Norway Acts to Boost National Shipping

I can’t bash Norway for this. A government doing SOMETHING to foster interest, involvement, and growth in their national fleet!

Time to start talking about Norway again I guess.

Ombugge; your floor sir


Can someone fwd this to congress and the White House?

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The US is missing a great opportunity to promote the economy, jobs, and national security.

We could learn a lot from the Norwegians.

Yes I agree, there is a lot that USA could learn from Norway in the Maritime field, but most is technical and in developing highly efficient vessels for today and for the future.

Whether the Norwegian solution for retaining Norwegian seafarers are something that could even be contemplated in a hard nosed capitalist system as in USA, is doubtful.

What I have found, after living under a VERY different system in Singapore for many years, is that you can have something between the over socialized system in Norway, Scandinavia and - to a degree -in the rest of NW Europe, and the overly “democratic” system in USA, which is proving not efficient when it comes to making decisions on things that benefit the average person.

The Singapore system is where there is a basic social safety net for those who are unable (or unwilling) to take care of themselves, but otherwise the individual is responsible for their own welfare, with the Government overseeing as and where necessary.

Contrary to the Socialized system, where everybody in the society pay in to a common pot, whether true taxes or in some other form, Singapore practise a system of “force saving”, where both the person and his employer contribute. (Something like K401)

The money goes into an account belonging to each individual, but administered by a Statutory Board call Central Providence Fund (CPF), which use the saving to finance building of public housing, hospitals, roads and other infrastructure to benefit all. Some are locked in the account to cover old age pension, however.

BTW: At present the CPF Board pay better interest than the banks, so some people top up their CPF account over and above the required.

The individual can used the monies in his/her account to buy flats in public housing, built and managed by another Statutory Board, the Housing Development Board (HDB)
Monthly downpayment are deducted from the individual’s CPF account until the housing loan is fully paid up.

Socialisme? Maybe by American standard, but it has proven efficient in getting 85-90% of Singaporean into self-owned and decent housing. No slum to be found anymore.

Likewise for health care. Everybody have to contribute to Medisave in the same way (individual accounts administered by CPF) This can be used to cover hospitalization costs in public and government sponsored private hospitals. But with hefty deductibles for working age and able people, less so for elderly and disabled persons. This is to avoid misuse of the system by unnecessary hospitalization, surgery, test and medication, or greedy private hospitals and doctors. (Recognize the problem?)

In addition there is Medishield, which is private health insurance, but with the premium controlled by the Government and deducted from your Medisave account. ALL adult Singaporeans and Permanent Residents are required to have a Medishield account.

Any balance on an individual’s account at death is used to cover outstanding final expenses, incl. cremation etc. The rest is transferred to his/her estate for distribution according to the will.

In cases where a citizen or PR leave Singapore permanently, by emigration or whatever reason, the balance of both CPF and Medisave accounts are paid out in full and with interest up to the final date.

Whether this could work in USA I do not know, but it may suit better than the European system, where an individual may pay into a socialized system all their life and never make a claim until the day they take out pension, only to die suddenly from a heart attack or stroke a year or two later.

Wants to know more about this “third way”? Here is a Forbes article from a couple of years back:

PS> The Singapore system also serve to keep individual income taxes low. (Top tax <20% for the very rich)

Here is the view of some young Norwegians starting out as seafarers: