Let me tell you how Norway should use it’s big pile of dirty Oil Fund money.
Norway was traditionally a land of farmers, fishermen, loggers, and miners. Our industry was mostly based on processing these natural resources, and towards the end of the 1960’s Norway’s GDP was comparable to that of Greece.
Today, Norway is one of the wealthiest countries in the world per capita. We also score consistently well in the World Happiness Report, and in general, Norwegians live a carefree, good life.
There are many reasons this change happened. First and foremost, Norway is located in a relatively quiet and stable part of the world. The population of Northern Europe is for the most part of the same ethnicity. We’re also on the same frequency in terms of political and religious views. The wealth is relatively evenly spread among the population, and our part of the globe is usually spared of the most devastating natural disasters. Without armed conflicts fueled by ethnic violence or religious nonsense, and without the need to rebuild the country every time it’s ruined by a natural disaster, we’ve been able to focus is economic growth.
In 1969, Norway got a major boost on it’s way to the top of the prosperity food chain. The Ekofisk oil field was discovered in the North Sea, and Norway joined an exclusive club of oil producers. The country went from an economy mainly based on processing renewable resources, to one exploiting non-renewable oil and gas resources. I’m not saying Norway wouldn’t have been were we are today without the Ekofisk discovery. Our Scandinavian neighbors are proof of that. Sweden, Denmark, and Finland all have a generally happy population, and a high GDP.
But the black gold sure helped.