Bring on the 12-month paid maternity leaves, the all-access-pass to nationalized health care. Because while capitalism was showing America who's your daddy (in our country, he who has the least morals and the most hunger, laughs all the way to his weekend house in the Hamptons), Norway's socialist finance minister was smugly buying our companies' depressed stock. The country has a cushy 11% budget surplus, zero national debt, and an economy that grew 3% last year while Uncle Sam was dancing a jig into a 12.9% deficit, $11 trillion in debt, and the Recession we now all know and love.
These statistics have me turning red with socialist envy.
Banks make up just two percent of the economy; drug addicts are given government-funded fixes (with clean needles); tight oversight means no excessive lending practices. Having recorded comfortable amounts of income from the North Sea oil, Norway saved the money in its sovereign wealth fund; the one that was buying U.S. stock as the markets crashed last fall. The U.K. spent its oil money during the market's upswing. But are our governments feeling guilty? Nope. They should be, says Norway expert Anders Aslund, "in Norway, there is instead a sense of virtue. If you are given a lot, you have a responsibility."
Hmm... "of whom much is given, of him much will be required," anyone? I guess socialism and good old-school Christianity aren't that different, after all. An economy upon whose money God's name is printed would do well to emulate the Christ-like morals of an economy where, on the 10-kroner coin, is the phrase Alt for Norge, meaning Everything for Norway.
It's ironic, isn't it? That a country whose public policy loves its sinners, cares for its indigent, and does not confuse religion and patriotism should end up profiting while a country like ours crashes and burns? The Norwegians are laughing. And don't make me write, "all the way to the bank."
Instead, let's take the (obviously untrue) pious statement off our money, put a noose on our banks, socialize our health care system and take care of our working poor. Those who still believe socialism is evil? Please, feel free to blackball me. I'd be happy never to work in this town again if it would mean the U.S. would finally wake up and smell the integrity it hasn't had for a century or more.
Give us socialism, or else, you know.