Finland
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About Finnish society & culture. From snow to sauna, from natives to Nokia.
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The Life Account – a new nordic social security model - Reforminstitutet

The Life Account – a new nordic social security model - Reforminstitutet | Finland | Scoop.it

Increasingly countries around the world struggle to provide welfare and social security in world where high unemployment, an aging population and increasing expectations erode public finances. Over the past decades some of the most accomplished economists in the world, such as Josef Stiglitz and Martin Feldstein have identified a method for combining a safety net with a much lower marginal tax wedge. The Finnish think tank Libera has packaged these ideas into a clear and feasible proposal.

Libera’s Life account is a concrete model for transforming the current welfare state to a new version, 2.0. The life account is a form of a personal welfare account, which improves the incentives to work, employ and save. Compared with a conventional tax-transfer system, it reduces social insurance expenditure. The model allows to combine work income and social benefits, leaving the initial need testing to the individual. It reduces the tax wedge and allows for more flexible employment by households and individuals. The life account also encourages individual saving, financial planning and the accumulation of private wealth.

 Read the full report here. http://www.reforminstitutet.se/wp/wp-content/uploads/2013/12/Life-Account.pdf
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More for less

More for less | Finland | Scoop.it

IN “THE LION AND THE UNICORN”, written in 1941, George Orwell invoked the spirit of England in a handful of images—“solid breakfasts and gloomy Sundays, smoky towns and windy roads, green fields and red pillar-boxes”. When this correspondent tried to summon up appropriate images for the spirit of the Nordic region he found himself turning to the welfare state: Swedish fathers enjoying a leisurely lunch while their children sleep in prams (Sweden’s paternity leave is among the most generous in the world); Danish mothers cycling, helmetless, through the early morning mist with their children in sidecars (Copenhagen has more than 350km of cycle lanes, and a third of the population cycles to work); a Finnish physics teacher discussing the nature of elegance with a class of 15-year-olds (Finland regularly comes near the top of international league tables for educational attainment).

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Northern lights - The Nordic countries are reinventing their model of capitalism

Northern lights - The Nordic countries are reinventing their model of capitalism | Finland | Scoop.it

THIRTY YEARS AGO Margaret Thatcher turned Britain into the world’s leading centre of “thinking the unthinkable”. Today that distinction has passed to Sweden. The streets of Stockholm are awash with the blood of sacred cows. The think-tanks are brimful of new ideas. The erstwhile champion of the “third way” is now pursuing a far more interesting brand of politics....

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...Finland is harnessing the skills of venture capitalists and angel investors to promote innovation and entrepreneurship.


...The Nordic countries have a collective population of only 26m. Finland is the only one of them that is a member of both the European Union and the euro area.

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The Scandinavian-Welfare Myth Revisited

The Scandinavian-Welfare Myth Revisited | Finland | Scoop.it
Obama seems hell-bent on expanding the US welfare state at any cost, and of course no welfare-state debate is complete without bringing up the Scandinavian countries as the example of statism causing prosperity.

 

As the Heritage index shows, Sweden, Denmark, and Finland have more economic freedom than most of their European counterparts, including Germany, Austria, France, Belgium, Spain, Portugal, and Greece. While the Scandinavian countries do tend to have higher taxes and government spending than most other European states, the other states tend to have more regulation and less efficient and transparent legal systems, which cancel out the positive effects of the lower taxes.

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Helsingin Sanomat - International Edition - Is the class society making a comeback?

Helsingin Sanomat - International Edition - Is the class society making a comeback? | Finland | Scoop.it

Class differences may be staging a comeback in a new guise: income disparity, globalisation, and rapid changes in working life increase uncertainty and build fences ever more obviously.

 

”We live in a hit-or-miss society. The security framework that once existed is no more. A Master’s degree no longer guarantees anything. The only message that I have for my students is that coincidence keeps reaping its harvest”, says historian and class researcher Laura Kolbe from the University of Helsinki...

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People queueing for bread in Finland

People queueing for bread in Finland | Finland | Scoop.it

...never thought I'd see the day. 'French market' visits Tampere. #sgs2

 

http://twitpic.com/photos/moubaildotcom

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Heikki Hiilamo: Uusi hyvinvointivaltio [The new welfare state] - Books from Finland

Heikki Hiilamo: Uusi hyvinvointivaltio [The new welfare state] - Books from Finland | Finland | Scoop.it
There is concern in Finland about the decline of the Nordic welfare state and the return of a class society. Problems exist with regard to issues such as the country’s aging population, changes in the structure of the labour market, the increase in income disparity, and lifestyle issues. The impoverishment caused by the recession of the 1990s did not decrease in the early 2000s, as could be seen in things like the rise of bread lines, much debated by Finns.
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Maternal and Placental Size Linked to Men’s Heart Disease --Doctors Lounge

Maternal and Placental Size Linked to Men’s Heart Disease --Doctors Lounge | Finland | Scoop.it
Three combinations of maternal body size and placental size can predict coronary heart disease in men, according to a study published online June 1 in the European Heart Journal.

Johan G. Eriksson, M.D., Ph.D., from the National Institute for Health and Welfare in Helsinki, Finland, and colleagues examined whether the association between low birth weight and increased risk of coronary heart disease can be attributed to fetal programming through malnutrition, and whether this could be predicted by maternal and/or placental size. The size at birth of 6,975 men born in Helsinki between 1934 and 1944 was recorded.
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Jobs, labour, productivity: Finland’s priorities for the decade ahead

Jobs, labour, productivity: Finland’s priorities for the decade ahead | Finland | Scoop.it
The Finnish economy faces significant challenges in the decade ahead. Finland’s population is aging at the fastest rate in Europe, which is causing strain on its welfare model. As our pro-bono contribution to the discussion on the Finnish economy, we have sought to quantify the key challenges facing Finland in terms of jobs, labour and public sector productivity; and its opportunities to respond to these. Our most important message is that Finland should now quickly move to execution mode to solve the challenges ahead.
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In Finland's Footsteps - washingtonpost.com

In Finland's Footsteps - washingtonpost.com | Finland | Scoop.it
If We're So Rich and Smart, Why Aren't We More Like Them?

Finns have one of the world's most generous systems of state-funded educational, medical and welfare services, from pregnancy to the end of life. They pay nothing for education at any level, including medical school or law school.
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Finnish government plans to trim generous welfare model

Finnish government plans to trim generous welfare model | Finland | Scoop.it

(Reuters) - Finland's government announced a long-term plan to start scaling back its welfare system, one of the most generous in the world, aiming to preserve its triple-A credit rating in the face of a slower economy and aging population.

In a statement on Thursday, the government laid out a wide range of measures, including a hike to the effective retirement age to 62.4 in 2025 from a current 60.9. It also said it could force municipalities to consolidate and speed up health care reforms.

The changes are not immediate but are likely to put off some voters who may see them as steps towards destroying a welfare model which, like those of its Nordic neighbors, emphasizes social equality and well-being.

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The next supermodel - Politicians from both right and left could learn from the Nordic countries

The next supermodel - Politicians from both right and left could learn from the Nordic countries | Finland | Scoop.it

SMALLISH countries are often in the vanguard when it comes to reforming government. In the 1980s Britain was out in the lead, thanks to Thatcherism and privatisation. Tiny Singapore has long been a role model for many reformers. Now the Nordic countries are likely to assume a similar role.

That is partly because the four main Nordics—Sweden, Denmark, Norway and Finland—are doing rather well. If you had to be reborn anywhere in the world as a person with average talents and income, you would want to be a Viking. The Nordics cluster at the top of league tables of everything from economic competitiveness to social health to happiness. They have avoided both southern Europe’s economic sclerosis and America’s extreme inequality. Development theorists have taken to calling successful modernisation “getting to Denmark”. Meanwhile a region that was once synonymous with do-it-yourself furniture and Abba has even become a cultural haven, home to “The Killing”, Noma and “Angry Birds”.

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Rich, happy and good at austerity - FT.com

Rich, happy and good at austerity - FT.com | Finland | Scoop.it

 

Like Greece, Portugal and Ireland, Finland is on the geographical periphery of the eurozone, but it has little else in common with these three, which have all received international bailouts in the past two years.
Richer, happier and better educated than the OECD rich nations’ club average, Finland is also one of only a few countries that all the main credit agencies still judge as triple A-rated.

There are challenges, for sure, such as a population that is ageing more rapidly than any country apart from Japan and a faltering industrial base, but these troubles seem minor compared with those that face other European states.

 

http://on.ft.com/JtlMkV

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Incomeless Finns fall through gaps in welfare safety net

Incomeless Finns fall through gaps in welfare safety net | Finland | Scoop.it
The number of people without an income has grown to around 30,000, according
to fresh figures from the Social Insurance Institution, Kela.

 

The increase in incomeless Finns is partly down to a tightening of welfare rules, under which the unemployed – and particularly the long-term unemployed – are expected to be more active than before in finding work or entering job training schemes. The good intentions have in any case led to an increase in exclusions from benefits.

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Downshifting reinforces traditional gender roles

Downshifting reinforces traditional gender roles | Finland | Scoop.it
Up to 40 percent of working parents are exhausted, according to a fresh study
by the Finnish National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL).
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Quality of day care services in Finland

Quality of day care services in Finland | Finland | Scoop.it
In 2010, the proportion of children under the age of three, who were in full time day care outside home, was higher than before.
Even the number of babies under the age of one year in full time care was higher than it was in 2009.
According to the preliminary information released by the National Institute for Health and Welfare, about 82,000 children under the age of three were in municipal full-time day care last year, while the corresponding figure for 2009 was 80,000.
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24 Hours Vancouver: Finns put public first

24 Hours Vancouver: Finns put public first | Finland | Scoop.it
Finland is a welfare state with a concept of government in which the state plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the social well-being of its citizens. It was founded on the principles of equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for those unable to avail themselves of the minimal provisions for a good life.

How does it do it, how can the Finns afford their utopia? In Finland, tax isn't a swear word, rather it is considered to be a necessity for a civilized society.
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Pardon My Finnish

Pardon My Finnish | Finland | Scoop.it
A new post on "Pardon My Finnish": "The biggest disease of them all is the growing income inequality” http://blog.finnish-institute.org.uk/...

I quite often find that in Finland we want to believe that it is still 1988 and that we live in a welfare state with a broad set of measures preventing the polarisation of society. In fact, we are moving at increasing speed towards a harsher society, where economic differences are accompanied by social problems, and where good health is a luxury for those who can afford it. At the conference it also became evident that the Finnish healthcare system needs reform.
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Welfare State, version 3.0 - thisisFINLAND: Facts: Politics & economy

Welfare State, version 3.0 - thisisFINLAND: Facts: Politics & economy | Finland | Scoop.it
Central Chamber of Commerce CEO Risto E.J. Penttilä believes that Finland finds itself at a critical juncture.

He divides Finland’s economic history after the Second World War into three eras: Welfare State version 1.0 in Finland was a closed model. This was followed by the rise of Nokia and Finnish globalisation − what Penttilä calls version 2.0.

Now Finland is once again undergoing a transition. Before we move on, however, Penttilä is quick to point out that despite Finland’s tradition of underestimating its potential during times of crisis and change, the country has actually come through difficult periods of transition very well.

How to build Welfare State 3.0? Where to find the proper fuel to feed growth in the current decade?
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