socialist paradise

Iceland Discovers That The Economy Has a Liberal Bias

warning: this lagoon may be SocialistThe last time we checked in with Iceland, it was in the heady days of 2009. The world economy had collapsed, taking Iceland with it, and the Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, the Commerce Ministers had all found very pressing reasons to quit, the political process would soon degenerate into a flurry of egg-throwing, and a massive volcano would unleash screaming Scottish people onto the streets and airports of the capital city. Goodbye, Iceland, we thought. Have fun in the Third World, as they call it, and let us know how it is because we will be joining you soon! It turns out, however, that Iceland did NOT in fact descend into ruin but in an unexpected twist, decided that it would be wiser to push banking sector losses onto bondholders instead of taxpayers. AYN RAND IS GOING TO BE SO MAD, YOU GUYS.

“Iceland has made significant achievements since the crisis,” Daria V. Zakharova, IMF mission chief to the island, said in an interview. “We have a very positive outlook on growth, especially for this year and next year because it appears to us that the growth is broad based…. The fact that Iceland managed to preserve the social welfare system in the face of a very sizeable fiscal consolidation is one of the major achievements under the program and of the Icelandic government,” Zakharova said. The program benefited from “strong implementation, reflecting ownership on the part of the authorities,” she said. […]

In Iceland, the krona’s 80 percent plunge against the euro offshore in 2008 helped turn a trade deficit into a surplus by the end of the same year. Unemployment, which jumped nine-fold between 2007 and 2010, eased to 4.8 percent in June from a peak of 9.3 percent two years ago.

OBVIOUSLY reality in Iceland has a liberal bias, so let’s take this report with a grain of salt. But in the meantime, here are a few  fun facts about Iceland for those interested in moving there with us when we eventually wriggle out from under the bootheel of American-style late stage capitalism: Pros include the fact that it is gay friendly (the Prime Minister is a lesbian), dynamic (the constitution is crowdsourced), and has a good health care system (plus it only takes six months of residency to qualify for subsidized treatment in said health care system, which is nationalized). It is, however, Socialist, so it is surely filled with suffering and lacking in Liberty.


About the author

Kris E. Benson writes about politics for Wonkette and is pursuing a doctorate in philosophy. This will come in handy for when they finally open that philosophy factory in the next town over. @Kris_E_Benson

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          1. Misty Malarky

            Iceland also produced Gunnar Hansen, the original Leatherface from THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE. I met him once, and he was a a very nice man.

    1. WhiteyMcFlyover

      According to an Icelandic ex, that accent is a put on. It's their equivalent of an East Texas Boomhaur drawl.

  1. nounverb911

    Does this mean that Icelandair is offering $200 roundtrips to Europe again like it did in the 70's?

    1. IonaTrailer

      Yes, but once you get there, you won't be able to afford that $32 beer or that $50 plate of frites.

  2. Lot_49

    Nice place, toasty-warm with geothermal energy, looks beautiful on Google Maps. Could use a few trees, though.

  3. actor212

    It is, however, Socialist, so it is surely filled with suffering and lacking in Liberty.

    Have you ever tried to walk around Reykjavik in winter? They don't mind being imprisoned after September.

  4. Pragmatist2

    For visiting GOP House members, there are plenty of thermal springs to skinny-dip in. Oh, and lots of friendly sheep.

    1. lulzmonger

      Not only is it not melting but Iceland is actually slowly fracturing apart & GROWING, just like Mauna Loa.

      God is doing it wrong.

  5. SorosBot

    Don't they know that the solution to the crisis is to embrace austerity, cutting government spending and services so that spending and unemployment keep increasing, which will fix the economy by magic? I mean look how well that's working in Greece, Spain, Ireland and the United Kingdom!

      1. HistoriCat

        Oh no – there must be pain! How will those peasants – I mean people – ever learn to make do with less if you keep giving them stuff?

      1. Generation[redacted]

        Don't they know if the risk takers assume the risk, they might not want to take on risk in the future?

    1. chicken_thief

      That's why stupid socialists are so stupid – because they are stupid and try to punish the jerb creators for nearly wrecking the world economy.

      And they are just jealous of success, too. Also.

  6. Serolf_Divad

    Too bad they didn't emulate the Irish government's in no way insane decision to guarantee all foreign investment against loss from their treasury.

    1. Lot_49

      That commitment, along with low corporate taxes and illegal birth control, have led to an unending economic boom that ended in 2008.

      1. Generation[redacted]

        That prosperity driven by austerity measures is documented in the feel-good book of the summer, Angela's Ashes.

    1. chicken_thief

      Ya. Of course. And Sharia Law is coming. And the geyh's are polluting our minds like a Republican Congressman's nakie swim polluted Israel, and so on.

      If FDR had been a Republican, he would have said "We have nothing to fear but not being fearful enough."

      1. emmelemm

        Actually, I think that's Greenland, followed closely by the Scandinavian countries, particularly Finland.

    1. doloras

      Er, not at all. The Vikings raped and pillaged enough that we share a lot of vocab with Icelanders. You just have to get used to letters like þ and ð, which we used to have in English before the wimpy French threw out those manly Nordic consonants.

  7. Estproph

    Yeah, but that's Iceland.We can't be expected in the United States to be able to keep up with them.

  8. Goonemeritus

    If the Northeastern states wish to secede does anyone think Iceland would be willing to form a commonwealth?

  9. SayItWithWookies

    Iceland, which started EU membership talks in 2010 with euro-area membership an ultimate goal, is starting to question whether accession to the trade and currency bloc is the right way forward as the region’s debt crisis deepens.

    Oh come on, Iceland — just because the ship is sinking a little doesn't mean it's going down completely. Besides, the water's fine.

  10. WhatTheHeck

    So all the incarcerated fallen angels are now being expelled from their frozen volcanoes into the melting Icelandic moonscape. Well, there goes my salted cod for breakfast.

  11. Beowoof

    Hey with Mittens thinking the Soviet Union is on the rise and our biggest global concern they can raise the rent on Keflavik air base and have teabaggers taxes financing their socialism. Win.

    1. WhiteyMcFlyover

      True fact! The President they got rid of was my ex girlfriends uncle. I thought that was pretty cool. She said that he was an idiot even before he went into politics, and reminded me he represents about as many people as a Chicago alderman.

    2. vulpes82

      They also have a bit of Inuit in them, probably from some Greenlander who brought back his native wife upon abandoning Greenland for the balmy shores of Iceland.

  12. UnholyMoses

    Sorry, but living on an ice-covered volcano that's in the arctic circle and straddles two continental plates doesn't interest me.

    Tempting, but no.

  13. CrunchyKnee

    Iceland will be a tropical paradise in 10 years thanks to climate change. Sign me the fuck up!

  14. orygoon

    Lawrence Millman, a writer I like a lot, did an essay (pre-Recession) on a trip he made to Iceland. It was the midsummer festival, or maybe just a regular Friday night in the warm months. Everybody was outside, everybody over about age 10 was drunk, and everybody was having a great time. A guy got friendly with him and chatted him up. He was a prisoner on a weekend furlough. What was he in for? Murdering his wife. But it seemed like the weekends party thing is for *everyone*, no exceptions. The guy said it was a little tough for prisoners who didn't get back by curfew, because they would be locked out, and then they had no place to sleep.

    Mind you, I still want very much to go there–maybe more than ever.

  15. calliecallie

    I love that clip of the screaming Scot in the Hooters sweatshirt. I happened to actually see that interview at the time. I can never hear the word Iceland without hearing that Scot. For me it's one of those great live TV moments, right up there with "George Bush hates black people."

  16. ChernobylSoup

    Unfortunately, their trade surplus is overly dependent on the export of consonants. Once the Balkins get it together and start exporting their supply, the consonant market is going to crash.

  17. OzoneTom

    Goat's head in the deli case
    Oh sweet angel-angel-bearded face
    Paper mache parade on at night
    That's what you do with no sunlight
    In the tropical tropical
    Tropical ice-land

  18. marconidarwin

    Maybe Iceland can be our penal colony after Gitmo sinks into the Atlantic. They do not have global warming there, and Obamacare in Iceland means they already have FEMA camps and death panels.

  19. PsycWench

    " It is, however, Socialist, so it is surely filled with suffering and lacking in Liberty."

    This must be like the suffering and emptiness I am told that I experience as an atheist. I feel pretty happy and content so if this is misery, I'll take it.

  20. Redrighthand

    I was there last week and I assure you it is filled with bread lines and suffering all over the place. For real you guys. so bad.

  21. SorosBot

    Icelanders are also lucky because their Thor has become one of the few ancient gods to become active in the modern world; and does so protecting humans, unlike those douchebags Loki and Ares.

    1. IonaTrailer

      "and has a very particular ammonia-rich smell and fishy taste, similar to very strong cheese slathered in ammonia."

      Mmmm – bon appetite!

    2. eggsacklywright

      That's the one area that I am not enthusiastic about. Bourdain did an episode there and the jellied fish intestines and eyeballs did not appeal.

    3. new_pic_for_NEWTer

      Those new to it will usually gag involuntarily on the first attempt…
      Huh, same reaction I have with Rebuplicunts, but every time is like the first time.

  22. scionkirk

    Their lax immigration policy will change once they realized the 'Iceland is green and Greenland is icy' secret is out.

    1. sewollef

      That was the little joke the Vikings played on us all, back in the 800's or whenever. I think they wanted to keep North America to themselves.

    1. BarackMyWorld

      Ethan Hunt can suck a grenade. Dude can't seem to go a single mission without getting disavowed.

  23. Guppy

    (the constitution is crowdsourced)

    On the one hand, that's easy to do when your country's population contains exactly one ethnic group.

    On the other hand, that's easy to do when your country's constitution isn't considered inviolate scripture.

    1. HistoriCat

      On the third hand, that's easy to do when close to half your country's population is NOT mouth-breathing ignoramuses.

  24. SorosBot

    And just think, these are the Europeans who "discovered" America first – then promptly forgot about it. If the "Skræling" Native Americans hadn't been too tough for even the Vikings, we might all be speaking Icelandic now.

  25. Chet Kincaid_

    Hey Iceland and other financially-iffy countries! Here's the plan:

    Step 1: Encourage Pixar to make a movie based on your scenery and folklore.
    Step 2: Feature the movie in a tourism campaign.
    Step 3: Solvency!!

  26. Generation[redacted]

    (the constitution is crowdsourced)

    Their constitution is full of cat pictures and rickrolls?

  27. elgin_pelican

    They don't eat that sheep's stomach thing, right? That's some different place, right? Count me in.

  28. MinAgain

    I hear the Icelandic people are very attractive. Which is fortunate, since they have to huddle for warmth 11 months out of the year.

  29. poorgradstudent

    Real serious economic reform and fiscal responsibility is for helping plutocrats not a bunch of poors, duh.

  30. DahBoner

    Taxes? What about taxes? Do they pay taxes there?

    Unlike the Teabagger Paradise of Somolia (where no Teabaggers want to go for some strange reason, although you would think Rentboys would be quite reasonably priced there…)

  31. moar_plz

    So the IMF has a positive outlook on a country that did THE EXACT FUCKING OPPOSITE of what the IMF always recommends. You aced the test, Iceland!

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