EconomistReNorwayOct15

Filename: EconomistReNorwayOct15
Date: 19 Oct 2015
By: Frank Gue, B.Sc., MBA, P.Eng.,
2252 Joyce St., Burlington, ON Canada
For: Editors, The Economist
Re: “Norwegian blues”, Oct. 10

Dear Editors:

This article explains how Norway, a notably socialist country, combined the happy coincidence of
huge windfall oil wealth with astonishing wisdom to prove the adage that only the wealthy can
afford socialism.

The wisdom is not all that new: the Book of Genesis, chapter 41, recounts how, 3,029 years ago,
Joseph advised Pharaoh to store up corn from the seven good years so that the Egyptian people
would not starve in the oncoming seven drought years.

The much-criticized Keynes gave much the same advice more recently. Our problem is that we
haven’t really tried Keynes: we persist in spending like mad in both good times and bad.

Many nations today have the needed wealth: thus we await breathlessly some sign of Josephean
wisdom to emerge in more places than Norway. Perhaps then, being wealthy enough, we can
try socialism. It may be a long wait.

Cheers,

F.

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