Donald Trump’s Cabinet Wages War against “Socialism” in Norway

The standard of living in the United States is 15 percent higher than in the Nordic countries, claims the White House in a report and warns against Nordic social welfare system.

Donald Trump with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg Photo; Statsministerens kontor - Stein J. Bjørge / Aftenposten

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This week, a 72-page report from the White House by Trump’s economic advisers share concern that socialist ideas are gaining ground in the Congress and among large parts of the voters, according to NRK.

The standard of living in the United States is 15 percent higher than in the Nordic countries, claims the report and warns against “socialism” in Norway and other Nordic countries. Yet Norwegian Statistics Office (SSB) researchers believe the claims in the report are purely based on the authors’ political convictions.

“Socialism” has been historically a taboo word in the United States, but with the rise of sharing economy model and failing social pillars of capitalism, the political visions of social economy is gaining popularity among Americans.

Donald Trump’s financial advisers find this trend alarming and publish a warning report before midnight on November 6th.

The report makes references often to the Nordic countries, Norway Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Iceland and Nordic welfare model, which is getting support among the Congress members.

Socialism costs more and leads to lower standards in Nordic

The report in the section with the title “Socialism costs”, gives a broad overview of the history of socialism and what it led to. The White House report describes how they think the US would look if a social welfare policy had been pursued like in Nordic countries. The report suggests that it would cost a family with an average income from 2000 to 5,000 dollars more in tax.

One of the claims in the report is that the inhabitants of the Nordic countries have a lower standard of living than people in the United States. On average, the living standards are 15 percent higher in the United States, the authors of the report claim.

Norwegian Statistics Bureau (SSB): It is based on political convictions

NRK asked two experts in Norwegian Statistics Bureau (SSB) to read through the report and none of them have managed to figure out how the authors can conclude that the standard of living is 15 percent higher in the United States than in the Nordic countries.

Researcher Rolf Aaberge at SSB believes the report primarily emphasizes the authors’ political convictions.

This is clearly apparent in the choice of statistics used to substantiate the allegations in the report.

– To express it diplomatically, I would like to say that many of the comparisons of material living standards in the United States are somewhat lower than the Nordic countries,” he told to NRK.

Interpretation of the figures does not completely compare with statistics from 2017, compiled by The Economist magazine. Accordingly, Norway is in the 6th place in the world, closely followed by Iceland, while the United States is in 11th place in standard of living, closely followed by Denmark and Sweden.

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