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How Norway Built an Economy That Puts People First

Originally published at http://www.commondreams.org/views/2020/11/22/how-norway-built-economy-puts-people-first


Norway is one of the best run Countries in the world and a good deal of this has to do with its STATE OWNED Companies.

Norway discovered oil in the North sea in the late 1970s and through the 1980s. They looked to the example of the Province of Alberta which was using oil revenues to build a trust fund for the future based on Royalty payments received.

The paths of these two jurisdictions diverged. Alberta adopted the neo-liberal Politics taught by the “Chicago School of Economics” and Friedman. They slashed those royalty payments made by oil companies to next to nothing and offered all manner of deregulation and subsidies to encourage investment.

Norway stuck to the plan. They resisted the urge to slash income taxes and charged one of the highest rates of Oil for Oil extracted in the world. If Oil Companies would not invest due to those Royalty payments, State owned Stat Oil would do the investing.

Norway has well over 1 trillion dollars in that trust fund now. They can use it to get them through those pandemic. They can use the funds to transition from Oil to other energy sources. They have kept other sectors of their economy strong.

State ownership of resources and Corporations works. The money from all of that past Oil extracted stayed for the most part in Norway rather then go into pockets of investors on wall street. The people came first.

Alberta pumped out more oil for a longer period of time then Norway. Their populations about the same. The Alberta trust fund sits at 18 billion. They are running a massive deficit this year. Norway has well over a trillion in their own. Debt to GDP in Norway is about 40 percent for those “fiscal hawks” who always claim Government ownership of resources or Corporations leads to massive debt. This is exclusive of the trust fund which if included would mean a debt to GDP of -100 percent.

Had Alberta stuck to its original plan their trust fund would be 900 billion. 900 billion minus 18 billion is 882 billion missing dollars. Where did that 882 billion go?

The vast majority went to the Investor class in the way of profits. That one percent prioritized over the many.


The enemy is inside the walls.

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Keep your friends close but keep your enemies closer…

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Yeah, the petro Krona pays for nice things, and the Norwegian government spreads those monies around to the general populace, women included.

Absolutely, it’s not Saudi Arabia.

Setting aside global warming, the oil industry and the use of oil, + its derivatives, is massively toxic to the environment.

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Norwegians were very prescient and looked out for themselves–all of themselves. Their prisons are designed to bring offenders back to civilized society. They do not have the equivalent of “USA USA USA” rocks in their heads mentality. Ancient lessons among the Vikings were well learned, apparently. Toddler America still sticks out its tongue and throws rocks and will until who knows what will humble it.


As an aside Aristide in Haiti was going to do much the same thing as Norway had done and even go further. His White paper was a catalog of all natural resources In Haiti. They were going to nationalize the same and made sure the benefits flowed to the people rather then foreign investors.

The Coup, sponsored by the USA , Canada and Brazil (all of who had Corporations with mining interests there ) followed.

Norway has several advantages over Norway. It a distance away from the USA and its people are white. People tend to get more upset when a Coup sponsored in a Country run by white people.


Norway does not celebrate Thanksgiving as a country. But they could, where we cannot do so safely.
I can’t shake the feeling that trump has a covid-19 scam running in some fashion. Be it racial, economic, or political.
Poor turkey salespersons and grocers.


“It is a common belief in Norway, as elsewhere, that the state operates in the interest of the ordinary man and woman: “the state is every one of us”. The Norwegian state has certainly been very active.”

That Norway may be a better place to live than the USA is a very low bar.

Gustav Magnar Witzøe, Kjell Inge Røkke, Katharina G. Andresen and Alexandra Andresen. Names to remind readers of Norway’s wealth inequality.

Don’t forget Greta Thuberg’s campaign against the Norwegian oil threat to the Arctic, as ecological dangerous and potentially damaging as Trumps. Norway aims to bring about fivefold rises both in salmon farming and cruise tourism in its waters plus the untested risks of seabed mining for minerals is also scheduled to begin. Nor is Norway passive in the militarization of the Arctic.

No mention of Anders Behring Breivik in the article?


Thank you for the comment, I am sure it will lead to much research by those interested.
I have begun research myself to figure a few things out. I couldn’t help but have this strange feeling while reading the article.
The article mentioned repeatedly about the not so equal treatment of different groups of people. The rising right wing influence on the society that is already manipulating legislature and public opinion.
I kept feeling like the article forgot the point of its title and it would loop around and back. I ultimately felt confused because of my lack of knowledge about the society (perhaps) and decided I should educate myself before commenting beyond the level of "the capitalists are in the house "…
There is a documentary (on Netflix?) I want to see, but can not bring myself to watch (yet) because of the side effects seeing that sort of stuff has on me…which you brought up. (a quick check shows me three documentaries…)

(Anders Breivik gives a Nazi salute during a court appearance)
maybe next year…IDK

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worth repeating…

This song came on while I was researching…
(2+2=5 - Radiohead)
a favorite for many reasons…maybe not.


This is a manifestation of FDR’s and Francis Perkins’ vision. Here Truman didn’t have the vision to see it forward and bought into the idea that Russia was the new enemy and all money had to go to the war machine. IKE saw this as wrong but didn’t derail the engine. And now we have a 3rd world country where poverty and wealth are both rapidly increasing but in different ways. Oligarchs run the government for themselves. We put people first as long as they are corporate people!


Norway has the same problem as the rest of Europe, and really most of the world.
The tentacles of America and its corporations are firmly embedded throughout Norway’s political and economic sectors, and like every other place under America’s thumb they too are getting the “privatization” treatment.
They have already lost their public banks (watch Greece for a preview of things to come), and their healthare is being intentionally sabotaged by closing down most of their public hospitals thereby overloading the few remaining ones and forcing them to provide substandard care.
What passes for their news channels are also part of the “global operation mocking bird” initiative, and they are subjected to the same propaganda America feeds their own citizenry.
Just watch the deplorable eagerness with which their politicians follow Washington’s every directive, be it demonization of Russia or hosting massive joint military “training exercises”, or how they implement EU’s rules and regulations inspite of their citizenry voting overwhelmingly to stay out of the EU.


Yeah, but I bet Alberta has way more millionaires thus proving the superiority of the neolib economic system (he says sarcastically).
Actually, thanks for that information. If only that could reach a wider audience!


“Both socialist youth and workers league work directly with their parties. Socialist Left and Norwegian Labor will draft agendas to present and debate in Parliament. Norway economy can be equitable, not just in name. Over the years, activists have held government to account. Today’s activists continue this commitment to equity.” How we talk about a worker youth league Matters."

Antifa hoped Sarah Iannarone would win Portland mayor.
Ted is thee worst of the last 4 boy mayors.
Charlie led most real progress.
Sam and chief kept the ball rollin.
Wheeler sold out to high rise interests.
Silicon Valley robolimo futurama slama bama.
Oh sure “driverless” car taxis on call. FU2 Elon/.

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I insist upon purchasing a first edition copy of “Alberta” Western oil farted and Europe
escaped its fallout of fartish flatulence within the oil air and road industries.
Norway is so totally built you have no idea.

People killed in a year by police in Norway: 1. It’s equivalent in the US adjusted per population: 66.

And their prisons are unique in the world for their humane conditions and philosophy of treatment with the public good in mind, while in (very high) profits US prisons people languish in mistreatment and dark conditions.


Ok. Let me know when Norway goes to clean energy and caps it’s oil wells.

Norway has started that process. In 2018 the Finance minister indicated they will be phasing out of Oil and gas. They will stop investing in such companies abroad. Their plan is to be carbon neutral by 2030 which is 20 years earlier then the Paris accords agreed to.

Unlike other oil rich countries Norway is not heavily dependent on oil and gas for domestic electricity generation. 95 percent of all electricity generated in Norway is from Hydroelectric power. Currently total energy produced from all sources is 68 percent from renewables.

(iceland leads the way here with close to 100 percent of all energy generated domestically from renewables. The only stinker in the bunch is the automobiles)

Norway has only 6 million people but have the 4th largest fleet of electric plug in vehicles in the world. They initially planned to phase out all automobiles that used hydrocarbons by 2025 but that has been delayed.

Now the problem is they still rely on the EXPORT of oil and gas to earn revenues. At the end of the day it does not matter if the oil being burned in Norway or in China , it still being burned and here they much more like Alberta then different (Alberta claims that it must keep selling oil and gas so it can afford to transition to renewable sources)


america also had a great economy until it was outsourced into the sweatshops… the journos who write these sort of pieces should all be bought out of the publishing industry to rise the bar for the journos slightly above the intellectual quality of lucid dreams (or pornography).

america is part of the global economy, improving america’s economy therfore means changing globalization i.e the global capitalist system… however the academy over and over made it clear where their scientist stand — plz remember science is not open for political debates — the experts of the field clearly support globalism, this also means the journos can’t look both ways i.e claim they can freely change the economy while the science says: niet.

however, i think it is possible to change the whole global economy for the better — not to mention the possible creation of a fundamentally better (and more stable) economic system that actually could help those that have nothing — but it’s as i said: the PHDS don’t give a fxxx what i think, even here on CD there is an insane abundance of sickening elitism, PHDS like the CriticalThinker literally enjoy themselves being assholes while they piss in my fxxxing face and i quite frankly had enough of that… either way ever heared of a GMO scientist (or a climate scientist) that cares about what the hater (or climate denier) say about their profession? me neither.

obumer’s hope and change agenda created a lot of hope and little change, negative changes even… i therefore deducted getting real about reality might be neccessary to create (positive) changes.