Alberta could learn a few things from Norway


Brian McLeod (St. Albert Gazette, Commentary, Sept. 8) fails to acknowledge a number of nations that embrace a high degree of socialism.

The Nordic nations combine a comprehensive welfare system with varying degrees of free market capitalism. They are exemplified by the wealthiest nation with the world’s largest capital reserve – Norway.
Norway combines an extensive public welfare system with a mixed market economy that includes a high degree of state ownership of key industrial sectors such as petroleum (Statoil), hydro, telecommunications, banking plus others. Its Sovereign Fund is one of the best managed in the world. It’s valued at more than $1 trillion US compared to Alberta’s meagre Heritage Fund. This ethically invested fund is set aside for ensuing generations in a post-oil future.

This wealthy nation ranks near or at the top as a world leader in many indices such as the Human Development Index, Democracy Index, Prosperity Index, Property Rights Index and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s Better Life Index, among many other measures such as GDP per capita.

While taxes are high, Norway is at the top of the World’s Happiness Report and is among the world’s safest nations.

As “The Scandinavian countries are probably the best governed in the world,” according to The Economist, surely we here in Alberta and North America can learn much from examples such as this.

Roger Lecuyer, St. Albert



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