Looking up to Finland

Commenter Bernarda sent a link to a Washington Post story by Robert Kaiser about Finland, a nation who redesigned its education system with rather dramatic, beneficial results. Among other things, the Finns treat teachers as valuable members of society, with high pay, great support, and heavy training.

Finland is a leading example of the northern European view that a successful, competitive society should provide basic social services to all its citizens at affordable prices or at no cost at all. This isn’t controversial in Finland; it is taken for granted. For a patriotic American like me, the Finns present a difficult challenge: If we Americans are so rich and so smart, why can’t we treat our citizens as well as the Finns do?

Why not? Why can’t we treat our citizens as well as the Finns? Their system boosts their economy and leads to great social progress — which part of that do we not want?


5 Responses to Looking up to Finland

  1. Ed Darrell says:

    I stayed away from the eel, but in the few days I spent in Scandanavia, in Stockholm and Copenhagen, I must have eaten Dasher, Dancer, Cupid and Vixen, and maybe a bunch of Rudolph, too. I was there in winter, and it was very odd with the sun coming up well after 9:00, and going down before 5:00.

    I had some wonderful reindeer medallions with a fantastic lingonberry sauce one night, though. Wow.


  2. Bug Girl says:

    Oh, you’d be surprised what bugs are still in the tundra!
    However, given that michigan winters send me into a mental torpor, I can only imagine Finnish winters would be several orders of magnitude worse.

    Also, I have to say, having visited Scandinavia–the people are wonderful, but the food is Gawd awful. Pickled Eel is just not right.


  3. bernarda says:

    Thank you Ed for finding my post interesting enough to highlight. Just for entertainment, here are a couple of musical interludes which have been commented on at various sites like pharyngula. One can’t be serious all the time.

    The Helsinki Complaints Choir.

    In the list on the right of the Youtube there are two other really good ones, the childrens’ choir and the St. Petersburg choir. The kids all look so serious.


  4. Ed Darrell says:

    Are there any membracids in Finland? Doesn’t the longer winter limit what a Bug Girl would do in Finland?


  5. Bug Girl says:

    And yet one more reason emigration looks nice some days….
    If I could just get past the dark months in winter, I’d do it in a flash.



Please play nice in the Bathtub -- splash no soap in anyone's eyes. While your e-mail will not show with comments, note that it is our policy not to allow false e-mail addresses. Comments with non-working e-mail addresses may be deleted.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: