Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The End of the Road (Enden av veien)

So I’m finally leaving Norway.

If you have never seen the awesome Transformers cartoon from the 80s when the autobot Hot Rod opens up the Transformer matrix of leadership transforming into Rodimus Prime and tells Galvatron to take a hike, this is the perfect time to watch it.

I could have applied for permanent residency and stayed here without a work permit, but I don’t see the point.  Why do you ask?  The tales are numerous and time is limited, but for a few reasons listed as below.

  1. I'm not going to pay an additional 60,000 nok (presently, the equivalent of 7500 US dollars or 6500 euros) to take 350 hours of Norwegian lessons to prove to some bureaucrat that I'm good enough to stay here despite having already forked over more than 100,000 US dollars worth of taxes living here.  Which have no doubt contributed to some good lives of some welfare sucking leeches.  Indeed the commandment, "Thou shall not covet thy neighbour's goods." simply does not apply to Norway.
  2. I'm not going to allow the luxury of the government to tax my future wealth, up to 50% and more.  See my previous point.
  3. Double standards.  There are different laws here when it comes to Norwegians versus non Norwegians.  For example if one becomes unemployed but isn't Norwegian, they are not entitled to unemployment benefits, despite paying the same amounts of taxes as a Norwegian.  I guess Norwegians are more equal than non Norwegians.  For a country promoting "equality" you think this was a joke, but no as always, the devil is in the details.


But what is the number one reason?

Norway has peaked.

How is that possible you’re thinking?  Well, here are the facts, all of which constitute the ingredients for the perfect storm.
  1. Norway has dipped into its savings for the first time in its history.  And it's not going to change.
  2. Unemployment is at a decade high and dramatically increasing.  Layoffs are becoming the norm.  See here and here (in Norwegian, use google translate if required).  English here.
  3. Refugees are coming in by record numbers and leeching off society while providing a big fat zero rate of return.
  4. The local currency, the Norwegian krone has fallen off a cliff due to the collapse of oil (I’ve mentioned this in a post a while ago, that this one trick pony will collapse once oil collapses).  Of course all the economists a few years ago were saying oil was going to be over $100 for years on end.  How wrong were they?  And you wonder why economists are dismally bad, they are taught utter nonsense in school (I say this because I actually did study economics and 99% of it is pure absurdity.  I feel sorry for those who paid money to study this claptrap.  Anyone with a thinking brain will know it's nonsense!).  Needless to say this has a huge impact on the country.  And by no means is this the bottom.

Timbeeeer... but but... where's the bottom?  Would you buy this?  This is the Norwegian Krone against the Euro.  And the Euro was one of the worst performers of 2014 which really says something.

All in all, these are not signs of a healthy economy.  These are trends which are in set in motion and will only accelerate in the years to come.  These trends will not change (no matter what the government does, in fact whatever they do will only accelerate the problem) and will only end when the market finds its equilibrium.

Will Norway collapse overnight?

No, but the future of Norway will be drastically different in a decade or so and completely different to what people are thinking its future is going to be.  If you’re Norwegian or residing in Norway or Europe in general I would be extremely concerned with what is happening.  Dare I say revolution and civil unrest is coming to Europe?  And would you have not have loved to get out of Rome if you knew Rome was peaking?

Additionally, here's what else is going on in Europe.  A shitstorm of epic proportions.
  1. Border checks are coming back, the Schengen area is breaking down.  Distrust is on the rise between countries.
  2. Germany’s refugee hordes.  And it ain't stopping anytime soon.  Merkel has gone wild and it's not like girls gone wild in a good sexy way.
  3. The Volkswagen revelations.  One huge fiasko.  The auto industry hires 1 out of 7 Germans.  Germany is Europe’s largest economy and if Germany is affected, Europe will most certainly be affected.
There is however, one shining light, which Norway has that the rest of the world does not.

The one thing that will probably save Norway for now is its wealth fund which is currently the largest in the world.  However note that that alone will not be enough to diverge the country from its current path, Spain used to have all the gold in the world and look where it is today, broke and ruined.  Unfortunately, the people of Norway are not sufficiently equipped to compete with the rest of the world, unless something drastic changes, I do not see a bright future for Norway.  Norwegians who have lived here their entire lives have absolutely no idea what the rest of the world is like, the terrible bureaucracy, high taxes, the laziness, the monopolies, all of which have a huge impact and burden on society.  In other words, what Norway is experiencing now is that is reaping what it has sowed.

Oil is over, the current revolution of batteries is here to stay.

The one trick reliance and previously get out of jail free card of selling high priced oil is over and gone.  After all when was the last time you heard anything of true innovation coming out of Norway?  A Google?  Microsoft?  Anything other than a cheese slicer? (Funnily enough at the moment there's this ad on TV where a Norwegian is promoting a cheese slicer to a family in Morocco, oh sweet irony...)  When was the last time you heard any of the world’s wealthiest richest people living here?  Wealth flows to where wealth goes.  There’s a reason why they chose not to live here or even hold a Norwegian passport.  Even the wealthiest people in this country do not hire Norwegians and that itself is saying a lot.  For example Norwegian Air hires Spanish flight crews and has its planes in Spain.  Even the country's airline doesn't hire Norwegians, imagine that.  The mentality of a country's people are its wealth, not what it owns.  Its how Japan became one of the wealthiest countries in the world after WWII despite having no natural resources, its high productivity which is the result of the mindset of their people.  In fact I'll give a recent example, just today I contacted two removalists just today during normal working hours today.  One was in the UK and the other was in Norway.  Guess who responded within 10 minutes?  Yes, the one in the UK.  I was amazed at how efficient they were.  In fact I've already accepted the amount that the UK company quoted.  The Norwegian company (despite having the word "professionalism" plastered across its website on many of its webpages) I heard absolutely nothing.

There's a lesson to be learnt from all of this.  No matter how much you have, if you do not have the mentality or work ethics to maintain what you have, you will lose it all, as proven again and again through the lessons of history.  It’s why one with billionaire mindset becomes a billionaire despite almost going bankrupt previously (read about Elon Musk if you haven't, the guy is flawed but it's truly inspirational regardless), and it’s why lottery winners tend to lose it all.  They simply do not have the capacity of handling wealth.  Frankly, if you’re even thinking of coming to Norway for welfare and benefits, you’re part of the problem, not the solution that this country needs.  When the US was in its early formation years, people came to escape from taxes and other bullshit imposed upon them by government, they did not come for welfare, there were zero benefits, they just wanted one thing and that is freedom from taxation, bureaucracy and all sorts of bullshit that people here put up with and think it's perfectly normal.

Every human being only truly deserves one thing, and that is freedom, which is rare to find nowadays.

Regardless of everything I’ve said about Norway, I’ve had a very good run here, and I feel lucky and extremely blessed to have the opportunity to have lived here.  Not many people can say they’ve lived in 3 continents for a lengthy period of time.  Norway is indeed one of the most beautiful countries in the world to live in, and life certainly is very good more so if you’re a bus driver, garbage man, toilet cleaner, or someone with low ambitions and expectations of life, at least for now with the coffers are still full.  But anything else you’re probably better off living elsewhere, in fact I’ve given you additional reasons as listed above not to live here now.

Norway is dead, long live Norway.

Recent Articles

[1] Unemployment makes surprising leap (Norwegian), Retrieved October 28 2015
[2] Government tackles rising unemployment rate, Retrieved October 28 2015

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.