Ickler: A move to Norway is tempting

By On January 27, 2018

Ickler: A move to Norway is tempting

At the end of his rebarbative racist rant that riled people all around the world, the Chief Tweeter said, “We should have more people from Norway.”

The reaction from Norway has not only been a chorus of “no thanks,” but also includes an offer in the reverse direction. In a website named EMIGRATEME.COM, a Norwegian city is urging Americans to take advantage of what it calls the Ringerike Recovery Program.

“In light of the results of the U.S. presidential election, the Ringerike Recovery Program has been developed by the regional development company of Ringerike, Norway,” says the introduction. “We are offering acute aid to descendants of emigrated Norwegians, and other Americans, considering a new start abroad.”

Wow! If my wife, a descendant of emigrated Norwegians, was still alive, we might be packing our bags. She always wanted to see Norway and this would be a great time to go.

Under the heading “Growth, innovation and prosperity,” the website invitation says that Ringerike offers “free healthcare and schools, reasonable priced housing, wide cultural scene, high tolerance for religious beliefs and sexual orientation, stunning nature, clean air and fresh water.” Quite a contrast to the current scene in the United States, where the Republicans are repealing Obamacare a piece at a time without replacing it, refugees and transsexuals are under presidential attack, and nature, clean air and fresh water are all being threatened with extinction by the Chief Tweeter’s administration.

The next paragraph boasts that Norwegian society is transparent and well organized, and that the United Nations’ Human Development Index has ranked Norway as the “world’s best country to live in â€" 12 years in a row.” Maybe the Chief Tweeter could take a lesson from Norway as he promises to make America great again.

The folks in Ringerike also display a sense of humor in offering American immigrants three familiar sounding programs: the Larshall (rhymes with Marshall) Plan, Kjellp (pronounced kyelp) and Per Care.

Under the Larshall Plan, Mayor Lars organizes volunteers for civic projects, such as Knit for America, “where eager knitters from our region come together to knit headbands for our cousins overseas.”

Under Kjellp, Mayor Kjell and his colleagues help newcomers find homes and jobs and inform them of available free services.

Per Care is named for Mayor Per, who heads the renowned Ringerike sykehus (hospital). “Per Care is of course free of charge,” says Mayor Per.

Not hard to understand why we don’t have many Norwegians seeking refuge in America, is it?

It was not always this way. In the late 18th and early 19th centuries thousands of Norwegians came to the United States looking for a better life. The flow peaked in 1882, when 29,000, most of them poor, made the journey. If the Chief T weeter had been in charge at that time, Norwegian immigrants probably would have been included in his manure pile even though they were light-skinned, fair-haired and blue-eyed.

Now, even prior to the Ringerike Recovery Program, the movement has been reversed. In 2016, 1,114 Norwegians emigrated to the U.S., while 1,603 Americans moved to Norway. I wonder how many of them were inspired to flee by that year’s miserable presidential campaign.

Modern Norway is rich with oil money, ranks fourth in the world in gross national product (the U.S. ranks eighth), has universal health care and ranks 15th in the world in life expectancy at 81.8 years (the U.S. is 31st at 79.3 years and dropping at last report).

A recent poll in Norway showed that a majority of Norwegians consider the Chief Tweeter to be “a real threat to world peace” and rank him as more dangerous than Russia’s Vladimir Putin.

Not that Norway is perfect. Winters are long and sunlight is short in places like Ringerike, which is only about 500 miles below the Arctic Circle. That’s discouraging even to a native Minnesotan like me.

This year I’ve decided to pass on the opportunity to recover in Ringerike and stick it out here. But I might change my mind if the Chief Tweeter is reelected in 2020.

Email Ickler at squarethru@verizon.net

Source: Google News Norway | Netizen 24 Norway

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