The Norwegian Welfare State

Comparing different nations on one single metric – say tax rates or health coverage or unemployment – is always dicey, especially when the economies are not similar. There are many variables at play and even the single metric you choose may be calculated differently in different countries.

But whatever, Norway has massive energy reserves, namely oil and  natural gas. Tiny Norway with $5.1M people has managed to squirrel away $800 billion in their sovereign wealth fund by saving and investing the surpluses from its energy revenues. Compare that with, say, Mexico. Does culture matter? Um, not sure… Anyway, to put that $800 billion in perspective if the U.S. had the same amount per capita the fund would be worth just under $50 Trillion. Yes, trillion. It’s over $150,000 per person. Pretty amazing.

Talk about income inequality. The Norwegians are the crooks! They’re profiteering on climate change so their greedy people can live a lifestyle of luxurious healthcare! Maybe Michael Moore will sail up a fjord with a megaphone screaming “Enjoy your free bypass surgery paid for by climate destruction. The victims of Hurricane Sandy and Typhoon Haiyan send their regards, at least the ones that are still alive.” That would be about par for that course.


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