10 things I don’t miss about Norway

  1. The weather.
  2. Boring software engineering jobs.
  3. 25% sales tax.
  4. Tax barriers (up to 500%) on imported meat.
  5. State monopoly and high taxes on alcohol (beer is $11 at bars).
  6. The farmers, their crappy products, and their propaganda about the dangers of imported food.
  7. $7/gallon gasoline (I don’t drive, but the FedEx guy who brings me stuff does) and ~50% tax on cars (a Toyota Prius starts at $46000).
  8. The monarchy. “The royal family is so nice” is not an argument for monarchy, especially when you’ve never even met them, you weak-minded sheep.
  9. Politicians who pat themselves on the back when the U.N. ranks Norway as the best country to live in.
  10. The prosecutor who tried to portray me as a member of an international crime gang.

Update: The title of this post is “10 things I don’t miss about Norway”, not “Norway sucks” or “The U.S. rocks”. It was written somewhat in jest for my American friends who have been complaining recently about the state of things in the U.S. I had already planned to follow up with a “10 things I miss about Norway” post, though that will have to wait as I can’t think of anything!

131 thoughts on “10 things I don’t miss about Norway

  1. Inge Henriksen

    Im norwegian too, and I agree with you on the most part :o)
    Some horror stories:

    -I lived in Tromsoe for some years, there they actually make people pay one norwegian krone (about $0.15 USD) for each liter of gas, to use for fixing roads supposedly, and still they managed to spend all the money before 1/2 a year passed so when summer came there was no money to actually do it :(

    -The royal family get bundles of cash for really not doing much, a couple of openings a year and thats about it, its not like they have a 9-17 job. Even though he is not elected the king is supreeme commander of the army, and people actually puts up with it, the king even has to approve the elected goverment. People say that the royal family sells Norway commercial interests abroad, ofcourse not, be live in a market economy and decision makers dont care about royals, they care about money :)

    -I couldnt agree more with you when it comes to boring jobs, I started my own company so I could *finally* work somewhere with a bit of vision. :o)

    Anyhow, have a nice life in the US, we need bright heads like you so sad to see you leave ;o)

  2. Paul Charles Leddy

    Well, live in the U.S. for a while. Take a drive into the minority neighborhoods, and just hang out for a few hours, force yourself. While I agree that your list has some downright silly things, there is a social fabric in Norway that is sorely missed here in the U.S. It is hard as a skilled, white person to feel what a majority of citizens here feel economically, and therefore psychologically. You might want to quit your job for a year and try to survive here and then back at home, and see which fairs you better. Or take a job uneducated people are qualified for, and live on that wage, and go through the stresses of being in such a situation with no way out.

  3. Jonathan

    Somewhat off topic, but do you have any idea when a new version of SharpMusique will be released for Windows?

  4. kai

    Something about 6:

    Ok! Norwegian food is very expensive. (About double prices to Germany). But is tastes even better than the high price products in Germany. Have you ever tried German eggs? Its something like: Dont touch it, it will break, and quite often smells like fish.

    CU Kai

  5. Egil Hogholt

    I couldn’t agree more!

    I left Norway more than a decade ago for Ireland. Dublin had serious problems with #1 above so I moved to Italy after a few years. The main problem here are the president and the traffic but at least I’m working on big and interesting projects.

  6. Axel

    Almost fully agree. But please, bullet #6 is not right except if you really prefer hormone meat sponge tasteless…
    ok, ok, meat from Argentina is really good… yummy
    A

  7. highchecker

    hi john, i lived in germany ( now in brazil ) so i had the opportunity to read and hear all that norway is best country of the world stuff from first hands ( norway emigrants, why they go away? ) and i wish you a wonderfull time there in san diego, great town !But u forget to say, that the best about norway is, that ist very small, isolated and far away from reality ( 11 $ a beer ????)

  8. slashdork

    FairKeys is broken. Again: quit chasing after San Diego chicks with fake boobies and fix it!

  9. Ian

    Jon,

    funny, I work with a colleague from Norway in my office (based in Switzerland). He is exceptionally well educated, like most guys I met from Skandinavian countries. He would subsribe to most of your points you mentioned above.

    As to myself, I can agree that:
    1. Well, the weather in Switzerland is not always brilliant, at least you have some of the best skiing in the world during winter time.
    2. Software jobs? I worked in that business very shortly. Fully appreciate your work. Work in a different area now (investment banking)
    3. Sales tax of 25 %? No comment. Rip off.
    4 – 6. Farmers are efficient elsewhere (like Switzerland). As a son of a farmer, I know how they play their game.
    5. Booze is cheap in Switzerland. Adult people should have the freedom to decide how to get drunk. Drugs should be legalized.
    7. 7$ a gallon. Norway is the 3rd largest exporter of petroleum. I don’t understand this. 50% tax on cars? Thank god in Switzerland you can have any car that you want. Switzerland is the largest export market for US cars in Europe. Not bad for a country of 7m inhabitants. I drove a Jeep Wrangler which you hardly don’t find outside of Switzerland, cool car! Imagine my trips to France in THAT car. You find all American cars in Switzerland : Corvettes (cool), Hummers (too big for here), all large SUVs (also to big), etc.
    8. Monarchies should be outsourced to W. Disney Corp.
    9. Politicians will know. At least better than you…
    10. Watch out! You are much more exposed now than you had ever been in Norway. Honestly, I don’t understand why you put yourself at the risk of US prosecution. It was no accident that the Swedish gentleman behind Skype has not set a foot on US soil, even after having sold his company for a decent amount to Ebay. Watch out!

    Hope you do well and enjoy your time in CA.

  10. Peter Davoust

    Your lucky you don’t have to drive. I’m 14 and I’m already contemplating getting a car because the only place I can get to (reasonably of cource) is the grocery store, and radio shack. I agree with you, but my point is don’t move to the US if you were considering it. Also, Why can’t Sharp musique buy albums? I think I missed the whole “So Sue me” saga. Thanks, for openning iTunes to the masses.

    -Peter

  11. Peter Davoust

    Just kidding (just noticed the moved to San Diego thing). Why?! Why not Canada! This is the land of cowardous and the home of the greedy! Don’t tell me your a GW Bush fan, are you?

  12. Per Christian Gaustad

    I was going to write “Couldn’t agree more”, but it turns out that I live in this country! And don’t forget the $30 limit on buying stuff from abroad (unless you want to get taxed to death, of course).

  13. Dohko

    Don’t you miss the Girls in Norway?

    Hvor kommer du fra i norge, Jeg har bort i norge seks manader, i bergen!

    I live in the US too, and after living in Norway i’d say the part of it that i miss the most is the girls 😉

    See U

    Dohko

  14. Hellgi

    Welcome to California! (I live in Los Angeles).

    You’ll see that there are some weird stuff happening in the US too…

    Take care.

  15. cameron

    “The prosecutor who tried to portray me as a member of an international crime gang.”

    They can portray you as a member of an international crime gang by proxy in Norway, however I hope you won’t be expecting them to more charming now that you’ve moved from arguably one of the few intellectually safe countries, into one of the most intellectually hostile countries in the world.

  16. Lurker

    Heh, if gas prices are so high, there are huge taxes on cars, goods and barriers on imported meat, how can it be the best place to live in? Maybe you should have a ’10 things i miss about Norway’ column too.

  17. cipha

    hell, man, and I thought 4€/package of cigarettes and 1.30€/l super is much. what the hell is going on with the taxes in norway…

  18. Lisa hansen

    Hurra for disse synspunktene.
    Du glir jo rett inn i Fremskrittspartiet – så synd de ikke støtter deg på programvarepolitikk-synspunktene dine.

    LH

  19. Danny

    Couldn’t agree with you more. Hope you enjoy your stay in the states, and that you keep up your good work. :-)

  20. Norsk

    Hva med å poste en liste over ting du savner med Norge? Noe av det mest irriterende som finnes er obsternasige NORDMENN som rakker ned på hjemlandet.

  21. Odd Rune Strømmen

    Oyh, better watch out – “VG” has found your little blogspot and now everyone wants to know, why oh why aren’t you beeing a patriot?

    Oh, that’s right, you just gave 10 pretty good reasons.

    Have fun in the states.

  22. Rune Fredriksen

    Amen. I emigrated from Norway to the US in 1992, and have no regrets.

    In short: Norway sucks and is a socialistic hell-hole.

  23. Mishy

    Åh kom igjen! Er det ingenting du savner med Norge? Sånn som, eh… Ok, sånn i farten kommer jeg ikke på noe vi har som er verdt å savne. Små søte trollfigurer og strikkagensere med elg i solnedgang motiv? Det er verdt å savne det!

  24. Erik Midtskogen

    Things I would not miss about the USA (New York) if my wife lets me move to my father’s homeland:

    1. The weather.
    2. The mandatory 80-hour work week for software engineers.
    3. The forty-two different little taxes (Federal, state, local, property, school, sales…etc.), surcharges, employee insurance co-pays, and such that all add up to a bigger chunk of most Americans’ paycheck than what most Norwegians pay in their far simpler and more honest sytem.
    4. The excuses politicians give for not repealing the tax breaks that actively sponsor the exportation of U.S. jobs.
    5. The long, expensive plane flight required to enjoy alcohol prices in Germany that truly are low.
    6. The corporate factory farms and their crappy products resulting from chemical shortcuts and inhumane conditions. In Norway, chicken does not ship infected with salmonella 25% of the time.
    7. The car-centered culture that criminalizes attempts by cyclists or pedestrians to use many public highways that are paid for with money from all taxpayers, whether or not they drive a car.
    8. The monarchy. In Norway, it is a monarchy in name only. They do no harm. Ours has proven itself most efficacious at driving our entire country straight into the ditch.
    9. Faux News anchors who cheerfully chirp about the record-high number of billionaires the U.S. is cranking out while a quarter of our schools are so underfunded, understaffed, and poorly maintained that they’d be an embarrassment in a former Soviet republic.
    10. The prosecutor who orchestrated the state-sponsored murder of a severely retarded man in Texas who not only didn’t commit a capital offense, but wasn’t even in the building during the offense for which he was convicted. (The actual murderer was the son of a wealthy, well-connected man, so his life was spared.)
    Bonus: A culture of blind consumerism where you are what you own (or appear to own) and little else, and where the resulting cynicism has taken root to such an extent that all interactions between citizens, governments, and corporations are carried out in an atmosphere of fundamental dishonesty, and where the citizens frequently voice dissatisfaction with the unhealthful American way of life and the direction in which our society is headed.

  25. Nordmann-i-NYC

    Hi,

    couldn’t agree more. Let’s add to your list the fact that you risk being fined 1 1/2 months gross salary for having a glass of wine (ONE glass – I’m not talking about being drunk here) and driving, as well as the goddamn state church! Let those who need religion pay for it themselves.

  26. Per

    hmm – Litt sant er det jo. De fleste er nok enige med deg i det du skriver i denne bloggen.

    Mange lurer nok på hvorfor du valgte å flytte til USA, – selveste mekka for paranoid DRM-beskyttelse og RIAA’s organiserte korstog mot fildelingsnettverk og nedlastning av opphavsbekyttet materiale. Det grenser til trakasering (særlig de tilfellene som er rettet mot privatpersoner).

    USA er gammeldags når det kommer til tolleranse og frihetsfortåelse, og det er mye individualisme og lav takhøyde for vår sosialdemokratiske tankegang.

    For meg er det greit at bensinen koster $7/gallon hvis de perngene kan bidra til trafikksikkerhet og miljø for mine barn og kommende generasjoner. Det er ikke et mål i seg selv at ting skal være billigst mulig, men det er et mål at vår trygghet og levestandard sett i et bredere perspektiv skal være best mulig og for en billigst mulig kost.

    Leste du hendelsen om salmonella-infisert kjøtt fra polen som nylig strømmet inn i norske butikker? Jeg er enig i at norsk mat er for dyr og kunne holdt bedre kvalitet, men systemet vårt gir en viss beskyttelse mot spredning av smitte fra industrialisert jordbruk i andre land. Uansett, så tror jeg ikke Norge er unikt når det gjelder tollbarrierer på importert mat, og kanskje er det bra at det er sånn.

    Innen telekommunikasjon har Europa, og skandinavia spesielt, ligget nesten 10 år forran USA. Først i år har tekstmeldinger begynt å ta av i USA.

    Med andre ord er kanskje ikke bildet så svart hvit som du fremstiller det i bloggen.

  27. vemund kaarstad

    For litt motvekt kan det vel ikke skade å liste opp noen strong assets også, selv om de kanskje kan være mindre iøynefallende….?

    Mht nr 7 burde det være mulig å se på en argumentasjon som bl.a. påviser forskjellsbehandling storvokste utsettes for i tilvalget av biler med nødvendig plass og kjørekomfort, sikker kraft og pådrag ved forbikjøring og unnamanøvre, utstyrspakker for (indirekte) økt sikkerhet, rensing av partikkelutslipp (miljøtiltak) m.m. som bilavgiftene til Toll- og Avgift effektivt legger hindre i veien for. Kanskje en sak for almennheten å løse opp i – etisk nesten på linje med proprietære sperrer, eller hva?

  28. Frode Schumann

    I’m glad you worked it out Jon. No it’s time to forget the past and the shit yo’ve gone through and look forward.
    Good luck from Frode and PowerPack.

  29. Trønder;)

    E så enig så enig. Kunna itj få sagt det ber sjølv! Me det samme vil æ takk for dæm utrolige programman du lage te oss.
    (Men no e no itj usa så ber sjøl.. profit, profit, profit… Å politikken e d no litt av hvert å si på. Håpe du bosætte dæ i Seattle elr no, dæm e itj så gærdi..)

    Mvh
    Lovebadger a l t + f 4

  30. pia lysell

    i couln’t agree more… a fantastic list! The taxes and stupidety of politicians in this world-leading county is amazing! (kristin halvorsen som finansminister?? gla jeg flytta!) emigrated to the UK myself…

  31. Øystein Fjelldal

    Nøyaktig som jeg skulle sagt det selv Jon, bare at du gjør noe med det og flytter. Stå på….

  32. ok...think

    why is it expensive in Norway ? easy…they get better paid.
    It is very smart economic politic.
    Alot disagree,but you need to understand the system.

  33. Torgeir Aanes

    Sure, stuff is expensive in Norway, but the wages are high enough that we still have lower levels of poverty (and unemployment) than most European countries. The monarchy has no real power. I won’t argue with you about the weather, though!

  34. Håvard

    Du har litt rett, men det er faen meg nok å sette fingern på i USA også.

    Været i California er jo mega, men det er jo nesten ikke fine damer å se her… meget skuffet.

  35. MidwestBoy

    I’ve lived a year in the U.S. and can’t wait to go back. (will go back the instance I graduate)The political debate in Norway is so one-sided and sterile it makes Faux News look like a high-quality news channel. Institutions you can’t critisize in Norway: 1) United Nations (The UN has taken the place of the Holy Trinity, with it’s Security Council and it’s General Assembly and Sec. General. ) 2) Royal Family 3) Norwegian State Television (since they are the most unbiased news source in the world, naturally!) 4) Norway as a country. (I want to puke when I see norwegian officials gloating and gleeming after the U.N. has promptly satified all their combined wet-dreams by placing Norway above everyone else on the “best country” list.

    Now there are som good things about Norway too, which I am sure the states could learn from, but in general Norwegians harbor a view of themselves which is completely unrelated to reality.

    Good Luck!

  36. Ole Årseth

    Flott Jon, jeg er 58 år, og jeg trodde jeg var alene om å se igjennom bløffen, jeg deler de fleste av dine synspunkter. I dag fikk vi vite at 70% av de arbeidsledige har ingen tallforståelse, kan ikke lese eller skrive. Totalt er tallet 1. million i et land på 4 mill +, og det politiske system, samt subsidiert presse og forfattere!!! later som de ikke vet det. Derfor må de subsidieres, så få kan lese, og de er en gjeng håpløse middelmådigheter, som kopierer amerikansk litteratur, film, musikk og vi har en Andy Warhole på et hvert nes. Så sier de at Amerikanere er kulturløse, og belærer dem om det meste, og de har aldri vært der. NRK har “informert” dem, for så mange kan ikke lese norsk, langt mindre engelsk.
    Tjener du 100.000 (er fattig) får du 100 kroner i skattelette, og påslag på momsen og NRK lisensen. For det får du et brød, 6 egg, 1/4 kilo kaffe og en smakløs ost, jeg har sjekket den dagen statsbudjettet kom. Så vi må betale masse skatt i solidaritet med de fattige. De er fattige fordi de ikke har fått skolegang, og er like glad, fordi de bor i verden beste land. De tror det, fordi NRK har fortalt oss jevlig alt er i USA, akkruat som Dagsrevyen i det Sovjet Unionen.
    Selv har jeg alle mine forretninger i USA, i Norge er ikke risken selve forretningsvirksomheten, men helt uforutsigbar stat, og alle dem som mener du skal slite deg i hjel for dem. De skal subsidieres, for bare å være norsk, fordi vi ligger høyt på den nordlige breddegrad. Intet land i verden har bedre muligheter sett fra Naturen side. Singapore er en knøttliten øy med et par millioner, uten naturressurser, de startet for knapt 50 år siden og de slår oss på alle områder. Og alle får førsteklasses utdannelse og bolig.
    Hele det norske systemet vil rakne innen 10 år, de ansvalig vill rømme landet som de gjorde i 1940. Lykke til i USA.

    Ole

  37. Christoffer Olsen

    It should be said that even though taxes are progressive, high and your money gets taxed in too many layers, the Norwegian market is still higher than almost any place in the world. This creates a vacuum between the Norwegian economy and the world’s economy in general, which again does not get evened out when things happen like in #5 and #6. So, with a Norwegian paycheck, it’s not THAT bad. But still: Protectionism, 25% sales tax, and a state monopoly on anything else than (regular, not stronger brands) beer, IS bad. Very bad.

    It’s not getting better with the new government either though, so you’ll have to live over there for a long time if you ever wish to return. However, not everything is good in the US either. I’m not going to go in detail on that though.

    And a slight comment to something above, this is more Venstre-like than anyhting FrP. When the majority supports the monarchy and the protectionism, they will too.

  38. Roberto Capodieci

    Sure, easy to complain about all those things when you are not ITALIAN !!!
    .
    .
    .
    .
    OMG, too sad, I am Italian!

    Good, on the other hand, that I been living in the states – florida – for about 10 years, and moved to Asia because Bush got re-elected. Now I am in Bali – Indonesia – and my list would be quite different.

    Ever thought how a list like yours could be considered here?

    1) The weather. Here in Bali there is the best weather ever.
    2) Boring software engineering jobs. Here there is no way to do such job.
    3) 25% sales tax. THere are NO TAX, just corruption.
    4) Tax barriers (up to 500%) on imported meat. Only some cencorship on books and movies…
    5) State monopoly and high taxes on alcohol (beer is $11 at bars). Beer is cheaper than water. (even tho I don’t drink)
    6) The farmers, their crappy products, and their propaganda about the dangers of imported food. Here you get just RICE: with chicken, with swrimps, with…
    7) $7/gallon gasoline (here 1 gallon is not even a dollar, in italy is more than in your country)
    8) and ~50% tax on cars (a Toyota Prius starts at $46000). Here there is only one kind of car. no much choices…
    …the U.N. ranks Norway as the best country to live in… but never mentioned about Indonesia…

    Ciao,
    Roberto

  39. Britt

    Welcome to the States! As a Norwegian who have lived over here for 8 years now, I see it a bit differently. I’m older than you, and thus have a few more ailments. :) Try to get sick over here…

    As a Norwegian – been through the Norwegian educational system, I was taught to do a Pro and Con. I prefer to do a Pro – Pro. There are obvious Pros to both ways of life. Did you know that the US and Norway share consitutions? Yup. That’s right. Both countries are blessed with the same freedoms. We have the same rights. I choose to see my two cultures as plusses in my life. As does my American husband. We have an added bonus of having TWO Christmases. One with ribbe and one with turkey. (I keep telling him that we need a double set of presents too, but that one isn’t sinking in).

    I can understand that you feel that the Norwegian Government has been giving you a hard time. But on the positive note, the system worked, and you were acquitted. And that despite the tough pressure from the American Movie industry. I bet 10 kroner that in a couple of years you will be able to distance yourself from the negative and embrace the differences and be happy for the added bonus of having a two cultural background.

    So instead of being pissed off for all the commotion you have been through, appreciate what that publicity has given you… It did bring you to San Diego, didn’t it? 😉

    Vennlig hilsen Britt

  40. TB

    Great Jon, now youve really trigged all kinda white-trash norwegians to “agree” with you on a lot of other things I really dont think represents you very well.

    Its fun with some spiky irony and a kick to the left now and then – our old country really needs it. But hey… to get associated with those cheesy frp-boys above? – not exactly the brightest stars on the sky to put it that way…

  41. Norwegian in the US

    I’m a Norwegian in the US too. Put simply, when the main bulk of what you dislike about our country is taxes, taxes, taxes, software jobs (!), expensive alcohol and cars, you simply don’t have a lot to complain about in life. And as if taxes ever hurt you. How much income have you had during your time in Norway? And who paid for everything you have received from our welfare system from you were born till you moved? That’s us, with the tax money you hate so much. Maybe a bit more humbleness and gratitude would do you good ….

  42. AP

    High taxes? The paychecks is also higher so the taxes are small for norwegians.
    It IS best country to live in after my opinion aswell, even though some things might be expensive, most people can afford without problems. Its a free country! and have rights as in the us..
    the girls in Norway is also much prettier:p
    The gas prices are stupid though, as Norway is one of the greatest oil nations in the world.
    Its not without reason it was elected many years in a row as the best country to live in in the world, and that the immigration is increasing as much as it do 😮

  43. IMHO

    25% sales tax is a good thing.
    This way the goverment can decrease tax on work, and still have the same income.
    With less tax on work, there will be a greater income difference between having a job and not having one, so unemployed will try even harder to get a job, and people will generally work more because they feel they are getting better rewarded for it, thus less unemployment in the society and more productivity per capita.
    You also get the advantage of more income from the criminal activity. Criminals, for instance drug dealers, dont pay any taxes (off course) on the drug dealing but they still will buy all the legal merchendise like everyone else. So when the drug dealer buys food, clothes, cars etc, he contribues more to the legal economy with 25% sales tax like in norway, compared to usa`s 6-7%.
    ..and if the hollywood movies have thought me anything, it is that america got quite a lot of drug dealers..
    heia norge!

  44. Ole

    11$ for a beer? Where the hell do you go for a drink? I’m sure you can find some pretty high prices in the US social elites’ “in-places” too. In my neighbourhood a half litre of beer costs 6$. Ok its some pretty run down joints, but i’m not there to hob-nob with the rich people, i’m there to get drunk! 6$ might still sound a lot to you americans, but listen to this:

    I’m an uneducated grocery store clerk, bottom of the barrel, but I make 20$ per hour and my health care is free… :)

  45. Johan Känngård

    When I visited Norway a couple of years ago, I hated most of all the roads They are too small, and the norweigans drive like crazy, as if the roads were much larger! But I love the people, the language and the nature!

  46. Maje

    Well.. eh.. we don`t miss you all that much either:-) Good luck in the States!

  47. Oivind

    Jon, I left Norway 20 years ago for the exact reasons. Every time I mention this to someone from ‘up there’ they look at me with a blank stare at me with blank eyes – positively no idea what I am talking about.

    I will NEVER move back. If you get sick of the US, call me for programming job!

    Oivind
    Brighton, UK

  48. Sirius

    Dette blei vel litt svart-hvitt (skriver likegodt på norsk, siden de aller fleste her er norske). Prisene i Norge er høye, skattene er høye, bensinen er dyr – det samme er alkoholen og tobakken osv. Det regner og snør (ihvertfall regner, snø er snart bare ett minne) – i det hele tatt….

    1: Været kunne vært bedre i Norge (men for å se positivt på det er ikke skogbrannfaren overhengende på Vestlandet for tiden), men tross alt er det ikke så ille her om vi skal sammenligne med hva sørstatene i USA har fått smake i det siste.

    2: Skattenivået i Norge har også sine fordeler i form av ytelser fra Staten. Helsevesen, skole, barnehager, diverse støtteordninger osv. er fordelen av at staten drar inn penger i bøtter og spann fra oss. Så kan vi diskutere i all evighet om hvor rettferdig og fornuftig dette er, men å se på skattene som skamløst tyveri som mange gjør er direkte feil.

    3: Norge er blitt kåret til verdens beste land å bo i flere ganger på rad nå – hvis man ser på andre oljenasjoner må vi ha gjort noe riktig…..

    4: Monarkiet. Fordelen med monarkiet er at vi har en upolitisk leder uten makt, noe som fungerer samlende. Kongen er også en genial ambassadør for Norge. Ser prinsippielle problemer med monarkiet, men sålenge all makt ligger i folkevalgte organer ser jeg ærlig talt kun fordeler med monarkiet i praksis.

    5: Hvis du synes påtalemyndigheten i Norge var ekle å ha med å gjøre skjønner jeg ikke en døyt av hvorfor du flyttet til Statene. Hørt om “fra asken til ilden”?

    Men, for all del – skulle gjerne emigrert for en periode (kanskje for godt), men hadde nok funnet med ett annet sted enn Statene. Kanskje Australia? SV og SP i regjering, regnvær (ikke noe imot kaldt klima, men hvis det først skal være vinter kunne det vært litt greit med snø! Kaldere regn enn om sommer’n er liksom ikke bra nok). Lykke til i California!

  49. Maria, dama fra nord

    Hei Jon! I agree with most of the things you are saying… But, you have to agree that living in norway have surtain perks if you compaire it to the US… like Paul Charles Leddy, the social health care we have is fare better than in most other countries and the fact that we don’t have to pay the dentist befor age 20. when you are unemployd you don’t have to live on the street and the best thing of all, I think as a student, is that you can get an high education no matter how much money you parents have… the state pays for it…
    but no matter were you live, you’ll allways have something to complaine about right 😉
    Ps. live in Trondheim hate the weather!
    (for all those how speaks english and read this i appologies for my english)

  50. Fernando González

    only that i can say is that every country is different fom each other..

    fernando from venezuela.

  51. Rune

    Jon, one day you’ll see Norway isnt that bad, after all.. I should know, I have lived in the UK for 8 years now. Borte bra, men hjemme best!

  52. Stein

    Yeah, you’re just to recently to the states. What I wouldn’t give to go back, and probably end up doing after finishing what I want out of the states. Personally, most of this place sucks. Probably because everyone is goddamned self absorbed 99% of the time. Besides, the States are digging themselves a grave that they can’t get out of. Btw, Norwegian food is better than any single thing I have had stateside.

  53. KickF

    I must agree in some of your TOP 10 …. yesterday November 15th we had on the westcoast on norway ( vestlandet 😛 ) 221mm of rain on 24H… and sure we had like 30-40 roads cloesed due to all the water and 12-15 avalanche. one of them got a man killed.

    But for that #6 of yours ? Sure there are some great products that norwegian farmer don`t make as good as other germans and others in EU BUT !!! It`s safer to eat meat from norwegian farmers since it has been controled by the norwegian food agency. We just had some bad polish meat ending up on the marked making alot of peoples sick. Why ? Coz imported meat is not tested at the polish food agency ( if there are any ) so and there is no control of these kinds. So the norwegian food agency has to thest the stuff themself, but the problem is that when the have tested it it has ended up as a product in the freezer on your supermarked and peoples are allready getting sick. I`m sure that imported meat that comes from other conterys in EU has been controlled better.

  54. Per

    I agree so much with Britt. She sounds like a grown up woman with perspectives in life. It must be a privilege to combine the good things from both countries. The 10 things Jon don’t miss about Norway is very well written, but the words lack perspective and warmth. The writing obviously comes from a young man. The responses also shows that his words first of all atracts the younger people. Jon is a very brave and intelligent young man, and I’m sure in a few years time he will look differently at things and pick the best from both countries.

    So Jon, what you did in Norway is respectful (no need to be bitter), and you had the courage to resist the offensive charges and stay with your opinions. I’m glad that you have a job were you can continue your work in line with your “mission” to have the right to freely choose the equipment and sw for playing legally bought media for music, film, etc. This is a very important principle and applies to a lot of other places as well (such as document standards, protocols, operating systems, etc). So I’m looking forward to more news from you, and hopefully without bitternes against Norway.

  55. Joe

    Erik Midtskogen says:

    7. The car-centered culture that criminalizes attempts by cyclists or pedestrians to use many public highways that are paid for with money from all taxpayers, whether or not they drive a car.

    That’s because cyclists & pedestrians often DIE when delta-V gets above 55mph.

  56. christian

    some things are better in norway though, i know since i lived 2 years in new zealand:

    1. the girls! they are sooo much prettier in norway than any onther place i’ve been (except sweden, of course)
    2. the food – i really hated nz-food, norwegian bread and milk is much tastier!
    3. salaries – people make a lot more money per hour in norway than most other places…

    i agree with you on the weather though, i really hate the cold and crappy weather in norway – and i don’t even get the worst of it since i live in the dryer part of norway (oslo)…

  57. Elizabeth

    Du er kanskje mer sammensatt enn det som kommer til uttrykk i dette? Jeg håper det for din skyld.

    Selv om du blir forfulgt, forhåndsdømt og kjeppjagd og har hatt en forferdelig oppvekst i det sosialistiske Norge – har du jo klart å komme deg til verdens Mekka – USA – “mulighetenes land”.

    Jeg håper du trives, i det jeg betrakter som et av verdens mest kriminelle land – med en av verdens mest korrupte statsledere.

    For uansett hvor naive og sosialistiske vi kan være her i Norge – er menneskene mer i fokus her.

    Jeg har fulgt dine framstøt innen IT med stor interesse (om enn det ofte har vært langt utenfor min fatteevne) opp gjennom årene og heiet på deg fra sidelinjen. Men som du ser – i dag føler jeg meg provosert (som kanskje var din intensjon).

    Hilsen ei som trives godt i Norge – selv om alt ikke er perfekt.

  58. georgezelaya

    Very interesting comments. I live in Miami USA.
    My bro-in law was Norwegian- Vidar Lillelid (and family)were killed in tennessee USA back in 1997.
    He always had great stories about Norway.
    I’d like to visit some time and also Sweden although I think it would be better during the warmer months.
    Pleaase continue posting.

  59. Badu

    Suggestions… If you were a 21 one year old Norwegian girl with a 2 year old son liviing in Oslo what would you want from the United State? My care packages usually consist small treats including music, soup, gum and levi’s. Thanks for the imput.

  60. Jon Dong

    You are totally correct there are just a load of peasants living in Norway . They are always listening to bullshit the politicians dish out which is basically new ways to flaw the people through hidden or not so hidden taxes.There can be NO other country in the world where motorists are fined(flawed) for pissy little motoring offences just to line the pockets of the fucking corrupt politicians. Its not the politicians that are stupid ITS YOU TWATS LIVING HERE ..
    In any other democratic country they would be breaking down the doors of the parliment in protest but NORWAY OH NO lets bend down and let the politicians ram anything up our rear ends……. WE ACCEPT THIS SHIT…

  61. Christine Winter Krogstad

    In Defense of Norway (from a former American ‘patriot’)

    I lived in US for 4 decades. I now live in Norway and have found my paradise!

    1. Norwegians are much more active and physically fit than Americans. For the first time in recorded history, American youths now have a diminishing life expectancy due to morbid obesity.
    2. Norwegians do not feel it necessary to carry a gun for protection from car-jackings, sexual assualt, etc.
    3. Murder in Norway is quite rare. General murder rates are: USA ..18,000 – Norway … less than 30. (Pop. 300 million v. 4.5 million – do the math).
    4. And best of all……….As an American who contributed to Social Security and paid health insurance premiums for 25 years, I still paid much more for ‘out-of-pocket’ healtcare costs during 1 month in US than 12 months in Norway.
    5. No censorship (Americans are led to believe Freedom of Speech occurs only in USA). Unbelievable what American media does NOT report). And once again, USA has refused to sign The Kyoto Deal.
    6. Norway has been The Best Place In The World To Live for too many reasons to mention. Norway is at the leading edge of environmental issues, human rights, domestic and wild animal welfare, and I can drive and not worry that someone with 5 or more DUI convictions will run me or my family down.

    Lenge Leve Norge!!
    Christine

  62. Birger Johan Nordølum

    Greeting Jon,

    I must seriously admit you are a funny guy Jon 😀 10 things you don’t miss about Norway? Yeah, but I guess its alot more things you DO miss. Am I right?

    Anyway, good luck with the new job and all. Looking forward to any future creations by you! And have a great christmas, headed home to mom and dad?

  63. Amos Keppler

    The real funny thing about this is all those feeling hurt on norway’s behalf. I was born and bred in norway, but have lived outside it most of my adult life, and I can confirm that norway stinks. Everything is more open outside. Many norwegians have yet to join the world. And that is the worst thing in my opinion. There are pros and cons, yes, but the pros of leaving norway far exceeds the cons.

  64. Birger Johan Nordølum

    You are totally right, Amos Keppler. But I think that is a problem with almost everyone. So the norwegians arn’t the worst one. Hehe. And I honest admit, it have a drawbacks, but got damn, that does every country!

    Happy birthday BTW, Jon 😀

  65. John

    I just came back from Oslo to Paris (my homeland), and I already miss norway, so I cannot really agree.
    Yes the weather was bad, but after I went one day to Helsinki it seemed a lot better :)
    Girls are the best looking I ever saw I think.
    You have no fear even alone in a small street anywhere in the city, people are much nicer than here also.
    Good studies.
    All the life I had there.

    Things that I did not like :
    – prices
    – food (I did most of my shopping in Kiwi, and there is not much choice, especially for meat..)

  66. Linda Hoelsæther

    I am an American citizen with a Norwegian father. I grew up in Norway and moved to the US from Oslo when I was 30. I travel to Norway every year to visit my family.

    I think, Jon, after a couple of years in the US, the thin layer of shine on the US will wear off for you, too. Here’s some comparisons:

    1 – Ability to make money.

    Yes, you can make money in the US. But, you will have to work your butt off for every penny with little vacation and complete resignation to the rat-race. I still see a better balance between work and life quality in Norway…

    2 – Religious Freedom

    While the US is supposed to be a provide religious freedom, it’s all just lip-service and the country is becoming more fundamentalist Christian every single day.

    3 – Patriotism

    Many Americans truly believe that the US is the only free country on the planet, that the rest of us all live under subjugation and it’s their duty to “free” us all. Many Americans will tell you te US is the best country in the world. While Norwegians can be pretty arrogant, too, they have more of a reason; they are actually named the Best Country to Live In, and have been several times.

    4 – Healthcare

    I didn’t know the price of an x-ray until I moved here, got cancer and fought with the health insurance company to get my surgery paid. If they didn’t, I would be bankrupt. I know in Norway you have to wait for non-life threatening procedures, but at least you can get them without have to worry if your insurance covers them or not. Hope you have good health insurance…

    5 – Taxes

    From you post, taxes in Norway is a big deal for you. But, healthcare is free, dental care is free up to a certain age, public transportation is fully developed so you don’t need gas-guzzling cars, the air is cleaner and the environment is protected, everyone gets several weeks paid vacations, paid maternity leave (is it 9 months or a year now?), education is very good no matter where you live and what school you attend, etc. Basically, in America, you don’t pay as much in taxes, but you pay for it anyway afterwards either directly or indirectly. Is the US system better? Well, the proof is in the pudding; you simply do not see the level of poverty in Norway that you see here. Maybe you live in 90210 and haven’t traveled to the boonies in Tennessee to see what I am talking about.

    You had a very sucky experience in Norway and I would be pretty angry, too. But, realize that the US is no better; it’s just a different system. I would just rather grow old in Norway then here…

  67. Pan

    I hope you know that a majority of the worlds’ population can only dream about the kind of life you have in Norway and the U.S. But then, Europeans and Americans are experts in complaining about their own situation.

  68. Thomas S

    IMHO, the fundamental difference between Norway and the US is in how people define the word “freedom”.

    In the US, most people are concerned with the “freedom to” (as in, freedom to carry guns – do *not* get me started on the whole 2nd Amendment thing 😉 ). In Norway, most people think of freedom in terms of “freedom from” (as in “freedom from having to worry about how to pay for my surgery”).

    As for taxes in the US vs. Norway, suggest the people complaining about the taxes in Norway take their paycheck, add the cost of your average medical insurance and retirement savings plans (recommend using *no less* than 14% of your monthly pre-tax pay for the retirement plan alone and possibly up to 500 dollars/month for Health insurance) to the Federal, (up to 35% of income) Medicaid (approx 1.5% I think it is), Social Security (approx 5.5%) and State Taxes (MA taxes are approx 5.5%) for their income bracket. Oh, and when/if you have kids, also need to add the money saved every month to pay for the kid(s) College education (estimate between 20 and 50 *thousand* dollars per year for 4 years in expenses, so amortize 120000 over 216 months to make it conservative). Only then are we comparing apples to apples (mostly)… And guess what, taxes in Norway, all of a sudden, do not look all that bad…

    Basically, the US isn’t too shabby of a country to live in if you’re healthy, working and/or relatively young. Norway beats the US, hands down, as a place to retire, be sick or out of work in..

    Thus Jon, save your passport and make sure you have enough cash to return to Norway should your employer decide to lay you off or fire you. The two week notice (at best) ain’t much time to get organized and Norway certainly makes for a pretty soild “plan B” 😉

  69. Mike

    Welcome to the US Jon, I hope you enjoy your stay and wish you much success.

    I am an American citizen and lived in Norway for 6 years. I feel I must comment on this, especially to the Norwegians who think Norway is such a great place. It is a nice place. But, the taxes and socialist policies really make it difficult to enjoy your life. If you are a skilled professional, you are hands down way better off in the US. In Norway, if you have a salary of NOK500.000 (which is pretty high in Norway), you will still be struggling to have the things you would take for granted in the US. You can’t even afford a nice new car. A similar job in the New York area would get you at least $100,000 a year. With that, you can have a house, a boat, and a nice car. In Norway, that is impossible. It costs about $50 for a damn pizza even! Don’t get me wrong, it’s a nice place with nice people, but if you think you are living a “rich life”, you are deluding yourself.

    Even if you buy a car, you have to pay about $500 a year in road fees, plus the kr20 toll fees that are practically right inside Oslo. You should at least be able to drive in the local area without paying tolls!

    Where I come from in NY, it is common to eat out a few times a week if you want. You can’t afford that in Norway. And the supermarkets have hardly any selection – they are tiny almost like a large 7-11.

    And to the person who commented about pensions. If you have a good job in the US, and have a 401(k) plan, you will have much more money then a typical Norwegian governement pension.

    The free health care is great, but it is really only good for emergency situations. The normal doctor visits are a joke. When my friends went to the doctor in Norway, they were done in 5 minutes. Any time I go to a doctor in NY, I am there at least 45 minutes. I get a full checkup. In Norway, the doctor says “Hvordan går det?” and then you leave. Sure, if you don’t have insurance in the US (or lots of money), you are screwed, but that is not really a problem for working people. And the doctors and dentists are some of the best in the world. I am no expert with Norwegian medical facilities, but from what I have seen, I was not impressed. And I have had a few Norwegian coworkers who had to go to Sweden and pay for medical treatment themselves because they had to wait several months in Norway on a waiting list for treatment.

    And to the person who said they are glad the prices are expensive in Norway so they can have safe roads – are you serious? The highway system in the US is an order of magnitude better then in Norway. We have large highways across the country with decent speed limits. Norway has tiny little winding roads where the speed limit is about 50 MPH.

    And to the Norwegians I run into and say “Yes, the prices are higher but so are out salaries!”. Ha! It’s true if you work at McDonalds, you will earn about double in Norway as you would in the US. But the situation is completely reversed when takling about professional jobs.

    And paid vacations in Norway? That’s not really true since you pay for it yourself out of your taxes.

    The basic difference is that in Norway the successful people are basically punished to pay for the lazy people who do not work. Everyone is basically very close financially in Norway because of this. Earn over a certain amount and you are paying close to 50% in tax. This money is then given to those who earn less. It’s fine and great for people who really are sick and need it, but I knew PLENTY of people who just were lazy and would collect money from the government instead of working.

    And the above poster who claimed Norwegian taxes were not really that bad when adding in pension, health benefits, etc. What you fail to comprehend is that those are paid by the employer. And in Norway, they employer also pays a large tax on the employee’s salary. So you can’t include those in a comparison. We are talking about money in my pocket after each paycheck, and any benefits included. I can go to my doctor whenever I want and my insurance covers it. Just like in Norway, except I have much more after tax money in my pocket.

    And let us not forget the wonderful 25% sales tax in Norway. Take a typcal Norwegian earning about kr300.00 a year. That’s approximately $45,000. Forgetting that in NY the person would have a higher salary, but let’s just use those numbers as an example.

    After tax, the Norwegian would have Kr17.000 or $2,615. The US citizen living in New York would have $2850. We will assume both have a car and it is all paid for (that would make it more interesting though since cars are about double the price in Norway then the US – forcing most people to drive old dangerous cars where in the US a new cars are pretty reasonably priced).

    In Norway, you have to pay about $460 a year to have your car registered. Thats $40 a month. In New York, it is $75 every two years, or $3.13 a month. Also, in Norway, you must pay the government $370 a year if you own a TV (yes, unbelievable but true). In NY, there is no such thing. That $370 a year is about $30 a month. Let’s assume both pay rent of $1000 a month. Lets just check what we have now:

    Norway NY
    Start 2615 2850
    CarFee 40 3.13
    TV Tax 30 0
    Rent 1000 1000
    —————————————————-
    1545 1846

    I wont even bother adding in the fees that if you need snow tires in Oslo, you have to pay an extra $150 each winter in order to use them. And since the weather is so bad, you basically have no choice.

    Now each person uses 120 liters of gas over the month. Thats approximately 2 full tanks.

    Norway: 120 liters @ 10kr/liter = kr1200 or $185
    NewYork: 120 liters or 32 gallons at $2 gallon = $64

    Now you come home from work and order a pizza delivery to your appartment. Norway price, about kr200 or $30. New York $11.

    Norway NY
    Start 1545 1846
    Gas 185 64
    Pizza 30 11
    —————————————————-
    1330 1771

    Now on Friday night, you take your girlfriend out for drinks. You decide to get drunk. You each have 5 beers and 4 mixed drinks.

    Norway: 10 beers at kr52 / $8 a beer = $80 plus 8 mixed drinks ar kr90 / $14 each = $112, total of $192
    NewYork: 10 beers at $3 each = $30 plus 8 mixed drinks at $6 each = $48, total of $78

    Also, since you are drinking, you take a taxi to town and back. Taxi in norway is incredibly expensive. On weekend, the minimum price is about $18. Let’s say we drive 2 miles (3 kilometers). In NY, that price would be (see http://www.nyc.gov in the taxi section) approximately $7.

    Norway: 2 Taxi rides, minimum price $18 each ride = $36
    NYC: 2 taxi rides, $14

    Norway NY
    1330 1771
    Taxi 192 78
    Pizza 36 14
    —————————————————-
    1102 1679

    Let’s assume you go shopping each month, buying a few items for about $400. Let’s assume the base prices in Norway are the same as in NY (not true, considerably higher due to higher taxes on business, but anyway). Now let’s add the sales tax:

    Norway: $400 + 25% = $500
    NewYork: $400 + 8% = $432

    Also, add in $400 a month for groceries. Note there is a big difference here that is hard to quantify. It is difficult to eat healthy in Norway because the good food is quite expensive. But in Norway, you won’t be eating steak that often, more likely bread and brown cheese. Ok, not that bad, but food is generally about 30% or more expensive (for example, a fresh turkey is about 3 times the price in Norway then in US, same for chicken). But let’s be generous and just use the same amount for both people:

    Norway NY
    1102 1679
    Shoppiing 500 432
    Groceries 400 400-4
    —————————————————-
    202 847

    I’ll leave it here. These are just basic things, but all the little expenses, 25% sales tax, they all add up to basically take all your paycheck each month. The guy in NY still has $850. He can afford to take his girlfriend out another weekend, and even put a few hundred dollars into savings. The Norway guy is going to run out of cash before the month is over and will be waiting for his next pay check. I lived there for several years and it was the same story from everyone. Always broke at the end of the month.

    Now, this comment is written as if I hate Norway. That’s not true, but I am sick and tired of Norwegians talking about life in the US when they don’t really know what they are talking about. I lived in both places and that’s my experience. The US certainly has many problems as well, I’m not trying to defend it. But when it comes to finances, you can’t beat a good job in the US. You really have the chance to save and enjoy life and make it to the top.

    My wife is Norwegian and I do like Norway a lot. It’s just not a good place to live if you are capable of having a decent professional job with good earnings potential. Here in NY, we can drive to Washington or fly to Florida or Las Vegas for the weekend. Go out to eat when we want, both have nice cars. We could never afford to live like this in Oslo. We visit there at least once a year and we have a really great time.

    Norway is a great place for many people, and I’m not trying to tell anyone anything different. But you are brainwashed if you think you are “rich” living in Norway. The government is rich, but most people are basically just scraping by.

  70. Skippy

    A great deal of interesting responses, there Jon, seems like a touchy subject…

    Afters studying 18 mths in USA, I couldn’t wait to get away from the Sovjet-like paragraph-ruled society that the US actually is!! All those f***ing rules!! Tickets for riding a bike on the pavement, crossing the streets, eating in public offices, scratching your back with the wrong hand….

    Have you seen the “No Loitering “- signs (hanging around in places)? In potentially high-crime-areas, “studies” have shown that crime raises when lots of people just “hang about”. And how do you handle problems like this in America? You make RULES about it, of course!! “-Hey, lets just forbid it!!?!” In that way, they make sure guys instead of hanging out go home and shoot their wives instead…….

    Too bad you didn’t like it over here, but I guess I see you around here in Norway in some years, when it’s time for you to raise a family, and get fraternity leave, and your children are about to go to kindergarden and school and college, and you are getting older and sicker, and want your pensions and sick leaves and elderly home and so on…. Maybe I can offer you a slice of GOOD bread, with brunost, and a NORMAL SIZED, NATURALLY grown apple on the side, some regular milk WITH fat in the FRESH air…

  71. Robin

    I, like Mike with his post above, would like to welcome you to the US and wish you much prosperity and happiness. I am of Norwegian lineage (the Iowa settlements) and have a profound emotional and nostalgic connection to “all things Norwegian” . Also I have a good friend from college (US citizen) who married a Norwegian and now hates the US and emails me on a regular basis on how much our country sucks. So as to flesh out my defensive arguments in response to her criticisms I would love to know more about your country, as Mike blogged above with such intelligence and attention to detail. So, could I ask you 10 questions about your country(?) I would love your responses.

    !. Is it true an average doctor makes about $39000 and a forklift driver makes about $30000?

    2. In general, are there snobs in Norway? Does the income equalization make socioeconomic strata less apparent?

    3. Is it really true I can make $20.00 an hour working at a convenience store?

    4. What are the highest and lowest tax brackets?

    5. If you can’t excel economically, why strive and take risks to succeed?

    6. Do people tend to drive the same car, live in the same kind of house, etc.?

    7. What percentage of kiddos are born out of wedlock?

    8. Is religion a large part of Norwegian life?

    9. What is the waiting time for, say, an MRI procedure in a Norwegian hospital?

    10. If your country was attacked, do you feel confident in the military’s ability to handle the situation?

    Thank you for your blog – it is one of the best I have stumbled upon in my surfing.

  72. BobbyBrown

    Left Norway for the States 15 years ago. What I love about the US is that I don’t really have to care about everybody else. Make your own luck or lose it! It’s not my problem if you die in the gutter.

    However, I’m getting worried about my rights…

  73. Gustav

    This is a very interesting discussion. I have to admit that in many ways the short visit in the US felt more “real” than being in Norway. Now – I realize that this is contradictory, as “realness” is considered far more important in Norway in almost everything; music, food, social communication etc, so let me elaborate: In Norway; everything is so “padded”, and the potential for anything you’d want to do, is
    low.
    Of course, for me, being young, having lots of job opportunities within software engineering, no chronic illnesses, speaking good english and so on, I require very little padding! That, and my sympathy for other human beings taken into consideration, tbh I think that Norway has found a nice middleway between communism and capitalism.
    The US can be very good when you have the resources, bad if you’re unlucky. Kind of like nature, and that’s the “realness” I like about the US at this point, I guess. On the other hand, the US social fakeness “oh yes we’d LOVE you to come over”, etc etc, I can’t take it for more than a couple of weeks. I also could in no way tolerate the “elitism” where the “elite” quality often is the willingness to push other people into the dirt by any means possible. This makes a “noblehood” of fat old men run the country, and also contributes to making the US the least democratic of all industrial nations (while of course trying their best to claim the opposite).

    I realize Norway have a problem with catering so much to the unfortunate and the lazy – as many say they love living in the US for a few of their younger years, then come back to Norway and harvest the goods of a fully padded social system. Norway still has tweakings to do to find a perfect middle road and stop people from exploiting the system.

    As for the guy claiming that the road system in the US is superior – give me a break. We have lots of mountains and hard weather here, and also loong distances and a very distributed society. It takes a lot to maintain norwegian roads. In winter we have to salt the roads and clear them of snow, and in spring the roads break up from thawing underlying ice. The norwegian road system is superior to the US, make no mistake. Driving in the US is boring, even if you can avoid the queues. Flat, boring piece of crap roads and flat scenery.

    As for the guy above:

    >1. Is it true an average doctor makes about $39000 and a forklift driver makes about $30000?
    The forklift driver salary is probably about right, but the doctor one is very wrong. 😛 Yes, education should be higher treasured here, but if you think being a forklift driver in Norway is some kind of big deal – please think again.

    >2. In general, are there snobs in Norway? Does the income equalization make socioeconomic strata less apparent?
    Much less apparent, being snobby here is very low status, luckily.

    >3. Is it really true I can make $20.00 an hour working at a convenience store?
    This is imo the upper range (ie supervisor), but yes, you can.

    >4. What are the highest and lowest tax brackets?
    As taxes in Norway include social expenses, I guess you’d have to redefine what “taxes” are. I don’t have the time, but see several attempts above. 😀

    >5. If you can’t excel economically, why strive and take risks to succeed?
    First off, you can excel economically in Norway. The difference is you can excel less. This is good why? Because “taking risks” as you say is often working too much – ignoring your kids thus contributing to the brittle psychological makeup of the US. Or forcing others to work too much and ignore their kids, or – of course – simply breaking the law. Enron anyone? The US willingness to succeed, in many results in a fakeness that permeates the entire US society. It also results in pollution and all that. But who really cares right?

    >6. Do people tend to drive the same car, live in the same kind of house
    No, not really, but a lot of the norwegian homes are from before the concrete era, and norwegian drivers require cars that drive well in winter.

    >7. What percentage of kiddos are born out of wedlock?
    You mean if you consider the fact that “living together” (samboerskap) has a similar status of “wedlock” here? Wake up, US divorce rates render marriage a joke.

    >8. Is religion a large part of Norwegian life?
    Not in a dominating, excluding way, as in the US. You will notice religion far more in the US, so I’d say no.

    >10. If your country was attacked, do you feel confident in the military’s ability to handle the situation?
    Yes, it could be stronger, but Norway and allies would be able to withstand. I also like the fact that we don’t use our military to try to control other nations.

  74. MartinB

    Bobby, Jon’s rantings are typical of a succesfull young male. But, of course, there are differences which are interesting to discuss – though with the different poplulation sizes, comparing say, Alaska and Norway, might be more relevant.

    To your list:
    1) The lowest official rate for a doctor in public service is USD 47.700
    (though of course in the health services there are all sorts of overtime additions etc.)
    The forklift driver might well make 30.000 usd. However, believe me, doctors here
    do very well, thank you.
    2) Yes, there are snobs. Especially the rich kids on the good side of town. However,
    with such a small population, naturally everyone knows people in other classes.
    You can have electricians and lawyers at the same party without it being socially
    difficult. What we don’t have is a (overt) class system.
    Cultural heritage counts too. Unlike most of Europe Norway never really had any
    landed aristocracy. And the Germanic tribes (read the vikings) were fairly egalitarian
    which is why all the worlds’ old parliaments are in these countries.
    3) Doesn’t sound impossible, no.
    4) Base tax rate is 28% , though there are tax free allowances first. Max tax-rates
    47,8 (28 + 12 + 7,8). However, government takes in more in sales tax than income
    tax, I believe.
    5) Well, a) you can make money. But, also a strong motivation for doing anything is that you like it.
    (Ref. Jon’s complaint about no interesting software jobs in Norway.) Sociologist are
    also showing that relative wealth is what matters to many people.
    6) Norway has the highest home ownership rate in the world. Because of cheap land
    most people outside the big towns have houses. Otherwise, housing
    and especially, cars, are as stratified here as anywhere.
    7) Don’t know. Maybe around 50%?
    8) In the west and south religion is still an important part of social life. Some find it
    stifeling, others not. But religion is steadily becoming less important. We have the lowest
    rate of church attendance in Europe, I think.
    9) Don’t know.
    10) Obviously, with a population of 4 m we would be overrun pronto without the UK/US to
    protect us, if Russia attacks. However, we have the second-highest per capita expenses
    in NATO for the military, and as such contribute our bit.

  75. MartinB

    Leaving aside the disposable income question, I think some important differences lie with there being more restrictions and difficulties in setting up small buisnesses in Norway than in the US. Also a somewhat lower level of competition in all fields of life, means that there are fewer people/businesses/organizations who achieve excellence in their fields. I think this kind of thing is probably more irksome to those entrepeneurial types who have left Norway. (Excepting those “me only” types who think any government concerned with more than protecting private property, is an intolerable intrusion to their liberty).

    On a totally different subject, Norway is just about the only country in the world which has not ruined its internal economy despite having a windfall of wealth. This has partly been acheived by having high tariffs, e.g. keeping gas/petrol prices on par with those in other European countries. It also helps that their politicians (at least on a national level) are decent and honest.

  76. Teknokraten

    To Robin:

    Average doctors salary: $68.000
    Forklift driver: $41.000

    There are snobs in Norway, but there are fewer of them. Typically, people living on the west side of Oslo have higher incomes than people elsewhere in the country and are often regarded as snobs. The socioeconomic differences are however much smaller here than in the US. You won’t find many 37 673 square foot luxury villas or Ferrari’s here.

    20$ an hour is not unlikely. It’s a pretty standard salary for the average uneducated worker.

    I’m not sure of the tax brackets. I’m a student working part-time (closer to full-time), and I earn around $15.000 and pay 20% tax.

    I strive to excel because I feel good when I succeed. Money is not a goal in itself. I look at things I need contra things I don’t need. Do I need a nice car when I can take the bus? No. Do I need a large house? No. What is the point of excelling economically? To differentiate yourself from the masses? I’m perfectly satisfied with who I am. I don’t need “add-ons” to show people how successful I am.

    Yes, they do. See above. This mentality is very prevalent in norwegian society. Read Jante-loven (The Jante-Law) to understand this mentality. http://www.ling.gu.se/~hansv/berra3/janteloven.html. Scroll down for translation.

    I’m not sure, but I would guess that the majority are born out of wedlock.

    No, decreasingly. It’s said that 80% of the population are members of the state church, but these numbers are misleading. Many are members because they want to marry in the church, baptise and confirm their children there, but the actual number of people who are religious is much lower. It’s seen as old-fashioned to be religious, especially among young norwegians.

    Depends on the hospital. I waited one week for mine.

    No, I’m not confident in our military capabilities, but it’s not something I worry about. I don’t think any norwegian would say s/he’s worried about an invasion.

    Hope it helps.

  77. Norwegian Looser

    I’ll try to answer some of Robin’s questions. And I hope someone will bother to verify Mike’s calculations, since a salary of 500 000 kroner would really leave you with a lot of cash after the taxes are deducted.

    !. Is it true an average doctor makes about $39000 and a forklift driver makes about $30000?
    Avarage doctor salary is probably more like twice that amount, but the number for forklift drivers sounds reasonable.
    2. In general, are there snobs in Norway? Does the income equalization make socioeconomic strata less apparent?
    Yes, there are some snobs. But showing off your money is still considered to be in bad taste.
    3. Is it really true I can make $20.00 an hour working at a convenience store?
    I think the starting salary would be more like $15-16.
    4. What are the highest and lowest tax brackets?
    Not sure what you’re asking about, but the highest tax rate is 55%. Not sure how much you’d have to make to reach that, probably $120 000 or something.
    5. If you can’t excel economically, why strive and take risks to succeed?
    Sure you can make a lot of money. But that’s not what most people are striving for. They just want an interesting and rewarding job, that pays enough to support a good life for them and their family.
    6. Do people tend to drive the same car, live in the same kind of house, etc.?
    No.
    7. What percentage of kiddos are born out of wedlock?
    Most are, I think. Most young couples with kids I know are not married, they just live together. They don’t see the point. This is a big change from what is was like when my parents were young, when most couples got married. I think there are statistics about this at the link Julie posted above.
    8. Is religion a large part of Norwegian life?
    No, most people don’t consider themselves to be religious. They go to church for funerals, and maybe Christmas. But Norway has a long christian (protestant) tradition, and still has a state church. That’s about to change in a couple of years, it seems. A striking difference might be that politicians hardly ever mention words like ‘God’ in their public appearances. Not even the previous prime minister, who was a priest. But there is a Christan People’s Party that have views about things like abortion and homosexuality that are opposed to most other people’s views about those issues.
    9. What is the waiting time for, say, an MRI procedure in a Norwegian hospital?
    Not sure, but there are a couple of private hospitals if you’ve got the money and don’t want to wait. You might have to wait for weeks or months if your condition is not serious, since other people would then get priority over you.
    10. If your country was attacked, do you feel confident in the military’s ability to handle the situation?
    Not much of an issue any more, considering that Soviet Russia was the only threat. Back in the cold war, I think the Norwegian military was supposed to be able to hold them off for nine hours. That would be enough time for the US forces to arrive. The strategic location of Norway made it likely that the Russians would use it as a starting point for launching an attack at the US across the Atlantic. But that again meant that the US would be very interested in coming to our aid, should it ever happen.

    Sorry I couldn’t give better answers. Maybe someone else can help. :)

  78. burk

    Have you seen “Bowling for Coulombine” ?? Its a great documentary. 70 000 (or something) people in the USA are killed by handguns a year, while in Norway its like 10 or something, probably less than that too…

  79. Henrik

    Im from Norway and after reading several answers to this thread I have a come to a sort of conclusion:

    Norway is a great country to live in for poor and rich, we all have the same opportunities and live in a real-transparent soceity. (Based on my own life)
    While in the USA you are sort of doomed to live in bad psychological and physical conditions if you are not rich, and the rich really give a fuck about anyone besides themself.
    Based on my own view on America, G.W Bush really is an idiot, he dont have any good speaches and if he says something good, you really can see that he dont know what he’s talking about! Pre-written speaches just performed by the doll Bush.
    And my conclusion is; If a country can elect a person like Bush, an RE-ELECT(!!!!!!!!) him there is something really fucked up things going on over there.

  80. Chris

    Answers to Robin’s questions from a random norwegian:

    1. Is it true an average doctor makes about $39000 and a forklift driver makes about $30000?

    The average doctor probably makes around 70-80k and the forklift-driver 40-50k.

    2. In general, are there snobs in Norway? Does the income equalization make socioeconomic strata less apparent?

    The strata are more based on education and culture than economics, as low-educated people usually makes almost as much money as highly educated people.

    3. Is it really true I can make $20.00 an hour working at a convenience store?

    No problem. The minimum wage is around $15 (by law), with a few years of experience/seniority you can easily pass $20.

    4. What are the highest and lowest tax brackets?

    32-48 percent if I remember correctly.

    5. If you can’t excel economically, why strive and take risks to succeed?

    That’s a very good question and a headache for those concerned about productivity in social democrat og socialist countries.

    6. Do people tend to drive the same car, live in the same kind of house, etc.?

    I would say so, yes.

    7. What percentage of kiddos are born out of wedlock?

    Quite many, don’t know the number, one out of three or four maybe.

    8. Is religion a large part of Norwegian life?

    For the average Norwegian, no. There are a few “bible belts”, but the nation as such is largely secularised

    9. What is the waiting time for, say, an MRI procedure in a Norwegian hospital?

    Don’t know. A couple of months maybe. It’s free though, all healthcare (and education) is.

    10. If your country was attacked, do you feel confident in the military’s ability to handle the situation?

    Attacked by another country? No, it’s way too small. But the chances for than are very slim, it’s not really a concern. Norway is also a member of the NATO defence alliance, which should provide the necessary protection.

  81. bleh

    You’re welcome to go live in, let’s say, hmm… Sierra Leone? Then bring us your “what you wouldn’t miss about Norway”. I’m pretty sure there’s someone willing to change place with you there.

    Norway ain’t perferct, but please show me the perfect country, cause it sure as hell ain’t The US.
    There are lazy ppl in Norway, but that’s just a price we have to pay, to not let ppl, that get sick, get thrown out on the streets when they can’t work. I’m sure you would have appreciated the taxes that _OTHER PEOPLE_ paid for you while you were growing up, so that you still could be able to live if you were to end up not able to work. I’m pretty sure you wouldn’t get very far “over there” if you got injured and not able to “work” anymore.

    As said before, you have lived a pretty good life if this is the worst things you can remember from Norway.

    So the gas is expensive, I agree on that, but I’m pretty sure you haven’t bought too much gas in your life so far, eh? Ok, you’re still allowed to complain abt it I guess.

    They pay more tax in Denmark than in Norway, though, they don’t pay as much tax when buying food and other stuff.

    The alcohol-taxes in Norway are stupid.
    You don’t have to pay to drive in Oslo, with winter tires, but if you use studded tires you have to pay a tax. But do you know why it is like that? It’s because of pollution, imagine all cars driving in Oslo using studded tires. It’s a way to get ppl to use tires without studs, cause most ppl in Oslo don’t need them.

    So the weather ain’t great all the fuckin time, but no one stops you from taking a vacation from time to time.

    Toppskatt @ 500 000 NOK is also stupid.

    I really don’t think the majority of the Norwegian population walk around thinking they’re rich, but most of them have enough to survive and then a little. Most people don’t need a house that’s 500 m2 or bigger, which is, according to 60 minutes “ordinary” sized house being built nowadays in the us.

    To all of you crying your guts out complaining abt Norway, feel free to leave, no one is stopping you. But remember to leave all your benefits, as a Norwegian, at the door when you’re leaving. So you can’t come home crying when things didn’t work out quite as well as you expected it too.

    So again, I know Norway ain’t perfect, and lots of things could and should have been better, but I’m pretty sure I don’t find a country that’s much better. There might be countries that are better in some places, but then again, worse in other places, but not better all over.

    What I really woulnd’t miss about Norway, are all those complaining about how awful Norway is. Not to mention those that move to Spain, with their money from the government, and there they sit complaining abt how terrible Norway is. How tragic ain’t that? They get money from the governemnt, each month, and still they complain.

    Abt MRI, if you’re in the hospital, you get an MRI when you need it, at once. Or if you get injured and need one. Myself, i’ve been to MRI a few times. Nothing urgent. But I’ve never had to wait more than maximum 12 days, and that’s just cause of the time it takes for the letters to reach back and forth.

  82. alphadec

    You say you don’t miss norway, guess I have always wanted to move to S.F so u lucky bastard hope u get lots of sun-burning!!! 😀

    Anyway “10 things u don’t miss about norway”….

    – okey so who did try to lock u up anyway… what country was they from, hmmm ponder belive that was a fasicist “mulitinational companies” or their representatives… no shit scherlock MPAA, RIA is’nt they from the country u now will or try to work in.. ?

    Any good luck with future “projects” :D, look forward to it!

  83. Picallo

    Have u planned your Holidays for the next summer?
    If u dont here is my invitation.
    I live in the North of Spain in a Gorgeus village and if u want a quiet place im your man.
    U could have a room totally free and i would be your Cicerone.

  84. The last viking

    The truth is that Norway has the best social security system in the world.

    The truth is that if norwegian politics where world standard the last 100 years, we would not have this debate because there would be no computers. Instead we would have a much more interesting debate if we should allow people to watch color television or only black and white. Or maybe there would be no tv either?

  85. Robin

    Folks – I’m the poster who asked of all of you the 10 questions and I LOVE these responses. This is fascinating. Plus, when I have been involved in posting before some people get their panties in a wad over what I say and more often what I DON”T SAY, and start shouting at me. Just goes to prove all of us of Norwegian lineage are polite and classy people, wouldn’t you say?
    Can’t post as much today, but I’m going to say that I am damn glad I am American. No, I don’t know any better, haven’t lived anywhere else, but I’m just an average gal with a dopey college degree that I never used who simply took advantage of all the perks that are offered amply in American life. I am someone who had dumb luck in the stock market, 401K retirement, home appreciation, and NO I AM NOT HIGH INCOME. I am so NOT a software engineer or doctor or anything like that. Bottom line – have a very decent net worth now and having my own money, people, how can I express the sense of security having some money gives you? There is nothing like it, and no, except for the 80’s stock market boom (and the ’00-01 bust) luck had NOTHING to do with it. Sure, there are some really rich people, but ya know what? I love rich people. They buy my stuff I sell, they hire people, and you know what is the best thing of all about the rich? THEY PAY MY TAXES. In America the more you make, the more you pay and the upper whatever percent pay something like half of it all – I’ll get the exact stats – but for all the bitchin about how tax cuts are only for the rich that is just PC mythology. As soon as taxes are increased in this country the wealthy just pass laws and loopholes for themselves to get right out of paying for them anyway and the politicians are totally behind it all. (Theresa Heintz Kerry paid 10% in tax. I don’t pay 10% in tax, do you?) So we poor schmucks just get stuck with it. Lower taxes simply mean we DON’T get stuck with paying what we thought the wealthy were paying for us.
    Norway certainly has some advantages over the US, and to summarize what I have read it seems Norwegians have LESS STRESS. You don’t worry so damn much over stuff, whether it is the “getting ahead” mentality or the status-conciousness of we Americans. Must be nice, really.
    Hey, why are Norwegian gals so much better lookin than American gals?

  86. Norwegian Looser

    Hey, why are Norwegian gals so much better lookin than American gals?

    There is a joke about how the vikings used to bring the prettiest girls back home with them when they were on their raids to other parts of Europe. And we Norwegian studs sure are grateful for that. 😉

  87. Christine Krogstad

    Have been reading this blog for a few months now. I agree with most of the good and the bad said about both countries. To the man who compares NY to Oslo I say this: you cannot consider Oslo as Norway any more than a person who lives in NY a few years can say they have experienced America. Norway has cities, small towns, remote, and isolated areas. Quality of life is pretty damn good wherever you reside. But you must also show a little effort providing for yourself. The cost of living in Oslo is high. You pay for the convenience of having your ‘pizza’ delivered. Many people in Norway walk, cycle, ski, or ride the tog. It saves money, the environment, and is very healthy. You can even walk or push a barnevogn in Oslo! The capital of Norway has crime, but can’t be compared to any US city with 3 times the population. And US has the best doctors in the world? Excuse me?? I worked in healthcare in a metropolitan city for over 20 years and you are lucky to get a physician who speaks understandable English and/or did not receive their degree from a Third World country. Never heard of generation after generation of welfare recipients who never worked a day in their lives and never will ANYWHERE but the US. And as the above lady commented, stress in Norway is extremely low – and not because someone elses tax money supports them while they pay nothing and continue the ‘tradition’ of milking society. So, the point I want to make to the youngsters who have relocated….stay in USA, make your money, keep your insurance updated, and when you discover the truly important things in life….pack up your kids, your spouse, and rediscover Midnight Sun, Northern Lights, Fjords, clean air, clean water, real freedom and happiness.

    Lykke til.

  88. Robin

    Just wanted to ask – I have heard this quite a few times in previous posts – how can Norway survive if so many people come to the USA to prosper financially then go to Norway to retire? If Norway is not benefiting tax wise off its citizens who are not contributing to the huge social obligation it made to its citizens then how can you go back, after giving another country your tax dollars, to retire? Won’t this type of behavior bankrupt Norway eventually?
    Just ask Gray Davis. California is so broke you couldn’t give it back to Mexico.

  89. Norwegian Looser

    Only an insignificant number of people do that. It’s probably more common for Norwegians to move to Spain (nicer climate) when they retire than for anyone to move back to Norway.

  90. Øyvind Andreas

    Well well. I kind of made my self a list as well when I packed my bags. It is not so different but in the end every country has its own list. Its now 2 years since I emigrated to Italy (I have already passed the “I’m homesick phase” and I am expecting to pass over to the resignation phase) and I can make a lists that will (from my point of view) be fare worse than the lists you made.
    In the end it’s all about adapting to the life where you live and try not to cry your heart out for the things that annoys you (of course you end up doing it anyway, at least I do).
    I think that the thing is that once you got the taste of life “outside” you start to think; oh it is so much better (although Norwegians are masters in complaining) in the US or in the UK or etc.

  91. RealLoser

    As an American who moved to Norway a number of years ago – working full time here contributing fully to Norwegian society, I felt I might be in a position (more so than those who have never set foot in Norway) to comment on the discussion sparked by what Jon doesn’t miss about Norway.

    The Weather Ok. Fair enough. I wouldn’t mind moving to the South Pacific myself if an adequate job with decent long term benefitsshowed up on the horizon. Try living in Chicago (where I spent a few years) – the weather is definitely not good there and the winters are much harsher in Chicage than here in Norway (Oslo area). I call the summers here in Norway as “air conditioned”. Not every place in the U.S. is like San Diego weatherwise.

    Boring software engineering jobs. Ok. You’re probably more of an authority on that one. Jeg skal prove a ta det i beste mening.

    The New Yorker “Mike” who complained about the norwegain roads forgot that the sum total of all the roads in Norway serve only 4.5 million people and have to be spread out over a very long and mountainous country. He should have done his math a little better if he was such a successful “skilled professional”. Americans have to prove to each other that they aren’t “losers” and this is woven into the myth of the American Dream. When you have lived there a number of years, you will see that the “American Dream” is only for the very few – a thin façade – and by no means representative of the majority of people in the US.

    High taxes. The total picture is not as black as what Jon might give the impression. It might interest the American reader that we have 5 weeks paid vacation per year. Not bad ey? I work fulltime 35.5 hrs / week. Which means I have more free time (and thus more FREEDOM!!!) Here they don’t have a “use and throw away” mentality for employees. Americans think they are such experts on freedom but their bosses can sure make them work long hours. I don’t pay one penny in health insurance. Somehow Americans conveniently forget this one. I recently had a free knee operation with three weeks paid leave from work – with no fear of losing my job. I won’t have to think twice as to whether my insurance company will come through on their obligation.

    One of the things I DON’T miss about the states is the totally media based society and advertisement financed TV channels with their very biased reporting favoring the huge conglomerates. Everything revolves around Hollywood and the oscars. Americans are bombarded with TV ads about everything from pain relieving medicine to health insurance and life insurance policies to legal team help – not exactly the kinds of reminders you want of how “nice” life is.

    About the “crappy” locally produced food: Well Norway does export quite a bit of fish products which helps some peoples economy here. Much of the possibility for food production is limited by Norways geography pure and simple. The variety of available foods here has increased dramatically since I came in ‘81. Don’t you miss “brunost”and “Jarlsberg ost”. And what about lutefisk, raspeball, faar I kaal, kjottkaker og brun saus, surkaal, ribbe, pinnekjott, kohlrabi, blotkake, karbonader med lok etc. etc? The Norwegian food is really not all that bad at all. Yeah, I know that there are a lot of nice eating-out places there in the states but the people who work at these places don’t exactly have the most promising careers. (But it is dawning on me that you, Jon, aren’t really that interested in these people, or????) And when you start worshiping food and eating out, your waste line really starts showing it as so many americans are examples of.

    7$ gallon gasoline. So you are a proponent of the American lifestyle where you have to get into the car just to go to the grocery store with no thought of all the CO2 getting spewed into the atmosphere? Great public transportation system they have over there, right?

    The Monarchy. Ok. We could probably do fine without the Monarchy. But I would rather support them than the likes of G.W. Bush or Arnold Schwarzenegger. There is something suspect about a country or state which manages to elect respectively the above mentioned individuals.

    I would agree that ranking a country as the best place to live will probably not have that much influence on an individual’s personal prospects and it wouldn’t bother me one bit if another country gets it next year.

    Finally as for the prosecutor in your trial, it might interest you to know that probably most Norwegians who used dvids at that time were “on your side” and “ruting for you” as I was. That is why I was a little surprised when, when doing a search at Google for “dvd jon” that you had such negative things to say about Norway. Perhaps after having lived in the US some time, you will have a more nuanced view – although I would have to add that there are few big cities that can compete with San Diego as far as being “a nice place to live”.

    I wish you success in helping keep the future dvd technologies FREE from the grip of the huge conglomerates.

  92. Håvard Hvassing

    Life in Norway is what you make it! I had a really good time back in Norway and I’ll be moving back shortly. However, there are things with Norway that should/could have been different. The politicians is one, the school-system another. The level of taxation in Norway is a mere necessity since Norway is a semi-socialist country.

    One thing I do not like about Norway is its loyalty to the US, soon Norway will be yet another state in the US.

  93. CT

    just read today news http://www.aftenposten.

    UDI screwed up again, allowing 180 over iranqis geting norwegian temperally permit.. knowing that they have not job, no family and got criminals record.. amazing..
    http://www.aftenposten.no/english/local/article1260059.ece

    also this X parties come up with this “weird” ideal that stay-home mom got paid more then any working mom who work their aras off, and sacrafied their time away from their children just to pay for all these walfare things.. this is an “award” to those who really good at production e,g some religious!! what are they thinking? get woman out of the sociality? working mom should get more support !!

  94. inge lise

    jeg bor i london…The UK is by far the most liberated and intellectually challenging place to be, and feel alive. I was in California for 3 years working and, well It was fun, but really fake and ethically wrong. I didnt feel alive in America because of the homogenised way of life and fast food culture. Shops and TV is everything there…really…ok shopping and TV can be ok, but there is a world out there and people as varied as they are are AMAZING!! London is amazing!! If I have children I might wish to go back to OSlo, but I have to find a partner first…LOL life’s great….What am I chatting about here…I don’t know…erm there is good and bad in every country, but maybe more bad stuff (like church, credit card culture, saturated fats +obesity, corrupt politics in USA), in places like Cali….England is a bit more refined -especially the food – and the choice of food and CLOTHES too…Norway is not bad though….Cheery bye, I really should get back to work before I get a good talking to from my boss..lol (she’s nice though!)

  95. Gro

    I agree with you for the most part. I left Norway in 1997 and never looked back. I do miss my family, Norwegian potato chips and moms food but thats it.
    Someone mentioned that 80hour work weeks in the US stinks…well it does, but at least you’re rewarded for it. In Norway there seems to be a cap on almost everything. No one want’s you to be sucessful.PoIeticians and neighbors alike. hate how everybody is so freakin jealos, suspicious and paranoid over there. I go home for 4 weeks every other year but it is so fuckn’ nice to come back to the states. We work hard here…but it’s worth it…I don’t mind. At the end of the day, I know that what I have is what I’ve worked for and righfully deserve. And when it comes to the law and courts over there….well let me just say…I’d rather be a criminal than a victim. I experienced first hand how safe little Norway takes care of their criminals…meaning protecting the ones who really are sick bastards and should be put away. After having lived in Minnesota, Georgia, Texas and now Florida ….I know….Life is better here. Welcome Jon and take care.
    Gro

  96. Mike

    Best country to live in the world… yeah right. Why then in a 4.5 million-people-country does 1 person shoot himself in the head every day? I´ve lived here for 7 months now and I have to say there´s a really little difference between people with much or little money, and women are good looking (doesn´t mean they´re friendly at all). But pleeeease… Spain, Italy, south of France… you cannot beat that.

    PS: Come on… the food in Norway sucks!

  97. Kevin

    I lived in Norway for 8 years, and agree with most of the things that people have said about it. The Norwegians are an isolated population, who like it that way. It can be hard for someone who is used to a more cosmopolitan lifestyle to live there. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea. Norway is extremely boring, relatively safe, clean and healthy, and totally family orientated. That’s more than enough for a lot of people to enjoy living there.

  98. Anne

    i couldn’t be more agree with Mike, Gro and others.

    Best place to live in? yes, if u are a robot! To live in Norway u should be fake and tell all the time how happy u are to be there, be super fake-nice to people. It’s like a sub real world. I travel all around the world but i haven’t experience something like that in any other country. It’s not possible to make any comments: i don’t like the weather – answer: Go to your country. Sorry, i’m not so happy about sausages – answer: take a plane and go to your country. I don’t know why people ask all the time if they don’t wanna know your answer. So the first rule to survive in Norway it’s to say that u love to live there, and other places aren’t as good as Norway, that the food is the best in the whole world (There are continuously some problems with Norwegian meat and milk, to be vegetarian is something like mission impossible and why people have some many problems with weight?). I’m sick and tired of all the propaganda.
    And all the rules of behavior, “gå på besøk”, way of parting, way of drinking, tax, tax, breathing tax will be next!
    Why are so many people with education that don’t get a job, and so many that have a job and are lazy asses and can’t do anything right at all. Send Mr. Trump and get them all fired!
    But then u have a waiting list of 6 months/1 year when u have important health problems. Or u get an operation and u have to be in an office or be sent home because it’s not place in hospitals. Many schools in small places have to be closed, roads in the north look like shit, hospitals let people go. Where all the taxes go?!
    But Norwegians can’t complain because that’s considered unpatriotic.
    ”Skjoenner ikke at du kan vaere saa utakknemlig, Norge er tross alt ett av verdens beste land aa bo i”
    Comments like this should really be translated because it’s really shows the reality of the country, the guy wrote 10 things he personally doesn’t miss about Norway (like any normal person could find about their own country). That’s not to be ungrateful it’s called to be real person. I’m sure that he loves Norway very much, what shall we say to him?…Don’t take a plane and come home?

  99. Eirik Winter Krogstad

    All in all Norway is a very good country to live in, but there are things that piss me off as well as most people. The cars are expencive, and even though we are one of the biggest in oil, we pay more for gazoline than any other country.
    The farmers in Norway are supported by the Goverment, and imported food face a high tax just to get in, in order to protect domestic farmers. We have agriculture in the most remote parts of the country, that again is leading to high prices just because of the cost of bringing the products out of those areas. Those farmers should be forced out and she same goes for all of those small farmers that have a small number of milk produceing cows as well as 10-15 sheeps, just because they can suck some money out of the system.

    Now, looking at Norway compared to for example the US, I would never relocate to any State is the US. I’m married to an American woman and she couldn’t move out of that country quick enough. Sure Norway is an expencive country to live in, but if you take all of the costs Americans have to pay in insurance and other hidden taxes, it’s the same…
    Minimum vage in the US force people to have two and sometimes three jobs… My son that is 17 yrs old make 95 Nkr an hour… that’s $15. For an adult, minimum vage is 120-130 Nkr… that’s $18-20 an hour. Housewifes that had dedicated their life to the family insted of working, is guaranteed a pension when they reach the age of 67, like any other working man or woman… And why not…? Have they done any less work during all those years…? Hell NO!!! They have done a whole lot more than most people!!

    I don’t have to worry about my kids all the time. They can go wherever they want and stay out late without the risk of them getting snatched by some child molester. Sure we hear about them every now and them, but we are still lightyears away from beeing forced to use something like an Amber Alert, witch is a brilliant thing though when needed. My youngest daughter was pretty suprised when my mother-in-law freaked out just because she wandered off on her own in a mall when we visited TN last year. She’s used to do that here, and she can… Try to explain to a Norwegian child why they can’t do that in the US… It took a lot more explaining to convice her that all Americans are not likely to kidnap her. She heard about those things constantly when they where there and since she understand the English language, she heard about it on the news as well.

    I had an accident at work, where I was electrecuted while connecting a cable (I’m an electrician). I was forced to spend 24 hrs in a local hospital for monitoring of the heart. I was sent home and never saw a bill or had to call an insurance company. It was free. My father suffered under a heart and kidny failure and was in and out of hospitals for the last 20 yrs of his life… He never paid a single penny for all that treatment. He also had to take a lot of medecine for his problems, but he did not have to suffer anything financally because of that. Here we pay 20% of what the medecine cost and the rest is paid for by the Norwegian State. I know Hillary Clinton has been here in Norway several times to study our health system… Think about that the next time you are going to vote for a new President… if she’s one of the candidates that is.

    I agree with you Jon, about the tings you don’t miss about Norway, but once you are back in Norway when you grow up and have a family, I think you will be able to sit down and write about at least 100 things you don’t miss about the US. The safety of Norway is always there for you when you have had enough of the “good life” in America.
    Enjoy your stay “over there” and keep up the good work that make Hollywood angry!!!

  100. kyle

    I had the misfortune of living in Norway for three years, from 1985-88. My father was with the US State Department, and worked in the embassy. We lived in a suburb of Oslo. The damn Norwegian kids made my life a living hell. Going to and from school was a twice daily gaunlet of verbal abuse and occaisional physical violence. Even when we moved-and we moved several times-it followed me; different kids, same crap to put up with. I was never happier than when we finally left that giant iceblock. I would like to “thank” all the Norwegians who made my formative teenage years so horrible. I hat everything about that place: the food, the weather, the people, the language. Hate it, hate it, hate it. If any Norwegians are reading this and are offended, I say tough shit, and fuck you very much.

  101. Jessica

    Hey kyle, same shit happened to me, my dad started working for an oil-company and we moved from Flagstaff to Norway during the early 80’s. So the Norwegian kids gave you hell? perhaps you had bad luck getting to know them? perhaps your social skills are as weak as your argument? (you sound like a little teenage bitch “hate it hate it, don’t like it, fuck it, fuck you”) I have some of my best childhood and teenage memories from Norway. I actually headed back to the states to finish high school, and working part-time at a café, and then it hit me. Yeah, everything costs more in Norway, but fuck that. At the coffee shop in USA I earned 6 or 7$/hour and after tax paid it was even less. In Norway 7$ is like change. Went back to Norway and started working at a fashion store, earning 20$/hour, you don’t have to be an engineer to figure that out. I could mention the health insurance, minimum wage, stupid leaders, crazy amount of poor people in the U.S, and the fucking guns in every fucking home, but I don’t have that much time. I feel very safe and really satisfied in Norway, and it’s not as cold as people think. I think it was like 80-85*F today :)

  102. Lara

    I moved to Norway for a job only to figure out that the bitch I work for is a PIMM (paranoid micromanager) who wants to get people from outside Norway since the natives hate her. Now I’m trying to get out of this mess. The country is expensive and financially speaking it was a mistake to move here where everything is so expensive. I’m tired of Norwegians whining about foreigners taking advantage of their fucking welfare system. So far, *I’ve* been nothing but taking advantage of. I’ve never lost more money than in this country, they have taxes and fees for everything. I don’t have any kids, I take nothing from the state, I just pay and pay and pay, and work (and I must work more than these lazy butts do here, because in fact I need to find a job in the real world after this so can’t afford to be a slacker) and all these Norwegians are enjoying their 1 year maternity leave, state paying for whatever, state giving money for caring for their parents, reimbursement for x, money for y.

    Anyway, as far as I have experienced, Norwegians are not interested in having educated foreigners come to their country. They are the weirest most jealous bunch I have ever seen. They always insult you and they are rude as hell. They are not shy, just socially inept. Also, I never saw such immature spoiled assholes. They take on average maybe 8 years just to finish a lousy Master’s degree. Losers really, and when they see someone 30 who (in the real world) has managed to finish school in time and be what is perfectly normal outside of Norway for their age, they start talking about how young you are to be doing what your doing.

    argghghghhghg, I hate this place!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want to leave.

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