Kurs i tenkning og skriving - for skrivere av viktige dokumenter Dette kurset hjelper kunnskapsteam å tenke strukturert rundt en problemstilling bidrar til raskere/bedre kunnskapsproduksjon og høyere gjenbruksverdi av intellektuell kapital i kunnskapsorganisasjoner. Kurset brukes av store statlige og private virksomheter hvor små beslutningsforbedringer gir store økonomiske eller samfunnsmessige utslag. Kundereferanser - Econ Analyse, Pöyry Consulting, DnB Shipping/Offshore/Logistikk, Fokus Bank, PwC, Statnett, Direktoratet for økonomistyring, Telenor.
Kurs: Lær å si det viktigste først Les mer om kurset Prepare, Produce, Present som Carl tilbyr profesjonelle team - analytikere, konsulenter og andre som forberedet beslutninger med store økonomiske konsekvenser. Referanse kunder DnB Bank, Pricewaterhouse Coopers, Pöyry, Stanett, Statoil, m.fl.
— THE received wisdom about economic life in the Nordic countries is
easily summed up: people here are incomparably affluent, with all their
needs met by an efficient welfare state. They believe it themselves.
Yet the reality - as this Oslo-dwelling American can attest, and as
some recent studies confirm - is not quite what it appears.
Even as the Scandinavian establishment peddles this dubious line, it
serves up a picture of the United States as a nation divided,
inequitably, among robber barons and wage slaves, not to mention armies
of the homeless and unemployed. It does this to keep people believing
that their social welfare system, financed by lofty income taxes,
provides far more in the way of economic protections and amenities than
the American system. Protections, yes -but some Norwegians might
question the part about amenities.
In Oslo, library collections are woefully outdated, and public
swimming pools are in desperate need of maintenance. News reports
describe serious shortages of police officers and school supplies. When
my mother-in-law went to an emergency room recently, the hospital was
out of cough medicine. Drug addicts crowd downtown Oslo streets, as The
Los Angeles Times recently reported, but applicants for methadone
programs are put on a months-long waiting list.
In Norway, the standard line is that there must be some mistake,
that such things simply should not happen in "the world's richest
country." Why do Norwegians have such a wealthy self-image? Partly
because, compared with their grandparents (who lived before the
discovery of North Sea oil), they are rich. Few, however, question
whether it really is the world's richest country.
After I moved here six years ago, I quickly noticed that Norwegians
live more frugally than Americans do. They hang on to old appliances
and furniture that we would throw out. And they drive around in wrecks.
In 2003, when my partner and I took his teenage brother to New York -
his first trip outside of Europe - he stared boggle-eyed at the cars in
the Newark Airport parking lot, as mesmerized as Robin Williams in a
New York grocery store in "Moscow on the Hudson."
One image in particular sticks in my mind. In a Norwegian language
class, my teacher illustrated the meaning of the word matpakke -
"packed lunch" - by reaching into her backpack and pulling out a hero
sandwich wrapped in wax paper. It was her lunch. She held it up for all
Yes, teachers are underpaid everywhere. But in Norway the matpakke
is ubiquitous, from classroom to boardroom. In New York, an office
worker might pop out at lunchtime to a deli; in Paris, she might enjoy
quiche and a glass of wine at a brasserie. In Norway, she will sit at
her desk with a sandwich from home.
It is not simply a matter of tradition, or a preference for a basic,
nonmaterialistic life. Dining out is just too pricey in a country where
teachers, for example, make about $50,000 a year before taxes. Even the
humblest of meals - a large pizza delivered from Oslo's most popular
pizza joint - will run from $34 to $48, including delivery fee and a 25
percent value added tax.
Not that groceries are cheap, either. Every weekend, armies of
Norwegians drive to Sweden to stock up at supermarkets that are a
bargain only by Norwegian standards. And this isn't a great solution,
either, since gasoline (in this oil-exporting nation) costs more than
$6 a gallon.
All this was illuminated last year in a study by a Swedish research
organization, Timbro, which compared the gross domestic products of the
15 European Union members (before the 2004 expansion) with those of the
50 American states and the District of Columbia. (Norway, not being a
member of the union, was not included.)
After adjusting the figures for the different purchasing powers of
the dollar and euro, the only European country whose economic output
per person was greater than the United States average was the tiny tax
haven of Luxembourg, which ranked third, just behind Delaware and
slightly ahead of Connecticut.
The next European country on the list was Ireland, down at 41st
place out of 66; Sweden was 14th from the bottom (after Alabama),
followed by Oklahoma, and then Britain, France, Finland, Germany and
Italy. The bottom three spots on the list went to Spain, Portugal and
Alternatively, the study found, if the E.U. was treated as a single
American state, it would rank fifth from the bottom, topping only
Arkansas, Montana, West Virginia and Mississippi. In short, while
Scandinavians are constantly told how much better they have it than
Americans, Timbro's statistics suggest otherwise. So did a paper by a
Swedish economics writer, Johan Norberg.
Contrasting "the American dream" with "the European daydream," 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 one detail in Timbro's study that didn't feel right to me was
the placement of Scandinavian countries near the top of the list and
Spain near the bottom. My own sense of things is that Spaniards live
far better than Scandinavians. In Norwegian pubs, for example, anyone
rich or insane enough to order, say, a gin and tonic is charged about
$15 for a few teaspoons of gin at the bottom of a glass of tonic; in
Spain, the drinks are dirt-cheap and the bartender will pour the gin up
to the rim unless you say "stop."
In late March, another study, this one from KPMG, the international
accounting and consulting firm, cast light on this paradox. It
indicated that when disposable income was adjusted for cost of living,
Scandinavians were the poorest people in Western Europe. Danes had the
lowest adjusted income, Norwegians the second lowest, Swedes the third.
Spain and Portugal, with two of Europe's least regulated economies, led
Most recently, the Danish Ministry of Finance released a study
comparing the income available for private consumption in 30 countries.
Norway did somewhat better here than in the KPMG study, lagging behind
most of Western Europe but at least beating out Ireland and Portugal.
The thrust, however, was to confirm Timbro's and Mr. Norberg's
picture of American and European wealth. 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.
Meanwhile, the references to Norway as "the world's richest country"
keep on coming. 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?"
Obviously, this is one misconception that won't be put to rest by a measly think-tank study or two.
Bruce har også skrevet en annen morsomm artikkel i Dabladet hvor han setter ord på noe av det samme som jeg føler -- at vi i Norge er utsettes for et ensidig bilde av Amerika, formidlet av journalister (kanskje særlig i NRK) og synsere forankret i 68-ernes negative (og virkelighetsfjerne) bilde av Amerika, et bilde som reflekteres i Nordmenns generelt fordreide holdning til USA.
Haaland Matlary, professor i statsvietenskap forteller om hvor usynlige Norge
er i utlandet, basert på en rekke undersøkelser. Det kommer ikke som noen bombe. Som et lite rikt land har vi, i tillegg til
hva vi til enhver tid kan få ut av vår geografiske beliggenhet, egentlig kun to
maktmidler: kompetanse og penger. Hun
kontrasterer vår innflytelse og pågåenhet i FN med vår unnfallenhet og
passivitet i forhold til EU. Hvorfor
denne ubalansen? Hvor er strategien? Spør
hun, og det kan man lure på. Hun referer
til kjøp av innflytelse som ”myk makt”. Men de områdene hvor vi virkelig har interesser gjelder det å kunne
stille hardt mot hardt. Laksekrig med
EU, landbruk i WTO, økonomiske interesser i Nord. Tilslutt påpeker hun hvordan
utenriksministeren er såre fornøyd tiltross for at vi har disse ublansene,
tilstross for at vi ikke har noen strategi, og tiltross for at vi er
fullstendige usynlige utenfor Norge. Hvorfor
er vi så isolerte?
I to saker i USA har påtalemyndigheten droppet sine annmeldelser mot politiske demonstranter etter at det har kommet frem amatørvideoer som motsier politiets egne vitneprov. Dette er omtalt i lørdagens New York Times og i en artikkel tidligere denne uken. Det er ytterligere en indikasjon på det jeg skrev om tidligere; at overvåkningsutstyr og digitale hukommelser nå gjør det så billig å lagre digital historikk at det blir vanskeligere for f.eks. politiet å få folk dømt i politiske demonstrasjoner av den type som det er her tale om.
Iflg. leder i dagens New York Times, er John Bolton ingen bra mann til å representere USA i FN. At han har vært konsistent i sin kritikk av FN ved enhver annledning er en ting. Men at han har forsøkt å få sparket analytikere i CIA som har påpekt åpenbare feil i hans egne taler om andre lands våpenprogram og intensjoner er mye værre. Det viser at dette er en mann som er villig til å pynte på sannheten for at den skal passe med hans agenda. En pensjonert tjenstemann karakteriserte ham i gårsdagens senatshøring som en "Kiss-up, Kick-down" kind of guy.