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After Living in Norway, America Feels Backward. Here’s Why.

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posted on Feb, 3 2016 @ 04:47 PM

originally posted by: Bluesma

I am a little confused - with medicare and medicaid, not everyone is eligible for that - so you (or I) would be paying for someone else, getting nothing ourselves for our money.
With this kind of medical coverage, your money would be getting your care. Maybe that other guy is paying for you one month, and you're paying for him another month, whatever way you want to imagine it. But YOU get something for your money.

You actually feel it more fair and logical that you pay for others on medicare and medicaid, and get nothing yourself?
(Or are you eligible for those programs?)

Please note that I said that "I don't mind things like Medicare or Medicaid," I didn't say that I adore them. I fully understand that I may not necessarily get anything out of it, but I understand that as living in a part of a society, there are some people who need to be cared for in certain ways who cannot take care of themselves. Please note that I specify "cannot," and that I know that this is absolutely different from those who are unwilling to take care of themselves.

It's sometimes okay to pay for things for a society and get nothing out of it for myself, I would just like things like that held at a bare minimum level. You'll also note that I don't mind these programs IF they are run efficiently and correctly, whereas most are not.

I have lived in the US for 24 years, and I agreed with that posters observation.
Have you lived in one of these european countries with this sort of system and culture?
I feel like I never had any idea what solidarity and social conscience even was before I came here. (though I thought I did).
The people here would not even dare to consider that the health of their fellow countrymen is no concern of theirs individually.

I lived in Germany for 3.5 years, but that was when I was in the service, so I had access to the military system (which is similar to socialized medicine in that there is a premium paid and everything is at no cost to the soldier).

Ask most Service Members and their families--sure, it's a no-cost visit, but the wait times suck, many of the doctors and nurses are sub-par or incompetent, and the emergency services get abused. I was ecstatic to leave that system, even if it cost me more, because it then gave me the freedom to do things with my own money. When I turned from a Soldier to a military spouse, that medical system was even worse, as family members are low on the priority scale at military hospitals.

Everyone I spoke to frowned at me and acted like I am egotistical and selfish, (and stupid). They all repeated one sentence-
"We need to keep solidarity."

They understand something we do not, about keeping our power as a people, in relation to our government.
But we're a young nation in contrast, and so maybe that is as it should be. We're still growing up.

I don't think that the age of the country has as much to do with it as the vastness and population and multitude of cultures here. We don't have what many European nations have--there's no real single culture or way of acting, because we are so diverse as a nation. I'm okay with that, although I do agree that we need to come together as a nation sometimes and tell the government how pointless, ridiculous, and sometimes illegal they are acting.

posted on Feb, 3 2016 @ 04:51 PM
a reply to: whatsup86

Well sorry, but I've been to all 50 states, numerous times. I feel compelled to question your knowledge, bias and assessment.

Of course times are much tougher in the last ten years. You will find that occurring in the EU as we speak, albeit, delayed somewhat. We have had incompetent leadership of late and
it has had a telling affect.

Having said that, YOU ignore the one million per year legal immigrants and the vast number of illegals also. Is the veneer thicker in more socialist countries between comfort and economic hardship? I suppose that is true.

The inclination here, traditionally, and politically is to stay out of people's affairs. They can have the freedom to sink or swim as they choose. That is changing. I completely distrust socialism and it's hubris in dictating how much and what should and shouldn't do in my life. Not all agree with that sentiment. It's around a 50-50 split right now in the U.S..

I, for one, will take extra work any day over being 'kept' like a favored pet.

Of course, you disagree. I don't ask for agreement. I would like a modicum of understanding that the culture is different in the U.S. and Canada, Australia and the like.

Rough times ahead for all, I suspect. It will be the workers that survive it and , again, flourish. not the politician. Good luck to will need it.

posted on Feb, 3 2016 @ 04:55 PM
a reply to: whatsup86

I did...but I wasn't talking about Sanders, hence me pointing out that I wasn't talking about Sanders.


a reply to: whatsup86

You do understand that amount of hours worked does not equate to "working harder," right? I may not make sense to you, but that doesn't mean that I don't make sense.

Quantum physics doesn't always make sense to me, but it does to people who actually get it. Something tells me that you're not actually getting it, otherwise you would understand that record under-employment, record people who have dropped out of the work force altogether, and record amounts of people on welfare programs doesn't exactly equate to harder working people. It doesn't necessarily equate to people being lazy, either (and I never said that they were, I said that they lacked motivation and are apathetic)--you're the one that brought up laziness. Maybe they're just jaded, but who am I to speak on their behalf? And for that matter, who are you to do the same?

posted on Feb, 3 2016 @ 05:03 PM

originally posted by: Swills
a reply to: Sargeras

Only the blind think Trump isn't apart of the oligarchy and is out to help the middle class.

Doesn't matter he will not win.

Bernie or Cruz will win.

posted on Feb, 3 2016 @ 05:15 PM
That was a great article! Good, in-depth comparisons of the Nordic model vs the American - in both business and life at home. Their collective works for the collective, the US collective pools what it has and gives 90% of it to the "owner class" who feel entitled to the vast majority of the profits because they invested money, therefore "risking" losing it. Not that the truck driver or factory worker is taking any risks - only with their lives instead of money. Seems to me they deserve the lion's share of the profits and not someone who risks mere pieces of paper in investments.

We could learn much from the Scandinavians but that would endanger the stranglehold on wealth the already too-well-to-do have. Having a somewhat homogenous population makes their system run easier, Americans are divided against themselves in every way imaginable to prevent them from acting in concert like the unions used to do. They have made unions a dirty word in the US by taking them over and making crime syndicates of some while using others to abuse the public purse.

Imagine 6 year old children capable of using an axe responsibly and safely, being able to build a fire in the forest and even find something to eat in an emergency. By age 6 most American kids cry and scream bloody murder if they can't have the newest video game or watch their favorite show. Giving them an axe is an invitation to probable animal mutilation or at a minimum some piece of furniture destroyed.

While it's heartening to know there is a middle way that works for everyone it's also heart-breaking to realize just badly America has lost it's way; devaluing human life in pursuit of higher profit margins. The real bottom line is not a number, people are not numbers and our lives are too valuable to waste toiling away to help someone else live in extravagance. At some point we stopped caring about each other and became more concerned with me, my and mine. It will all blow away in the winds of chaos unleashed by the endless greed of a heartless few.
edit on 3-2-2016 by Asktheanimals because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 3 2016 @ 05:31 PM
In the 70’s the labor movement were talking about getting a 35 hour work week, 6 or 7 hour work day, retirement at late 50’s or early 60’s, the economic ecosystem was evolving to this….Then came the conservative (slave revolution) started by Ronald Reagan in the 80’s. that stopped all of this progress with his greed is good philosophy and the huge tax cuts for the rich...

Then what makes it worst was phony progressive, “liberal” democrats like Bill Clinton and Obama who do the trade deals and pretend that they are for the people but are just like the republicans...servants of the 1 percent.

The dems are the good cop and the GOP is the bad cop and together they have ruined the economic eco system that was making progress.

Union bashing, bad trade deals (NAFTA.GATT/TPP) and we have what we have today:

Economic devolution

edit on 3-2-2016 by Willtell because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 3 2016 @ 05:33 PM
a reply to: supermarket2012

You didn't ask for a solution to the ills. Obviously, they are different than mine.

Never, NEVER, has there been more grants for education, training, on-line or at educational sites to improve one's lot. Many would rather play on the net, watch TV or socialize than take personal responsibility for their futures. No, not all, but it goes without saying that those that could, aren't and those that can't would be aided without further breaking the bank, as a result.

Right now? Nothing more than the victim ploy. In this case, "I'm overworked". Half the farmers and ranchers in this country-and most countries-work from dawn to dusk. YEAR ROUND.

Over worked?? Poor babies. LMAO. Wait until this mess collapses and you think the work is hard now?

I've worked 60 -90 per week for almost my entire 65 years. Guess what? it's no big deal. What I have to show for that work is an awesome daughter, two great grandchildren that are far better prepared for life than I ever was.

What man can ask for more than that? I played the cards I was dealt. So must we all. The sooner one realizes this, the better off one is. Mistakes? A bounty of them. I would pass this to you as a gift, your success, and therefore happiness, isn't based on a system, number of hours worked or not worked, it depends on you
, not how much you are gifted, it's what you have earned. What you have created. What affects on others you mete out.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

posted on Feb, 3 2016 @ 05:47 PM
The Scandinavian countries and Europeans are just doing the basics. Feed your population, fulfill the basic human needs of your population, and don’t torture your own people in an economic ecosystem that breeds human misery like the US is devolving to at this pint.

Don’t leave 10 or 15 percent of your population in poverty and despair; try to make everybody satisfied in a system that fulfills basic needs...

This isn’t going to be any nirvana or utopia, since psychological and spiritual realities are more important and actually are the basis of happiness, but basic material needs are just fundamental to human satisfaction and without them you have nothing to build on…

You can’t be happy in a system if your hungry and don’t have the security of health care and the system no longer provides, like the US is devolving into, a decent living.

Do the basics and build on that

But the US is going backwards not forward. They’ve created a false idea of “freedom”.

How are you going to be free when your children have no future but college debt and austerity to look forward to, or the necessity to work 2 or 3 jobs just to survive?

posted on Feb, 3 2016 @ 06:40 PM

originally posted by: nwtrucker
Never, NEVER, has there been more grants for education, training, on-line or at educational sites to improve one's lot. Many would rather play on the net, watch TV or socialize than take personal responsibility for their futures. No, not all, but it goes without saying that those that could, aren't and those that can't would be aided without further breaking the bank, as a result.

It was even better in the 50's and 60's but in the 70's you could attend most universities for a year including room and board for nothing more than the price of your wages from a summer job. That was a great education grant. You got on the job experience, got to take classes, and had survival covered. Today it is much different, you go into debt that takes 20 years to pay off (if you can pay it off at all) and you get virtually no help. You mention education grants, do you know what grants are available to the typical person in the US for college? If you're in the bottom 5% of income earners in the country (and your parents income counts against you until age 26) you can get a maximum of $30,000 over 6 years. Less than one years tuition at most schools. Everything else is private scholarships/grants which can only help at most 10% of the people who apply for them. If you don't get those (and they're typically small) loans are the only option.

[quote[I've worked 60 -90 per week for almost my entire 65 years. Guess what? it's no big deal. What I have to show for that work is an awesome daughter, two great grandchildren that are far better prepared for life than I ever was.

So you advocate working 75 hours/week? I take it you don't think much of workers rights? How much did working that much get you? 35 hours/week fewer of seeing your family. 35 hours/week less of life that you got to experience. If you start working at 16 and live to 80 you'll have 350,400 waking hours available. Minus a 40 hour/week job until age 65 which takes 101,920 hours and you have 248,480 hours to actually live. Taking another 35 hours/week out of that drops you by another 89,180 hours to a mere 159,300 hours to live life. Seems pretty sad to me, that's only 18 years total out of 80 to live, everything else is spent sleeping or given to an employer to make them wealthy at your expense.

posted on Feb, 3 2016 @ 06:49 PM
a reply to: onequestion

We got here bc of the people who voted for BUSH. TWICE!
. If they vote for TRUMP, I can tell you this. The worst is yet to come. For the sheeps. I remember Clinton getting impeached, and he was doing a hell of a job! Balanced the damn budget! America got what it deserved. When you vote dumb, you pay for it. Just my two cents.

Oh a bad america is still >>>>> much >>>> most other countries.

posted on Feb, 3 2016 @ 06:51 PM
a reply to: onequestion

work smart and hard. don't just blindly work hard. always add to ur skill tree and "mind your own business" as in building something outside of ur 9-5. If you don't. you'll be a slave to the system forever.

posted on Feb, 3 2016 @ 06:57 PM
a reply to: Aazadan

Workers rights? Don't like your job, get another one.

You weren't around in the fifties and sixties, sonny. Besides I didn't say on whit about universities. I was talking about trade training, on-line courses. Grants from all levels of gov't that weren't there in the day. Opportunity does exist, my leftist friend.

As far as worker's rights go, which has NOTHING to do with what I was referring to and you know it, we've never had more 'workers right's' than we do now.

You can sit at home and invent on-line games at your leisure, put in the hours you feel appropriate. Your call. Those opportunities weren't around in the day.

If you feel the need to respond to a post of mine, do me the courtesy of responding to what I posted rather than changing it to some other subject/s.

posted on Feb, 3 2016 @ 07:14 PM
a reply to: onequestion


World | Thu May 8, 2014 4:08am EDT
Related: World, Norway
End of oil boom threatens Norway's welfare model
OSLO | By Balazs Koranyi

A woman begs for money outside a shop in downtown Bergen, southwestern Norway, in this March 21, 2012 file photo.
Reuters/Stoyan Nenov/Files

Norway's energy boom is tailing off years ahead of expectations, exposing an economy unprepared for life after oil and threatening the long-term viability of the world's most generous welfare model.

High spending within the sector has pushed up wages and other costs to unsustainable levels, not just for the oil and gas industry but for all sectors, and that is now acting as a drag on further energy investment. Norwegian firms outside oil have struggled to pick up the slack in what has been, for at least a decade, almost a single-track economy.

How Norway handles this "curse of oil" - huge wealth that bring unhealthy dependency in its train - may hold lessons across the North Sea in Scotland, which votes on independence from the United Kingdom later this year, relying at least in part on what it sees as its oil revenues.

Norway had the foresight to put aside a massive $860 billion rainy-day cash pile, or $170,000 per man, woman and child. It also has huge budget surpluses, a top-notch AAA credit rating and low unemployment, so tangible decline is not imminent.

But costs have soared, non-oil exporters are struggling, the government is spending $20 billion more oil money this year than in 2007 and the generous welfare model, which depends on a steady flow of oil tax revenue may not be preparing Norwegians for tougher times.

"In Norway, job security seems to be taken for granted, almost like it's a human right to have a job," says Hans Petter Havdal, CEO of car-parts maker Kongsberg Automotive.

Kongsberg Automotive has only 5 percent of its workers left in Norway, having moved jobs to places like Mexico, China and the United States, and keeping only high-tech, automated functions at home. It says it is struggling with high labor costs and even problems such as excessive sick leave.

"It's a bit discouraging that the sick leave in Norway is twice the level of other plants," Havdal said. "That is to me an indication that something is not as it should be."
In 2012, a new word entered the Norwegian lexicon - to "nave", or live off benefits from welfare agency NAV.

"Approximately 600,000 Norwegians ... who should be part of the labor force are outside the labor force, because of welfare, pension issues," says Siv Jensen, the finance minister.

With around 5 million people in total population there are around 600,000 that are not working, and should be working but are taking advantage of thew welfare of Norway. That's not counting the real people who have disabilities and should be on welfare.

The oil boom of Norway will not last. What will happen then to the economy of Norway?

Also, any form of extremism is bad. And Norway is a very anti-semitic extremist country.

Norway's Problem with Anti-Semitism
December 2012

Anti-Semitism in Norway has become such a serious threat that many Jews are emigrating to Israel and elsewhere to escape it. Human rights activists, police and leaders of the rapidly shrinking Jewish community fear that soon, for the first time in centuries, Jews will have no visible presence in Norway at all.

I travelled to Norway last month with an open mind about the plight of the Jews and the rumours of the growing hostility toward them. As a leftwing critic of Zionism, of mixed Jewish and Catholic heritage, I was sceptical about the claims in some of the Israeli and alternative Norwegian press about the rise in anti-Semitism being the result of searching for scapegoats. What I found was a mixture of cowardly cultural relativism, examples of rabid Jew-hatred and a liberal Left that had joined forces with radical Islamists.

Norway has a history of anti-Semitism dating back to before the Second World War. Many Norwegians collaborated during the five-year Nazi occupation and the Quisling regime, and about a third of all Jews—some 750 out of 2,100—were sent to concentration camps. But the prevailing view is that, until recently, Jews had existed alongside gentiles without too much fuss.

Estimates of the number of Jews in Norway range from 800 to 1,200 out of a total population of five million. It is hard to be precise because of an increasing tendency of Norwegian Jews to distance themselves from their community and to live outside the remaining cultural and religious centres.

Those are some of the problems, and future problems that will worsen in Norway.

Too many people are only focusing on the now, and want more, but want to ignore what will happen in the future.

Oh, and btw, I am not rich, nor am i a shill for any company...

edit on 3-2-2016 by ElectricUniverse because: add and correct comment.

posted on Feb, 3 2016 @ 10:15 PM

originally posted by: nwtrucker
As far as worker's rights go, which has NOTHING to do with what I was referring to and you know it, we've never had more 'workers right's' than we do now.

Not true at all. Wages have been going backwards for 30 years, as have benefits. Health care has become more and more prohibitive (though atleast you're no longer only allowed access to the health care your employer deems appropriate), PTO has dropped year after year for 20 years, average working hours have risen. All of these things represent a very real decline in workers rights and are all issues that Norway has either solved or atleast made progress on. For that matter the majority of Europe has made progress on that front as have Japan and Singapore. Out of developed nations only the US really lags behind.

Forget Norway, we work more than Japan, for less compensation, and employees are far less valued/cared for. It's pretty bad when you're worse off than the nation known for working very hard for few rewards.

posted on Feb, 3 2016 @ 10:22 PM
a reply to: Willtell

You can’t be happy in a system if your hungry and don’t have the security of health care and the system no longer provides, like the US is devolving into, a decent living.


If you are hungry, insecure, and worried about surviving each and every day, there is no room for "pursuit of happiness."

There is only "pursuit of existence."
Maslow's heirarchy of needs.
I know you are aware of this....
just wanted to bump the concept:

When people are desperate, not knowing where they will lay their heads that night, or how they will feed their kids or themselves, or whether they will be alive come the morning.....
there is NO ROOM for 'introspection', for 'imagining what one might become'.....

it is all "live or die today."

posted on Feb, 3 2016 @ 10:37 PM
The first comment:

A few obvious facts to consider:

1. Norway's population is essentially homogeneous. So there is little to no racial tension.
2. Norway's population is about 1.7% of the US.
3. Norway's land mass is 61st, US is 3rd.
4. Norway's GDP is 420 billion, US is 17.1 trillion.
5. Norway's culture is essentially homogeneous as well. US has cultural impacts from everywhere in the world.

So, to think that one can apply the example of a small country which is about the size of a large US city to a country as vast and complicated as the US is intellectually dishonest and foolish.

Enter "Federalism."

Yes, that quaint concept of decentralized government, where these things called 'States' were intended to see to the everyday needs of the People instead of a monolithic federal government that is disconnected from day to day activities. If we actually let each State operate as its own sub-country with minimal central government interference, they might be able to operate in a much more responsive manner instead of having to follow rules and regs from DC. They might actually find solutions that could be adopted by others. Because if people like centralized government, why shouldn't they be even happier with 50 centralized government?

Bonus: the writer, Ann Jones, said that her Homeland was in decline. And whaddayaknow... her 'homeland' in the USA was New York and Massachusetts. Good job with those liberal (socialist democratic) policies.

posted on Feb, 3 2016 @ 10:59 PM
a reply to: BuzzyWigs

You really should stop with the claims that Bernie, and socialism will resolve all the problems you claim will resolve, because these same claims were made by other "social democrats" and "socialists" in the past and it "never" solved any problems... Instead the problems got worse in those same countries...

People like Bernie want to re-write the United States Constitution, or even change the meaning of what it actually says...

You claim it is not socialism, yet "social democrat" = "democratic socialist"...

The Big Winner of the 2016 Race: Democratic Socialism
As Bernie Sanders heads into the New Hampshire primary, things are looking up for the left.
By Elizabeth Bruenig
February 3, 2016

On Monday night, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont tested out his “radical idea”—a vision of American democratic socialism—with real American voters in Iowa. Numerically, the race was a dead heat, with Clinton barely inching ahead of Sanders. It was not, in other words, the kind of explosive surge that might produce its own groundswell of enthusiasm, a victory begetting more victories. But for a candidate who had been expected to be a non-threatening bit-player in the Democratic primary, the achievement was enormous. And for Americans hoping to see a way forward for democratic socialism on their home turf, it was even bigger.

People like you keep trying to hide the truth of what people like Bernie are trying to bring into the United States, and such deception is obvious.

Socialism is not the answer. It never was and it will NEVER be. It only makes government bigger, and gives the ability of those who control the government to have control over everything...

Social democracy, political ideology that advocates a peaceful, evolutionary transition of society from capitalism to socialism using established political processes. Based on 19th-century socialism and the tenets of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, social democracy shares common ideological roots with communism but eschews its militancy and totalitarianism. Social democracy was originally known as revisionism because it represented a change in basic Marxist doctrine, primarily in the former’s repudiation of the use of revolution to establish a socialist society.

That is what you want, and that is what Bernie stands for...

edit on 3-2-2016 by ElectricUniverse because: correct comment.

posted on Feb, 4 2016 @ 12:05 AM
The grass always appears greener until you realize they just use a different type of manure.

posted on Feb, 4 2016 @ 02:30 AM

originally posted by: Outlier13
The grass always appears greener until you realize they just use a different type of manure.

It's the same kind of manure socialists have been throwing around for dozens, and dozens of times. Trying to appeal to workers by claiming they will have control, when in socialism the people as individuals cannot control the means of production, only the State...

It's the same old lies which millions of people believed throughout the last 100 years, and the end result wasn't an utopia, but a despotic left-wing regime.

edit on 4-2-2016 by ElectricUniverse because: correct comment.

posted on Feb, 4 2016 @ 02:49 AM

originally posted by: Aazadan

originally posted by: dismanrc
Don't forget that the US has been paying fo its defense for over 50 years, anlong with the rest of Europe.

Neat what you can do with a small population and when one of your biggest expenses get pond off on someone else.

Switzerland pays for it's defense (they even give an automatic weapon to every single citizen, along with training in guerrilla warfare) and they're doing pretty damn good.

France and the UK have respectable defensive armies and won't be toppled by anyone any time soon.

Most of Europe is actually doing just fine on the defense front. The difference is that in the US defense means offense. We have a power projection capability that no other nation has and we are very proactive in using it... that's not really defense but it's certainly a form of power.

No one has attacked the Swiss in hundreds of years. They all have their money stashed there. Also the terrain is some of the worst for fighting. Lastly in truth what is there to get there? Pretty country, but no real advantage of having it.

Yes the UK has/ddoes have a good military. I also don't normally include them in the "Europe" tag. They occupy a special place and have for years. No Europe but still Europe. They don't even fit into the true EU now.

France is a joke. Always has been for that matter in modern times.

The rest has been propped up by the US sense WWII. Even Germany which I ill admit is the best of the "Continental" Europe, would not last more then a couple weeks in a real war. But as long as Russia does not start anything they would be fine.

From 1945-1990 the US held Europe from the east with only token support from most of Europe. This allowed them to divert that funding into their "Social" programs and build what they have now. I have watched the EU military when they went in to Bosnia after the US pulled out. They are a joke.

Should we have done this after WWII? Different question. Personally I think we got stuck with the role of the police of the world and should of forced others to take their share of the burden. But by the late 70's that was impossible.

Western Europe is gone as a power. The EU is crumbling after less then 20 years. Eastern Europe is becoming stronger and the Russian bear is waking back up. The Social programs of Western Europe are bankrupting most of them and their only real hope now is that the growing Eastern European countries take-up the defense or that the Russian bear dies down or keeps looking south.

True a few of the smaller countries like Norway and Sweden might keep it up. They also have some of the smallest populations, but most the other are on the down slide. The same thing happened in the USSR. Their "communist" experiment lasted until the US forced them to over extend militarily and they could no longer keep up the social programs. Their advantage was size and fact that they where more draconian in dealing with the social issues and did not care what the people thought.

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