Economics and the mid-life crisis have much in common: Both dwell on foregone opportunities

C'est la vie; c'est la guerre; c'est la pomme de terre . . . . . . . . . . . . . email: jpalmer at uwo dot ca

. . . . . . . . . . .Richard Posner should be awarded the next Nobel Prize in Economics . . . . . . . . . . . .

Monday, April 18, 2005

How Rich Are Norwegians?

Norway has become fabulously wealthy, largely as a result of the North Sea oil developments over the past two decades. Or so many would have your believe:

An April 2 article in Dagsavisen, a major Oslo daily, asked: How is it that "in the world's richest country we're tearing down social services that were built up when Norway was much poorer?"
But considerable evidence tells a different story [h/t to BF for the link]

Contrasting "the American dream" with "the European daydream," [Swedish economics writer] Mr. Norberg described the difference: "Economic growth in the last 25 years has been 3 percent per annum in the U.S., compared to 2.2 percent in the E.U. That means that the American economy has almost doubled, whereas the E.U. economy has grown by slightly more than half.

The purchasing power in the U.S. is $36,100 per capita, and in the E.U. $26,000 - and the gap is constantly widening."

The writer goes on to cite one more study:

While the private-consumption figure for the United States was $32,900 per person, the countries of Western Europe (again excepting Luxembourg, at $29,450) ranged between $13,850 and $23,500, with Norway at $18,350.
The reason people think Norway is so rich? Because it is, in comparison with its pre-oil standard of living.
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