/pages/tni.aspx?i...

Show me the postmodernist country I will show you the highest suicide rate: http://www.suicide.org/images/suicide-rates-map.jpg

A good way to defend your freedoms: www.libertymagazine.org

Completely different country.

Completely different country. What works there might not work here.

For example, a lot of people talk about how Britain has many fewer homicides than they do in the US...but that isn't because of gun control or weapons policy, it is just the cultural norm. Less insane people walking the streets, etc.

Plan for eliminating the national debt in 10-20 years:

Overview: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/my-plan-for-reducin...

Specific cuts; defense spending: http://rolexian.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/more-detailed-look-a

lots of alcoholics

...in these countries just like in Russia imo.

Coupled with growing muslim populations these countries will collapse in due time because of apathy and degeneracy.



That sounds like a racist statement to me. Please elaborate for the rest of us how exactly an increased muslim population contributes to "apathy and degeneracy" in these countries.

Disregard government. Acquire liberty.