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U.S. Prosperity Slides in Index That Ranks Norway No. 1

The U.S. slid from the top ten most prosperous nations for the first time in a league table which ranked three Scandinavian nations the best for wealth and wellbeing.

The U.S. fell to 12th position from 10th in the Legatum Institute’s annual prosperity index amid increased doubts about the health of its economy and ability of politicians. Norway, Denmark and Sweden were declared the most prosperous in the index, published in London today.

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-30/u-s-prosperity-slides-in-index-that-ranks-norway-no-1.html

This can't be right surely- those commie 'socialsts' do prosperity better than the good old USof A? :lol:

Yes- I know that Norway, Denmark and Sweden are hardly socialist states in reality- but in the US they are seen as being so.

It's going to be interesting to see how they spin this one.

After all the these places all have the same flaws- they all have well developed welfare systems, they don't treat their working people like trash and they don't allow their bankers to run the country- how on earth can they be be doing better than the states?

Edited by wonderpup
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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-30/u-s-prosperity-slides-in-index-that-ranks-norway-no-1.html

This can't be right surely- those commie 'socialsts' do prosperity better than the good old USof A? :lol:

Yes- I know that Norway, Denmark and Sweden are hardly socialist states in reality- but in the US they are seen as being so.

It's going to be interesting to see how they spin this one.

After all the these places all have the same flaws- they all have well developed welfare systems, they don't treat their working people like trash and they don't allow their bankers to run the country- how on earth can they be be doing better than the states?

Natural resources?

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Is there any transparency around who funds the Legatum Institute's research? I couldn't find much detail after a basic Google search.

Their research funding sources would be a good place to start thinking about the possible conflict of interest between vested interests in the way that their "index of wellbeing" is constructed and the tribalist goals of their funders.

Before we start to worry about the implications of the results, it would be useful to understand the construction of their results and the possible conflict of interest between their results and the interests of those who fund their results. This is a potential problem that is not at all unique to left wing statists. The right wing statists are potentially just as guilty.

I dream of a post tribal political system where I am allowed to make a la carte choices between individual policies rather than being forced to choose between two "least worst" fixed menus, neither of which satisfy me in their entirety. Representative democracy is neither representative nor democratic.

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Is there any transparency around who funds the Legatum Institute's research? I couldn't find much detail after a basic Google search.

Their research funding sources would be a good place to start thinking about the possible conflict of interest between vested interests in the way that their "index of wellbeing" is constructed and the tribalist goals of their funders.

Before we start to worry about the implications of the results, it would be useful to understand the construction of their results and the possible conflict of interest between their results and the interests of those who fund their results. This is a potential problem that is not at all unique to left wing statists. The right wing statists are potentially just as guilty.

I dream of a post tribal political system where I am allowed to make a la carte choices between individual policies rather than being forced to choose between two "least worst" fixed menus, neither of which satisfy me in their entirety. Representative democracy is neither representative nor democratic.

The Legatum Institute is the charity arm of a Private Investment Fund ran from Dubai by Mr Chandler, a New Zealand Billionaire.

Him and his brother (who runs a similar fund from singapore) were the chaps behind the sovereign global fund that made them billionaire but buying up a load of sovient area assets in the 90's. Pretty dodgy characters who have made it good.

However if you are looking for vested interest I think you won't find any here. I genuinely think they are just trying to do some good with the charity side of what they do (and shed some of the guilt from the other side).

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Is there any transparency around who funds the Legatum Institute's research? I couldn't find much detail after a basic Google search.

Since Scandinavian countries have been topping these indexes for the last twenty-odd years, is it so unthinkable that they generally have a better quality of life than the average US citizen?

Does The Economist have a political axe to grind by listing the USA 13th in 2005? (Notice also the Scandinavian countries in the top ten then).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quality-of-life_Index

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Since Scandinavian countries have been topping these indexes for the last twenty-odd years, is it so unthinkable that they generally have a better quality of life than the average US citizen?

Does The Economist have a political axe to grind by listing the USA 13th in 2005? (Notice also the Scandinavian countries in the top ten then).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quality-of-life_Index

Genetics and education must play a part. Scandinavians tend to look at the bigger and long term picture and have stuck with the model for generations. The population of the US and UK generally take the view that unbridled capitalism produces instant gains and as long as we can keep producing instant gains whats the problem.

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Genetics and education must play a part. Scandinavians tend to look at the bigger and long term picture and have stuck with the model for generations. The population of the US and UK generally take the view that unbridled capitalism produces instant gains and as long as we can keep producing instant gains whats the problem.

I agree - and that's why Ireland is in that Economist list from 2005.

People tend to forget that things like healthcare and education take long term commitment if they are to deliver maximum benefit.

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Since Scandinavian countries have been topping these indexes for the last twenty-odd years, is it so unthinkable that they generally have a better quality of life than the average US citizen?

Does The Economist have a political axe to grind by listing the USA 13th in 2005? (Notice also the Scandinavian countries in the top ten then).

http://en.wikipedia....y-of-life_Index

maybe a more precise description would be to compare Scandinavia with, say, Alaska, or the EU against the USA

as it also happens, apart from Norway, Scandinavia has been rejecting socialism since the late 90s scandinavian financial crisis, having had a variety of left and right wing governments since 1970ish AFAIK

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Genetics and education must play a part. Scandinavians tend to look at the bigger and long term picture and have stuck with the model for generations. The population of the US and UK generally take the view that unbridled capitalism produces instant gains and as long as we can keep producing instant gains whats the problem.

Genetics does play a very important role. If you look more Aryan than the Germans, then Hitler doesn't destroy your country in WWII and you win big in the post-war boom as all of your competitors suffer from wartime devastation.

Seriously, trying to ascribe the success of Scandinavian countries to some sort of racial superiority is ridiculous. If you actually look at long term data on GDP growth, it's pretty easy to see why they've been successful over the past 75 years. These countries didn't suffer from WWII, then used that head start to maintain their positions as high per capita GDP countries. The same is true of Switzerland (though no one seems to want to sing the praises of the Swiss miracle). Norway is also a one-off due to oil wealth in a country with a very small population.

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as it also happens, apart from Norway, Scandinavia has been rejecting socialism since the late 90s scandinavian financial crisis, having had a variety of left and right wing governments since 1970ish AFAIK

You need to stop watching the punch and judy show. It's the red team vs the blue team, it's the left vs the right, etc.

It doesn't matter if your party calls themselves, it's public social spending vs not.

From the OECD:

46325231Chart_SOCX_2010.JPG

Public and private social expenditure in percentage of GDP in 2007

http://www.oecd.org/social/socialpoliciesanddata/socialexpendituredatabasesocx.htm

No surprise that Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark have more public social spending than the US. Certainly not the only factor behind their "sticky" position at the top of these indexes.

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http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-10-30/u-s-prosperity-slides-in-index-that-ranks-norway-no-1.html

This can't be right surely- those commie 'socialsts' do prosperity better than the good old USof A? :lol:

Yes- I know that Norway, Denmark and Sweden are hardly socialist states in reality- but in the US they are seen as being so.

It's going to be interesting to see how they spin this one.

After all the these places all have the same flaws- they all have well developed welfare systems, they don't treat their working people like trash and they don't allow their bankers to run the country- how on earth can they be be doing better than the states?

The answer of this is simple - Scandinavian living in the US are having higher standard of living compared to Scandinavian living in the Nordic countries. If the Nordic lets the Mexican et all in to reach the same mix as it is in the US, then we will have a fair comparison.

And maybe the Nordic countries would like to compare themselves to the near-capitalist HK and Singapore too (about the same population size...)

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I'm not sure what this measure is, there are others:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28PPP%29_per_capita

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_Development_Index

I can't see any specific correlation i.e. welfare spending is propotional to wealth.

The only thing that really stands out in these lists, is that it is the smaller nations that usually top them.

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Is there any transparency around who funds the Legatum Institute's research? I couldn't find much detail after a basic Google search.

It is run by Christopher Chandler who is a "reclusive" New Zealand billionaire who made his money through investing in emerging markets and buying up state assets in times of financial crisis. I don't think he is that much of a commie to be honest.

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Genetics does play a very important role. If you look more Aryan than the Germans, then Hitler doesn't destroy your country in WWII and you win big in the post-war boom as all of your competitors suffer from wartime devastation.

Seriously, trying to ascribe the success of Scandinavian countries to some sort of racial superiority is ridiculous. If you actually look at long term data on GDP growth, it's pretty easy to see why they've been successful over the past 75 years. These countries didn't suffer from WWII, then used that head start to maintain their positions as high per capita GDP countries. The same is true of Switzerland (though no one seems to want to sing the praises of the Swiss miracle). Norway is also a one-off due to oil wealth in a country with a very small population.

Delusional.

Germany suffered the most in WW2 and they are now the strongest economy in Europe with biggest manufacturing sector.Japan was also hit hard and a couple of cities nuked and they are still the 3rd biggest economy on earth.Russia is a member of 'BRICS' who is supposed to be the new superpower bloc.China occupied by Japan from 1937, major cities bombed and taken by Japan....Do i need to continue?

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Delusional.

Germany suffered the most in WW2 and they are now the strongest economy in Europe with biggest manufacturing sector.Japan was also hit hard and a couple of cities nuked and they are still the 3rd biggest economy on earth.Russia is a member of 'BRICS' who is supposed to be the new superpower bloc.China occupied by Japan from 1937, major cities bombed and taken by Japan....Do i need to continue?

It was pointed out to me in the late 60s that in fact Germany and Japan had a great advantage in having their manufacturing sectors destroyed in WW2. They were able to start off with new, then modern plant rather than having to continue to use the old stuff to the end of it's planned economic life. Don't forget that heavy industrial plant installed before WW2 might have had an anticipated life of half a century. And of course, unlike the UK, Germany did not spend the Marshall Plan money on socialism.

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Is there any transparency around who funds the Legatum Institute's research? I couldn't find much detail after a basic Google search.

Their research funding sources would be a good place to start thinking about the possible conflict of interest between vested interests in the way that their "index of wellbeing" is constructed and the tribalist goals of their funders.

Before we start to worry about the implications of the results, it would be useful to understand the construction of their results and the possible conflict of interest between their results and the interests of those who fund their results. This is a potential problem that is not at all unique to left wing statists. The right wing statists are potentially just as guilty.

I dream of a post tribal political system where I am allowed to make a la carte choices between individual policies rather than being forced to choose between two "least worst" fixed menus, neither of which satisfy me in their entirety. Representative democracy is neither representative nor democratic.

Capitalism and democracy are irreconcilable concepts.

We may have democracy in this country, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both.

US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

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And of course, unlike the UK, Germany did not spend the Marshall Plan money on socialism.

For the first 8 years, the Germans thought all the money they were given under the Marshall Plan was a loan that would have to be repaid. Given the problems resulting from repayment of WWI reparations they were therefore very careful about how they spent it.

The UK (and most other countries who received aid) didn't even start with that impression most of the money would have to be repaid.

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I can't remember where I read it, but there's a story about some government conference back in the 80s I liked. A Swedish delegate had a go at the US person and said something along the lines of 'we don't have an unemployment problem in Sweden, you should copy us' to which the US guy replied 'but we don't have an unemployment problem amongst Swedes either'. It made the point that much of economics is inextricably bound up with social structures very well I thought. By the way, Swedish labour laws are not very strict at all, probably less so than the US in fact, which makes the idea that Sweden is somehow socialist seem rather silly. It would be more accurate to say that Sweden has a greater level of social solidarity than the US and, overall, a stronger work ethic. Probably something to do with being Lutherans.

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A society`s standard of living is simply the result of natural selection:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IQ_and_the_Wealth_of_Nations

As has been mentioned before. Compare and contrast east and west germany. North Korea and South Korea. Same people, different results. The trouble comes when totalitarian ideologies gain strength...If scandi doesnt clamp down on Islamism, I dont see much future for them.

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Delusional.

Germany suffered the most in WW2 and they are now the strongest economy in Europe with biggest manufacturing sector.Japan was also hit hard and a couple of cities nuked and they are still the 3rd biggest economy on earth.Russia is a member of 'BRICS' who is supposed to be the new superpower bloc.China occupied by Japan from 1937, major cities bombed and taken by Japan....Do i need to continue?

Sweden, Denmark, and Norway (as well as Switzerland), all have a higher GDP per capita than Germany to this day.

The overall size of an economy is irrelevant in discussions like this. Of course, China, with more than a billion people, is going to have a bigger economy than Norway, which has a population of a few tens of millions (if even that). Germany has a much larger land mass and much higher population than any of the Scandinavian countries, so of course it's economy is bigger. The point of the discussion was whether the Scandinavian model of "socialism" produced better results, and the point of my post is that there are historical factors at play here that make simple judgements rather questionable.

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I can't remember where I read it, but there's a story about some government conference back in the 80s I liked. A Swedish delegate had a go at the US person and said something along the lines of 'we don't have an unemployment problem in Sweden, you should copy us' to which the US guy replied 'but we don't have an unemployment problem amongst Swedes either'. It made the point that much of economics is inextricably bound up with social structures very well I thought. By the way, Swedish labour laws are not very strict at all, probably less so than the US in fact, which makes the idea that Sweden is somehow socialist seem rather silly. It would be more accurate to say that Sweden has a greater level of social solidarity than the US and, overall, a stronger work ethic. Probably something to do with being Lutherans.

Unemployment rate in Sweden in Sept 2012 = 7.8%

Unemployment rate in the state of Minnesota (large number of Scandinavian immigrants) in Sept 2012 = 5.8%

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It is run by Christopher Chandler who is a "reclusive" New Zealand billionaire who made his money through investing in emerging markets and buying up state assets in times of financial crisis. I don't think he is that much of a commie to be honest.

So he is like Soros then : happy to make his money when nations have their "Austrian moments" but feels that once he has made enough, he has the right to climb onto his high horse and tell the rest of us how we should think.

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