A very well written article in the latest INC. magaine asks Why are there are so many entrepreneurs in the high-tax socialist country of Norway? Good question!
And so the case of Norway—one of the most entrepreneurial, most heavily taxed countries in the world—should give us pause. What if we have been wrong about taxes? What if tax cuts are nothing like weapons or textbooks? What if they don't matter as much as we think they do?
Now let's step back and question the premise. Is Norway socialist? It may be relatively high tax, but it is more capitalist than the U.S. in many respects. Indeed, most northern European nations are closet free market hubs. It's the southern countries that are socialist on the freedom index (the Italys, Greeces, Spains, Portugals ... and yes, Frances).
Just consider this entry on Norway from the 2011 INDEX OF ECONOMIC FREEDOM:
Norway’s economic freedom score is 70.3, making its economy the 30th freest in the 2011 Index. Its score has increased by 0.9 point since last year, mainly reflecting a considerable gain in freedom from corruption. Norway is ranked 16th out of 43 countries in the Europe region, and its overall score is well above the world and regional averages.
The modern and competitive Norwegian economy has long benefited from its relatively high levels of economic freedom. Entrepreneurial activity is well supported by prudent and transparent regulations governing investment and the financial sector. Together with openness to global commerce, strong protection of property rights also supports economic dynamism. Norway’s high level of business freedom has produced a commercial environment that is both innovative and resilient.