A Fortunate Nation - The Reykjavik Grapevine

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A Fortunate Nation

A Fortunate Nation


Published January 13, 2011

During these past years, our lives have had both positive and negative sides. Before the collapse of the banks, a long period of prosperity prevailed. There was very little unemployment. Purchasing power increased substantially and most people were able to allow themselves to treat themselves and their families better than before. 
A group of people came into a position that allowed them to receive wages, which today seem hardly possible to have been paid. These people danced around the golden calf. The government was also able to boost the welfare system, such as health care and education. At the same time, taxes were lowered. 
On the other hand, society was characterised by a great deal of speediness, greediness and even alienation. During the collapse of the banks, we woke up to completely different circumstances. It was a watershed. Unemployment has increased and many homes are caught up in debt. This is not a good situation. However, research has shown a positive outcome in that children and teenagers are feeling better today than before the crash because their parents have more time to spend with them. 
Now we all have to work together to bring society forward despite having fewer options than before. We need to optimise and prioritise in order to protect those basic elements of the welfare system that are most important. The following years will be characterised by this challenge. However, I have faith that, seeing as Iceland possesses rich resources and well-educated people, we can work ourselves out of the recession relatively quickly. Although we will feel the pinch for a while, we remain a fortunate nation compared to many others.

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