Sharp contrasts between economic equality in Norway vs. gross inequality in the U.S.

The headline of the article I’m linking below asks, “Is Norway better off with socialism than the U.S. is with capitalism?” The article’s sub-head says: “The numbers show that the U.S. has wealth, but that wealth is collected in only a few hands. Norway has wealth, but it is spread more evenly.”

Actually, the headline’s use of the word “socialism” somewhat overstates the case. Norway’s economy really is basically capitalist, but Norway has deliberately designed its government and its economy to serve the broad public rather than a rich elite.

The article linked here includes stark contrasts between Norway and the U.S.:

I sent this article and my comment above to my old friend George Lakey, who wrote a great book about Scandinavian economics — very egalitarian and democratic — and he replied that he thought I understated the amount of socialism in Norway.  He affirmed much socialism there — as part of a stronger culture of real democracy where people have more power over government and the economy than we have in the U.S.  His reply to me included this:

“It’s also possible to under-state how socialist Norway is. Public ownership of the means of production actually exceeds China’s despite China being led by the Communist Party. All major Norwegian corporations are majority-owned by the public (national gov’t, municipal gov’t, co-op movement, etc.). The direction of the economy is set by the majority through elections rather than by the economic elite. I could go on and on, but the effort by the magazine Economist to claim Norway as a fine example of capitalism is way off the mark. Capitalists are taxed like crazy and very heavily regulated.

“The interesting question is: where does the power lie?  Hands down, it lies with the people.”