SOCIALIST PARADISE  11:55 am August 20, 2012

Iceland Discovers That The Economy Has a Liberal Bias

by Kris E. Benson

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.

[Bloomberg]

 

Hola wonkerados.

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{ 147 comments }

Billmatic August 20, 2012 at 11:58 am

Unfortunately it has Bjork.

RadioBowels August 20, 2012 at 11:59 am

I heard Rifalca is a big Sugarcube fan.

TheLifeSilica August 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Fortunately, she keeps the swan population in check.

actor212 August 20, 2012 at 12:01 pm

My sister vuz bitten by a svån vunce

TheLifeSilica August 20, 2012 at 12:06 pm

In real life, *I* was bitten by a swan when I was 4. Fucker left a semicircular cut on my finger. No realli!

eggsacklywright August 20, 2012 at 12:30 pm

They are vicious barsets. And butt-ugly up close.

Billmatic August 20, 2012 at 12:37 pm

Swans, now that's a band.

mull_man August 20, 2012 at 1:45 pm

YES. Cops (1984). Amazing.

actor212 August 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Some of us see that as a feature, since it means she's there and not here

TribecaMike August 20, 2012 at 12:36 pm

One of the best tennis players ever.

Guppy August 20, 2012 at 12:39 pm

But doesn't that mean it has lesbian robot sexytime there?

Chet Kincaid_ August 20, 2012 at 12:43 pm

Yoko on Ice.

eggsacklywright August 20, 2012 at 12:53 pm

Rolling Stone cover from years ago:

Bjork: animal, vegetable, or mineral?

WhiteyMcFlyover August 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm

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

Biff August 20, 2012 at 3:15 pm

No island can contain her!

deanbooth August 20, 2012 at 4:24 pm

We'd be a better country if we had more Bjorks here.

Billmatic August 20, 2012 at 4:42 pm

Well she does have an army of her.

lochnessmonster August 20, 2012 at 4:56 pm

I was goingto say they have Bjork going for them!

nounverb911 August 20, 2012 at 11:58 am

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

IonaTrailer August 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm

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

larrykat August 20, 2012 at 12:52 pm

I was on one of those in 1979 – it was still called Loftleider I think at the time…

gurukalehuru August 21, 2012 at 7:15 am

That was my first trip to Europe. Loftlieder changed my life. And I actually like Bjork, too. So, hooray for Iceland!

Lot_49 August 20, 2012 at 11:59 am

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

nounverb911 August 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Only if they are the right height.

larrykat August 20, 2012 at 12:54 pm

And some of the most attractive people in world, at least to Western eyes…

CapeClod August 21, 2012 at 7:06 am

Could use a deeper gene pool, though.

Come here a minute August 20, 2012 at 11:59 am

The citizenship test requires you to correctly pronounce "Eyjafjallajökull", so start practicing!

chicken_thief August 20, 2012 at 12:51 pm

What does that mean – "I want to fuck your skull?"

actor212 August 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm

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.

WhatTheHeck August 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm

But they are Vikings. They love that frozen air.

Pragmatist2 August 20, 2012 at 12:00 pm

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

nounverb911 August 20, 2012 at 12:02 pm

The thermal springs are good for making teabagger tea.

Preacher_Griz August 20, 2012 at 12:01 pm

Hollow victory since they got better just in time for God to melt their country. Ha!Haa!!!

calliecallie August 20, 2012 at 12:14 pm

Iceland is green, it's Greenland that's icy.

Preacher_Griz August 20, 2012 at 1:11 pm

That's what I am saying. God did it once and He'll do it again and again until they repent!!

lulzmonger August 20, 2012 at 7:27 pm

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

God is doing it wrong.

SorosBot August 20, 2012 at 12:03 pm

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!

ManchuCandidate August 20, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Iceland also had tighter regulations against lead paint thus fewer tools ingesting them.

PsycWench August 20, 2012 at 12:17 pm

I thought that all you needed was tax cuts.

HistoriCat August 20, 2012 at 2:20 pm

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?

Schmannnity August 20, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Risk takers bearing the risk? How is that possible?

eggsacklywright August 20, 2012 at 12:28 pm

They listened to Paul Krugmansdottir.

kingofmeh August 20, 2012 at 5:22 pm

don't call him dottir.

horsedreamer_1 August 21, 2012 at 7:17 am

What do you know? You're just an elderly woman in a small town.

e_z August 20, 2012 at 12:32 pm

It's those damn Socialists again, they hate those poor risk takers.

Generation[redacted] August 20, 2012 at 12:55 pm

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

chicken_thief August 20, 2012 at 12:57 pm

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.

Blueb4sinrise August 20, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Wonder if Kris has some Pharma- grade substance this morning.

viennawoods13 August 20, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Iceland is in the North Atlantic. Its capital city is Reykjavik.

scionkirk August 20, 2012 at 12:31 pm

It was founded by guys with pointy hats

SorosBot August 20, 2012 at 12:32 pm

And beards and big axes.

chicken_thief August 20, 2012 at 12:57 pm

The Capital One gang.

foxypuppet August 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm

The answer is C, Walter Cronkite.

HistoriCat August 20, 2012 at 2:21 pm

You are there!

Serolf_Divad August 20, 2012 at 12:05 pm

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.

Lot_49 August 20, 2012 at 12:11 pm

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

Generation[redacted] August 20, 2012 at 12:57 pm

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

freakishlywrong August 20, 2012 at 12:05 pm

So..are we still on track to become Greece?

ManchuCandidate August 20, 2012 at 12:14 pm

US Amercia to Greece: "You're the one that I want… oooh oooh (to emulate.)!"

chicken_thief August 20, 2012 at 1:02 pm

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."

DahBoner August 20, 2012 at 5:03 pm

Does John Travolta like a nice back massage?

MilwaukeeKent August 20, 2012 at 10:59 pm

Just Rhode Island, since it and Greece have about the same GDP. Here in Wis. we have to wait for South Africa to become Greece (?) and in Texas, they have to wait for Canada to become Greece before they can become Greece…
It's all in this here Strange Map: http://strangemaps.files.wordpress.com/2007/07/us

Baconzgood August 20, 2012 at 12:05 pm

NEEDZ MOAR BJORK!!!!!!

chicken_thief August 20, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Is that "pork" in Icelandic?

slithytoves August 20, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Yeah, all good things, true. But it sounds like it's so cold there…

freakishlywrong August 20, 2012 at 12:26 pm

Not for long!

SorosBot August 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Nah, the lava keeps things warm; thus all the natural jacuzzis to relax in.

LastGasp August 20, 2012 at 12:06 pm

The small island nation is ranked among the happiest and healthiest in the world, despite financial crisis, volcanoes, and straight-up darkness. http://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2012/08

I want to go to there!

chicken_thief August 20, 2012 at 1:04 pm

I thought they led the world in alcoholism. Not that is anything wrong with that….

emmelemm August 20, 2012 at 1:29 pm

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

Caelan Aegana August 20, 2012 at 5:29 pm

They're near the top of the list in caffeine consumption too.

IonaTrailer August 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm

Baaaaaa-aaaaaa,

"Put that sheep down".

Also USA USA USA USA!

Baconzgood August 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm

I heard that Icelandic is the hardest language to learn.

IonaTrailer August 20, 2012 at 12:21 pm

Worse than Hungarian?

WhatTheHeck August 20, 2012 at 12:27 pm

But a little easier than a Texan drawl.

horsedreamer_1 August 21, 2012 at 7:18 am

Or Welsh?

doloras August 20, 2012 at 3:52 pm

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.

Estproph August 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm

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

Goonemeritus August 20, 2012 at 12:07 pm

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

moar_plz August 20, 2012 at 7:22 pm

Any union between Icelanders and Red Sox fans would be doomed from the start.

SayItWithWookies August 20, 2012 at 12:08 pm

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.

johnnyzhivago August 20, 2012 at 12:08 pm

If banks owned their own Predator drones, these filthy hippies would be pining for the fiords instead of boasting about skipping out on their debts!

WhatTheHeck August 20, 2012 at 12:09 pm

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.

Beowoof August 20, 2012 at 12:09 pm

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.

IonaTrailer August 20, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Also, most of the population is related.

Beowoof August 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm

And yet they seem so much more rational than our teabilly inbred fucktards.

WhiteyMcFlyover August 20, 2012 at 1:16 pm

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.

emmelemm August 20, 2012 at 1:35 pm

Everybody's somebody's dottir.

doloras August 20, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Hans Jónsson is right!

vulpes82 August 20, 2012 at 2:09 pm

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.

SexySmurf August 20, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Also their entire military is just Magnús Ver Magnússon.

actor212 August 20, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Hey, the guy can lift an aircraft carrier. Would you need more?

Lionel[redacted]Esq August 20, 2012 at 12:12 pm

So, the bad thing is having a Muslim leader, not a Socialist?

IonaTrailer August 20, 2012 at 12:16 pm

As long as she a lesbian.

chicken_thief August 20, 2012 at 1:06 pm

They all eat fish up there.

Lionel[redacted]Esq August 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm

So, you are saying we should have gone with Hillary all along.

UnholyMoses August 20, 2012 at 12:13 pm

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.

UW8316154 August 20, 2012 at 12:19 pm

Iceland does have elves and trolls, so there is *that*.

Angry_Marmot August 20, 2012 at 12:57 pm

So does the comments section at the Onion AV Club.

MissTaken August 20, 2012 at 12:15 pm

Their volcano started the French Revolution. I like Iceland.

SorosBot August 20, 2012 at 12:19 pm

And hey, they give us about a new inch of crust per year, for which we can be thankful.

fuflans August 20, 2012 at 1:02 pm

and their volcano provided me an extra week of vacation in the (not revolting) south of france.

i like them very much indeed.

Lionel[redacted]Esq August 20, 2012 at 1:07 pm

I have a volcano that can start a revolution, if you know what I mean.

emmelemm August 20, 2012 at 3:09 pm

You are very saucy this morning, sir!

Lionel[redacted]Esq August 20, 2012 at 5:28 pm

I had a very nice weekend, with an excellent dinner on Friday. Always helps.

CrunchyKnee August 20, 2012 at 12:18 pm

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

orygoon August 20, 2012 at 12:18 pm

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.

calliecallie August 20, 2012 at 12:18 pm

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."

ChernobylSoup August 20, 2012 at 12:21 pm

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.

foxypuppet August 20, 2012 at 12:43 pm

S'okay- the economy is increasingly based on Sigur Rós & Hopelandic cheeriness. Fewer and fewer countries can do without it, I'm told. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j2GjOC79gVI

OzoneTom August 20, 2012 at 12:22 pm

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

marconidarwin August 20, 2012 at 12:22 pm

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.

owhatever August 20, 2012 at 12:23 pm

It is now safe for Republican congressmen to skinny dip in Icelandic waters.

PsycWench August 20, 2012 at 12:24 pm

" 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.

Redrighthand August 20, 2012 at 12:25 pm

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.

Angry_Marmot August 20, 2012 at 12:58 pm

That was a Bergman festival.

SorosBot August 20, 2012 at 12:26 pm

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.

Incitefully_Joe August 20, 2012 at 12:34 pm
BarackMyWorld August 20, 2012 at 12:52 pm

And movies about Jesus don't have killer robots, frost giants, or Kat Dennings.

nobodyssweetheart August 20, 2012 at 12:26 pm

They eat canned rotten shark. It may be their bargaining advantage… close-quarters talks with rancid shark on their breath
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H%C3%A1karl

IonaTrailer August 20, 2012 at 12:30 pm

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

Mmmm – bon appetite!

Misty Malarky August 20, 2012 at 12:43 pm

TEH STINKY SHARCK HAZ A SADZ :(
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a

eggsacklywright August 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm

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.

new_pic_for_NEWTer August 20, 2012 at 1:02 pm

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.

scionkirk August 20, 2012 at 12:33 pm

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

sewollef August 20, 2012 at 12:55 pm

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.

TribecaMike August 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm

I'll reserve judgment until IMF agent Jim Phelps whips off his mask and weighs in.

BarackMyWorld August 20, 2012 at 12:43 pm

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

Guppy August 20, 2012 at 12:41 pm

(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.

HistoriCat August 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm

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

SorosBot August 20, 2012 at 12:43 pm

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.

Chet Kincaid_ August 20, 2012 at 12:47 pm

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!!

BarackMyWorld August 20, 2012 at 12:48 pm

The global economy coordinally invites Ayn Rand to fellate its supply curve.

Generation[redacted] August 20, 2012 at 1:02 pm

(the constitution is crowdsourced)

Their constitution is full of cat pictures and rickrolls?

emmelemm August 20, 2012 at 1:31 pm

Hee hee!

BZ1 August 20, 2012 at 1:03 pm

Iceland actually stepped back from the brink, and looked at the a*holes that were pushing it …

ttommyunger August 20, 2012 at 1:10 pm

Them Lesbos know a thing or two about licking a situation.

Spurning Beer August 20, 2012 at 1:16 pm

Iceland has records of everyone who has been there in the past 1000 years. That and Sigur Ros.

elgin_pelican August 20, 2012 at 2:14 pm

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

MinAgain August 20, 2012 at 3:43 pm

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

poorgradstudent August 20, 2012 at 3:46 pm

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

DahBoner August 20, 2012 at 5:01 pm

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…)

dennis1943 August 20, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Isn't "No Such Thing" a true story….?

moar_plz August 20, 2012 at 7:15 pm

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!

seppdecker August 20, 2012 at 10:10 pm

Isn't beer eight bucks a bottle there? It's real beer, unlike American shit, but still…

Warpde August 20, 2012 at 10:18 pm

Even worse then all mentioned Iceland is heading to full blown loonie socialists http://business.financialpost.com/2012/03/12/icel

Misty Malarky August 20, 2012 at 12:38 pm

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.

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