Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments
NOTE: use Perl; is on undef hiatus. You can read content, but you can't post it. More info will be forthcoming forthcomingly.

All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
 Full
 Abbreviated
 Hidden
More | Login | Reply
Loading... please wait.
  • While I have no personal knowledge of Finland, here are some fact and figures, courtesy of Wikipedia [wikipedia.org]:

    1. Finland [wikipedia.org] has a population of only 5mil spread over 338,145 km², making it only the 162nd most densely populated country.
    2. the Finish miliary [wikipedia.org] expenditure for 98/99 was only 2% of the Finish GDP. Compare to the USA's 3.7% for that time frame, a number which has surerly risen since then.
    3. 92% of all Fins are, well, Finish [wikipedia.org] :)
      (My point beeing that demographic homogeneity surely encourages trust and a greater sense of community and willingness to help their neighbors.)
    4. Last but surely not least, WP mentions in an article about the economy of Finland [wikipedia.org] that "According to Transparency International, Finland has the lowest level of corruption in all the countries studied in their survey."
      It is my personal belief that this is the single most contributing factor to the success of Finish economy (in spite of, not because of, their advanced welfare economy).

    Socialism has many opponents [wikipedia.org], I'll let their arguments speak for themselves. I agree that taken to extreme, any ideology, including Capitalism, will do more harm then good. However I feel that Finland's welfare policy is too extreme and that it works only because of the several mitigating factors I listed above, as well as some others. As a case in point, Israel, the country I live in, had a similar, if much less advanced, welfare program until recently (recent governments have moved more to the Capitalistic end of the spectrum). However, Israel is almost the exact opposite of Finland in nearly every other point I listed, including, alas, corruption in the public sector. Needless to say, Israel does not enjoy the many positive points you listed for Finland (no poverty, competitive, etc.)

    To sum things up, as you and others have said, one country's success in implementing a welfare state does not mean that all countries can and should use the exact same model. I'll add that Finland's success also does not mean that socialism is a successful ideology. To my eyes, Finland's success is in spite of, not because of, Socialism.

    Oh, and of course, needless to say, Wikipedia rocks! :)

    • Point 3 is a load of crap.

      Last time I checked, Australia has the highest rate of migrants of any country in the world, over 25% of the country wasn't born here, and it works just fine thank you.

      One thing I will say though, is that we don't have any major minorities (except for the aboriginal situation sort of...). There's no equivalent to the entrenched poor black or latino populations America has to deal with. At least, not amoung the migrants.

      But again, if you look at the top cluster of countries, Norway,
      • Point 3 is a load of crap. Last time I checked, Australia has the highest rate of migrants of any country in the world, over 25% of the country wasn't born here, and it works just fine thank you.

        I'm sure it does, but you can hardly say "Point 3 is crap" based on that - for one, thing, every point I listed is a contributing factor, changing just one may change the situation a bit, but the other factors will remain (as you yourself pointed out!).
        Furthermore, Australia is very different from both Finland