Norway- trust, happiness and independence in the world’s richest country
How has Norway become one of the world’s most successful societies?
In most objective measures of human prosperity and happiness, Norway is at the very top, together with Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Denmark. The 5 million people living in Norway are the richest, most equal, happy and trusting homo sapiens that have ever lived. Norway is also at the bottom of everything that is bad. Excluding North Korea’s official national statistics, we have the least corruption, the lowest infant mortality rate and, among OECD countries, the smallest economic class differences. Scandinavian societies are considered so successful that the World Bank is now trying to help more countries to «become like them». These countries hold the ideals for anyone who wants to create a stable, democratic, peaceful, rich and happy society.
But the strange thing is that no one, not even we who live here, completely knows how to create a society like ours. Or as the American political scientist Francis Fukuyama puts it: -Even the Danes does not know how it got to be Denmark.
Look at wealth, for example: Why have we become so rich in Norway? Many think that petrol is the explanation for this prosperity. But what about Denmark and Sweden? They are also rich, and have no petrol. Nigeria and Venezuela are flooded with petrol, but Nigerians and Venezuelans are not particularly prosperous.
Perhaps Norway’s frugal, protestant culture is the secret? Many people like that explanation. Then, what about countries like South Africa or the Bahamas, also protestant- why are they not also rich?
The Nordic region’s wealth becomes even more mysterious when we know that all economic theory dictates that our low executive salaries, high taxes, large public sector and strong unions should actually provide miserable conditions for business. Nevertheless, there are better earning opportunities and higher productivity here than in the English and American economies.
Mainly focusing on political science and economics, the authors convey knowledge that has been little communicated outside of purely academic environments, and which differs from the more descriptive explanations found in history books about Norway. The book will tell about how Norway has managed to create a society that has made people more happy with their lives than ever before in history. The authors also warn about the forces that threaten the Nordic model: no society is carved in stone. The book will thus answer three questions: how did this society come into being? What threatens it? And what should we do to take care of it?