“The Nordic Theory of Everything: In Search of a Better Life” by Anu Partanen
Anu Partanen is a Finnish journalist now living and working in the United States.
In her new book “The Nordic Theory of Everything. In Search of a Better Life” she compares how Nordic/Finnish and American societies address key issues such as healthcare, education, parental leaves, unemployment.
This books hits close to home. I’m a naturalized Finnish citizen, and spent most of my adult life in Finland and Norway before relocating with family to California.
tl;dr; The book is a nuanced, well-argumented critical analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of American and Nordic societies. It debunks the myths that affordable universal healthcare, free quality education, improvement of women’s participation in economic life by providing affordable daycare and paid parental leaves can only be achieved in “nanny states” that discourage individuality.
As Anu writes:
The Nordic countries demonstrate that building strong public services can create economic growth, and that pooling the risks everyone faces in life – sickness, unemployment, old age, the need to be educated to secure a decent living – into one system funded by everyone is more efficient, and more effective, than each person saving individually to ensure security and survive misfortune, especially in today’s age of global economic uncertainty and competition.
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