Friday, May 15, 2009

Compare and Contrast...

The wonders of the free market...
From 2Millionth Web Log

Mention to Anita Ruíz the name of the giant oil company Chevron, and she trembles with rage. At her wooden hut here in the Amazon forest, where oil-project flares illuminate the night sky, she points to a portrait of her youngest son, who died seven years ago of leukemia at age 16.

"We believe the American oilmen created the pollution that killed my son," said Ms. Ruíz, 58, who lives in a clearing where Texaco, the American oil company that Chevron acquired in 2001, once poured oil waste into pits used decades ago for drilling wells...

Chevron has fought back with trade lawyers and lobbyists, using highly paid talent like the former United States trade representative Mickey Kantor, and the former Clinton White House chief of staff Mack McLarty to push the Obama administration to strip Ecuador of trade preferences, on the grounds that it broke its agreement to absolve the oil company of liability.

versus evil, godless euroweenie socialism
From 2Millionth Web Log

When capitalism seemed on the verge of collapse last fall, Kristin Halvorsen, Norway’s Socialist finance minister and a longtime free market skeptic, did more than crow.

As investors the world over sold in a panic, she bucked the tide, authorizing Norway’s $300 billion sovereign wealth fund to ramp up its stock buying program by $60 billion -- or about 23 percent of Norway's economic output.

"The timing was not that bad," Ms. Halvorsen said, smiling with satisfaction over the broad worldwide market rally that began in early March...

The global financial crisis has brought low the economies of just about every country on earth. But not Norway.

With a quirky contrariness as deeply etched in the national character as the fjords carved into its rugged landscape, Norway has thrived by going its own way. When others splurged, it saved. When others sought to limit the role of government, Norway strengthened its cradle-to-grave welfare state.

And in the midst of the worst global downturn since the Depression, Norway's economy grew last year by just under 3 percent. The government enjoys a budget surplus of 11 percent and its ledger is entirely free of debt.

Norway's wealth is in no small part due to oil exports.


  1. Anonymous12:41 PM

    Forget Norway. It can choose to become a socialist state because the capitalist USA freed it and the rest of Western Europe from the yoke of Nazi Germany. Without the war products of our nasty capitalist system, the
    good folks of Norway might still have the SS goose-stepping down its pretty flowered streets.

  2. Norway and the rest of the euroweenie Socialists got some help from the commie pinko USSR, too. If I recall, most of that war was fought on Germany's eastern front.

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