For those who are worried that the bailouts and seemingly endless government support and safety nets are pushing the US closer to a Scandinavian welfare state model where everything is shared, Norway provides some context for just how much farther we would need to go. For example, calls for increased transparency in the US typically revolve around issues such as policy clarification or greater disclosure detail. The Norwegian equivalent is getting a more granular breakdown of the your neighbors' income streams.
It's the moment nosy Norwegian neighbors have been waiting for -- the release of official records showing the annual income and overall wealth of nearly every taxpayer in the Scandinavian country.
In a move that would be unthinkable elsewhere, tax authorities in Norway have issued the "skatteliste," or "tax list," for 2008 to the media under a law designed to uphold the country's tradition of transparency.