December 01, 2005

Henrik Syse: Norway's hired conscience

The Wall Street Journal had an article about Henrik Syse and his new job today. He is a professional philosopher, whatever that is, the Norwegians have hired to provide moral guidance as they decide how to invest their rather large state controlled "Oil Fund". You can read the WSJ article reprinted at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Fast Company's Chuck Salter picks it up and wishes Henrik "Good luck" with the ethial investing.

This embarrassingly large Norsky oil fund results from the oil having somehow avoided becoming private property. Henrik the philosopher will provide the communal conscience, thus allowing the Norskies to avoid moral stain they might otherwise incur if a greedy capitalist family or a wicked corporation owned the oil. How much more progressive goodie two-shoedness can the world bear?

Nothing like socialism, I always say. Rationalize absolutely anything, they can.
Update: LGR at Burson-Marsteller's blog reputation*watch thinks Norway's having so conspicuously hired philosopher Henrik puts a shine on their otherwise dismal public image.

The article also cites another big reputation booster for the land of canned sardines:
the World Bank and International Finance Corporation found that of 155 countries, Norway was the best country in Europe for business. It takes a mere two weeks (13 days) to establish a company in Norway compared to nearly half a year (198 days) in Laos.
How long does it take to start a business in the US? How fast can Kinkos print your business card? Norway's business friendliness is compared to that of Laos! When was the last time you heard of any hot Laotian investment opportunities? (Besides heroin)


  1. I think you missed the point about establishing a business.

    We're talking about properly establishing a corporation, not just a one-man business.

    If you want to run a business as a private person you are free to do so without registering anything [in Norway] as well!

    In fact Norway is more "business friendly" than most nations in the world! And we're more productive (efficient) per hour than America according to the OECD. How's that for "socialism". Haha, you talking about "socialism" in Norway, you don't know us at all. 

    You are obviously not so interested in facts so I'll leave it there.

  2. Actually, Andrew, I think you missed the whole point of the blog post, which wasn't about establishing a business in Norway, but rather about the idiocy of having a state-hired conscience. Who cares how diffiult or easy it is to do anything in Norway? Norway is, in terms of world influence, a genuine lightweight.


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