SpannerGeek wrote:$900 billion in the bank... Enough to feed the starving of the world twice over.
I take it you approve of what Robert Maxwell did to the Mirror group pension fund? No, why not? That is exactly what you are proposing that Norway does with its Sovereign fund. Use a capital sum set aside for the future to pay for day to day expenditure.
You forget that things are only going to go well here whilst oil is being pumped out from the North Sea. Unlike the UK, Norway does not have the broad industrial base of the UK. It would struggle to feed itself if it could no longer afford to import food. They have little coal apart from on Svalbard so the only energy resource they can depend on (assuming global warming does not produced a significant change in rainfall patterns and the glaciers do not melt) is hydro-electric power.
People in Norway have a phrase "Den nye oljen" "The new oil" which is used to describe all sorts of schemes and products, from the hair-brained to the technically possible, that are supposed to replace oil in the Norwegian economy. Whilst some of them could provide a degree of wealth creation none of them will ever come anywhere near to replacing the economic benefits of oil. So from that point of view there will be no "new oil".
So the sovereign fund is essential to Norway's post oil future.
The fact that other countries don't choose to build up such a buffer for the future, preferring cuts in taxes for the rich over building up a sovereign fund is no a reason to criticise Norway for having done this.
Oh and a piece of history for you, before Norway started pumping oil in the early 70s it was one of the poorest countries in Europe.
So long and thanks for all the fish...