Stoltenberg’s recipe for Norwegian economy / News / The Foreigner

Stoltenberg’s recipe for Norwegian economy. How should Stoltenberg solve the effects of the financial crisis? Wrong choice could cost Labour election. The Labour party’s (Ap) annual party conference started on Saturday. High on the agenda was how to cushion the blow of the world economic crisis, and keep Norwegian unemployment as low as possible. Then and now After the end of World War II, it was the Labour party that had the task of building Norway up again. People needed work, and the cost to this country had been high. Today, the effects of a world-wide economic crisis are being felt, as countries struggle to stave off financial ruin.

stoltenberg, ap, labour, party, state, financial, crisis, markets, control, unemployment



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Stoltenberg’s recipe for Norwegian economy

Published on Monday, 20th April, 2009 at 09:07 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

How should Stoltenberg solve the effects of the financial crisis? Wrong choice could cost Labour election.

Jens Stoltenberg (Party conference 2009)
Jens Stoltenberg (Party conference 2009)
Photo: Arbeiderpartiet


The Labour party’s (Ap) annual party conference started on Saturday. High on the agenda was how to cushion the blow of the world economic crisis, and keep Norwegian unemployment as low as possible.

Then and now

After the end of World War II, it was the Labour party that had the task of building Norway up again. People needed work, and the cost to this country had been high. Today, the effects of a world-wide economic crisis are being felt, as countries struggle to stave off financial ruin.

“When Lehman Brothers upended, it wasn’t just a bank that went bankrupt, but a political ideology that went bust...The financial crisis was created by greed and an inordinate belief in the market’s abilities”, Stoltenberg writes in Dagens Næringsliv.

Unemployment figures rise

Throughout the world, the numbers of people out of work are increasing rapidly. Stoltenberg thinks there are reasons to believe that Norway’s unemployment figure will exceed 100,000 by the end of the year.

“Car-workers in Detroit share the same fate as those who produce car parts in Kongsberg...Setbacks on one continent create unemployment on another.”

Consequently, he advocates state intervention.

“Market liberalism has failed...The market cannot steer itself, it must be governed. The market is not self-regulating, it must be controlled. ”

One of Ap’s fundamental policies has always been to create jobs for everyone. So far, the government has come with measures to try and counteract even higher unemployment three times.

Electioneering, wooliness, and the hallmarks of social democracy

But although, in his article, Stoltenberg promises that both he and Ap

“will do what we can to keep the wheels turning, keep banks and businesses afloat and people in jobs”,

and that

“Norway shall come through this crisis with less damage than other countries”,

he didn’t elaborate further as to what they plan to do; just that future budgets would include further measures.   

Stein Aabø, in his commentary in Dagbladet, expands by saying that

“yesterday...he consciously chose to keep away from uncomfortable individual issues, and instead concentrated on real social-democratic products...(and) kept himself painfully precisely to the script.”

So what are the hallmarks of social democracy; these so-called social-democratic products?

“To concentrate on collaboration and...assured leadership” according to Stoltenberg.

“Jobs for all, fair distribution, and the fight against unemployment and social reform. Laborious building of a society, brick by brick, where important steps are taken in the right direction and so on” writes Aabø.

Problematic

This may sound boring, but at least it means that Stoltenberg would rather play safe than take chances; it doesn’t appear as though it’s the right time to do so. There is a general election this year.

Although his party may be a safe choice, should they win the election, Stoltenberg’s measures for both lessening the effects of the global financial crisis, and for keeping unemployment low, are not unproblematic for them.

To begin with,

“as soon as the stock markets become more stable, home-sales pick up, and the immediate effects of the financial crisis are not so pressing, there is more room for criticism of the government in other areas”, according to Aabø.

Then,

“one doesn’t score political points easily by trying to keep unemployment the lowest in Europe. Increased emphasis on measures to do with the employment market is still not something that attracts voters”, he continues.

And it’s employment for all that they hope will be their election winner, according to the Norwegian Telegram Bureau (NTB).

But whatever the outcome, Stoltenberg remains positive.

“We have derived the power to continue our work through the years from two sources: both our ability and will in constantly wishing to change that which is established, and the dream of an even better society.”



Published on Monday, 20th April, 2009 at 09:07 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .

This post has the following tags: stoltenberg, ap, labour, party, state, financial, crisis, markets, control, unemployment.





  
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