Until recently oil-rich Norway has remained unique, as the only nation where Social Democrats have resisted change to highly generous welfare benefits. In 1999 the former Swedish social democratic minister of business, Björn Rosengren, famously called Norway “the last Soviet state” due to the lack of willingness to adopt market policies. But now even Norway is shifting ..
.. although Norway has yet to introduce market liberalizations which promote competition, reduce state involvement in the economy and promote workfare policies, it seems headed in this direction. Norwegians can continue to afford an overly generous welfare system. But they have good reasons to be concerned over the social and economic consequences that follow long‑term welfare dependency and deterioration of the work ethic. Like many other European systems, Norway has much to gain in bringing in more emphasis on individual responsibility and free markets ..