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Sun Dec 8, 2019, 11:25 AM

Finland is a Capitalist Paradise

Wonderful article from boots on the ground so to speak. From our American perch, we may think we know the Nordic countries, but maybe we don't. And that goes for all Americans. Even for the far left and more mainstream in the Democratic party....

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/12/07/opinion/sunday/finland-socialism-capitalism.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

But surely, many in the United States will conclude, Finnish citizens and businesses must be paying a steep price in lost freedoms, opportunity and wealth. Yes, Finland faces its own economic challenges, and Finns are notorious complainers whenever anything goes wrong. But under its current system, Finland has become one of the world’s wealthiest societies, and like the other Nordic countries, it is home to many hugely successful global companies.

In fact, a recent report by the chairman of market and investment strategy for J.P. Morgan Asset Management came to a surprising conclusion: The Nordic region is not only “just as business-friendly as the U.S.” but also better on key free-market indexes, including greater protection of private property, less impact on competition from government controls and more openness to trade and capital flows. According to the World Bank, doing business in Denmark and Norway is actually easier overall than it is in the United States.

Finland also has high levels of economic mobility across generations. A 2018 World Bank report revealed that children in Finland have a much better chance of escaping the economic class of their parents and pursuing their own success than do children in the United States.

Finally, and perhaps most shockingly, the nonpartisan watchdog group Freedom House has determined that citizens of Finland actually enjoy higher levels of personal and political freedom, and more secure political rights, than citizens of the United States.



Seems to me, from Iceland to Finland, they've taken what works from the socialist approach and unabashed capitalism and combined them in a system that works far more times than it doesn't. We can all take a lesson. Ain't perfect, but it's a sure site better than the meth lab we currently inhabit.

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Response to paleotn (Original post)

Sun Dec 8, 2019, 11:32 AM

1. Capitalism has to be saved from itself

And social democracy is probably the most viable way to do it.

Thanks for finding and posting this.

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Response to paleotn (Original post)

Sun Dec 8, 2019, 11:36 AM

2. I am pleased to see a credible, reliable explanation of the point

that the Nordic countries are not socialist countries; they are regulated capitalist countries. I rant about this periodically when somebody tries to cite them as examples of successful socialism. These countries - Finland, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and Iceland - are not socialist countries, but they are examples of what can happen when it is understood that a robust social safety net is necessary and the people and the businesses are willing to support it through taxation.

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Response to The Velveteen Ocelot (Reply #2)

Sat Dec 14, 2019, 06:47 PM

15. It's more than just a social safety net.

More than 30% of Finland's wealth is publicly held, and more than 30% of Finland's workforce is either employed by the government or state owned enterprises. (The US would have to shift $35 trillion dollars of private wealth, and around 25 million workers to match those percentages.) I wouldn't call Finland "socialist," but calling it "capitalist" (let alone a "capitalist paradise" ) is equally incorrect. It's a mixed economy, with a pretty heavy dose of socialism.

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Response to paleotn (Original post)

Sun Dec 8, 2019, 11:49 AM

3. I was fortunate to travel in several Scandinavian and Baltic countries this summer.

I would move there in a heartbeat. Loved Helsinki.

I was there during an unusually warm period of June, so I might sing a different tune in January. But if I had half a chance of relocating to that area of the planet, I'd jump at the opportunity.

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Response to Pacifist Patriot (Reply #3)

Sun Dec 8, 2019, 11:51 AM

5. What was your impression of Tallinn ? nt

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 8, 2019, 12:14 PM

6. I wasn't there long enough to get a really good feel for it, but...

I got the impression the urban Estonians (I didn't travel throughout the country, just in Tallinn) are yearning to be associated with the west and completely break free of association with anything to do with Russia. They want to be seen as a high tech hub and part of a progressive future. I think they may be struggling to keep young educated Estonians from emigrating. I gather they may be either suffering from a brain drain or in dread of one being imminent. They would like to be taken seriously as a democracy. Breathing the fresh air after Soviet domination, but worried they don't have the strength or stability to guarantee a high-functioning corruption-free future.

While I was there, scientists and professors were engaged in a protest outside the parliament building because of either a lack of adequate funding or a cut in their funding. I wasn't entirely clear on the nuance there, but it was definitely about government funding of scientific research and education. Such a protest would have been unheard of just a few years ago.

Please understand these are just my impressions from a brief visit. I really don't know as much about Estonia as I should. I would love to go back and spend more time there.

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Response to Pacifist Patriot (Reply #6)

Sun Dec 8, 2019, 02:06 PM

7. Well, most of what I knew before now I got from Rick Steves. :)

And a documentary on the Singing Revolution. It just looks like an interesting place.

Shame to hear about problems with scientific/education funding, since I know Tallinn University is supposed to be a fine, historic old university. Would be interesting to find a way to visit there. No job openings at present, though.

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 8, 2019, 05:24 PM

10. If you ever get the chance to go, I definitely recommend it.

Fascinating city and culture.

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Response to paleotn (Original post)

Sun Dec 8, 2019, 11:51 AM

4. We don't have unrestrained free-market capitalism in this country ...

... We have a captive economy, in which those big businesses which already hold wealth and power pay to write the regulations that selectively cripple their competitors while placing themselves above the law and preserve their own wealth and power. Small businesses -- like employees of big ones, and citizens in general -- pay for the success of big ones.

Uglicans are most complicit in this; but not all Dems are immune. When it comes time to raise campaign funds, some can't resist accepting support from big corps who they know are going to come asking for favors later. And if you represent a district dominated by one employer or industry, it can be pretty futile to resist. We need to get private money OUT of elections.

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Response to eppur_se_muova (Reply #4)

Sun Dec 8, 2019, 04:08 PM

9. "get private money OUT of elections."

Yes!! 🙏

Repeal Citizens United.

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Response to Duppers (Reply #9)


Response to paleotn (Original post)

Sun Dec 8, 2019, 02:28 PM

8. Trump wants more immigrants from these Nordic socialist countries

yet for some reason, they don't want to immigrate to the land of the free.

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Response to IronLionZion (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 8, 2019, 05:58 PM

11. Scandi/Nordic people already came here mainly between 1820-1920

until US immigration laws were restricted in 1924. By the later 20th century Norway was doing well from oil discovery in the late 1960s and the Nordics developed economies and social welfare governments much more favorable to people and stability. ~ Why would they want to come here, a formerly advanced nation on the decline?



- Oregon History Project. This undated photograph of a group in Scandinavian costumes was taken in Portland, Oregon.

Between 1820 and 1920, more than 2.1 million Scandinavians immigrated to America. A little more than half were Swedes, almost a third Norwegians, and a seventh Danes. While approximately 125,000 Scandinavians came to the United States before the Civil War, the majority arrived between 1865 and World War I.

Despite industrialization and economic growth in Scandinavia, many young emigrants were motivated to leave by political events, such as conscription laws that forced Finns to fight in and for Russia. Some Danes were similarly drawn into World War I to fight with the Germans ― notwithstanding anti-German sentiments. Many Scandinavians were lured to the United States after receiving “American letters” from friends and family that described fruitful land and employment opportunities. Prepaid transportation tickets from relatives and friends often helped finance the trip to the New World...
https://oregonhistoryproject.org/articles/historical-records/scandinavian-immigration/#.Xe1-Ka81vIV

- Why Norwegians Aren't Moving to the U.S., The Atlantic. 2018.
https://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2018/01/trump-shithole-norway/550382/

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Response to paleotn (Original post)

Sun Dec 8, 2019, 09:12 PM

12. You have it all wrong... It's because they rake their forests.

You have it all wrong... It's because they rake their forests.

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Response to paleotn (Original post)

Mon Dec 9, 2019, 10:14 AM

13. "Even for the far left and more mainstream in the Democratic party...."

I would phrase it as

"Even for the centrist and more mainstream in the Democratic party...."

The real center of the Party is shifting back where it belongs, toward justice and reform.

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