For the fifth year in a row, the United Nations has ranked Norway the world's best nation in which to live. But the country ranks 29th on the Index of Economic Freedom. The United States, on the other hand, ranks eighth on the best-place list and 12th on the economic-freedom index. People will take various lessons from that. Mine is that it's possible to rank high on the material-comforts scale and still have a modicum of economic freedom. One interesting thing to note is that, despite their country ranking first in categories such as wealth, education and longevity, Norwegians still complain. They think too many tax cuts go to the wealthy, and they want even more
money spent on investments in social-welfare programs. Oh, and it is possible to be a major oil-exporting nation you wouldn't pay not to visit.