Times Colonist

Nordic countries offer social, economic model


William Watson’s “Without profits, our society won’t work” (Oct. 29) is an attack on young people who understand that individual and corporate greed is harmful. As Gandhi said, the Earth has enough resources for every person’s need but not every person’s greed.

There is an alternativ­e evolving. The Nordic model of social democracy is — even according to the World Economic Forum — a system that results in both world-class economic productivi­ty and innovation. At the same time the Nordic nations are leaders in environmen­tal sustainabi­lity and social justice.

Part of the genius of the Nordic social democratic model is its emphasis on infusing learning and education into its policies and practice. They lead the world in adult education participat­ion and literacy rates. For example, one-third of a million adult study circles are publicly fostered in Sweden.

Nordic socio-economic policies are informed by health determinan­ts’ research. For instance, Swedish new parents may share the first two years of a child’s birth on alternatin­g leave because the research shows this is best for the child and their parents.

The Nordic people believe that corporatio­ns should pay their fair share of taxes and that natural resources should benefit the people. Norway’s Oil Fund has accumulate­d over $ 530 billion and is ethically invested for a sustainabl­e future for all, not just the rich. Humanity has slowly — and at great cost — moved from the Divine Right of Kings to the Divine Right of Capital. The future challenge is about a profound shift to the Divine Right of Humanity and the Environmen­t. Ron Faris Victoria

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