The Norwegian Trillion

In the 1990s, Norway set up the equivalent of what would have been "the mining tax", the public accumulation of a wealth fund to capture resource-based superprofits.

The Minerals Council of Australia objected to the idea and put aside $100 million war chest in negative advertising, and forced the Gillard government to capitulate after spending only $22 million. Australia, as a result, has lost a staggering $90 billion dollars in revenue.

Norway on the other hand, has gone from strength to strength, to the point that they now have over a million dollars in their wealth fund for every person in the country. Prudently invested, they have almost 1.4% of the total world's investment. Not bad for a sliver of a country with a population of 5 million.

These days, their biggest political head-ache is that they have TOO MUCH MONEY - whilst the rest of the world blinks with incredulity at such a prospect. So they've done a comedy show about managing this enormous slush fund.

All because they taxed their resource companies appropriately. And Australia didn't.

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