Living in the 3rd World

The Nation recently published an article that beautifully explains democratic socialism, "After I Lived in Norway, America Felt Backward: Here's Why." The Atlantic Magazine published a story about a survey of Norwegians and US citizens and their acceptance of luck in economic inequality, "How Norwegians and Americans See Inequality Differently." “In Norway, people very much disapprove of inequalities that are due to bad luck. People in the U.S. are more willing to accept inequality, even if it reflects pure good luck for some and pure bad luck for others.” The UK's Independent reported, "Majority of Norwegians 'do not believe in God' for first time in country's history." A survey found that 39% of Norway's adults do not believe in gods, 37% do, and 23% don't give a damn.

You have to wonder if there is any connection between these different analysis of Norway? To me, it seems obvious that a declining religious base would influence the nation's respect for luck. Gods, luck, fate, and other hoodoo are the basis for a superstitious nation and superstition has always been the way the idle rich manipulate the working class into propping up their useless lifestyles. Russia is the current world leader in economic inequality; with 74.5% per cent of the nation's wealth controlled by the 1% of that country's population. Obviously, the characters currently in charge of the US federal government are jealous and are working hard to "catch up." For the rest of us, that should be a contest we oppose. However, the US superstition rate is much higher than Norway; with only 13% of the population being clever enough to select "none" when asked which boogieman they worship. Worse, the uneducated red states are home to the highest percentage of voodoo-chanting nutjobs and that isn't likely to change much in the foreseeable future.

So, economic inequality is safe for at least one or two more generations in the Home of the Timid.