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fansince'76
05-03-2009, 06:00 PM
Interesting op-ed piece.

What Finland can teach America about true luxury

By Trevor Corson Fri May 1

New York What is true luxury? Just when I thought I'd settled on my answer a flat-screen TV the size of Kansas and a leather-upholstered car that can travel at triple the speed limit I made several visits to Finland. Shortly after my return the financial crisis hit. Finland has been on my mind ever since. In these hard times, we could learn a few things about luxury from the Finns.

Strolling the streets of Helsinki, the capital, I noticed a lack of grand architecture and opulent homes, and an abundance of modest cars. Helsinki was a nice enough city, and it had some gems of modern design, but part of me felt that Finland was a bit dull. And, strangely, some of the Finns I met seemed to take pride in this.

Finland seemed even duller on my next visit in July. The weather was glorious, but Helsinki felt like a ghost town. I learned that most Finns take a five-week summer vacation, and that many of them disappear for the entire time to tiny, bare-bones cottages in the woods. Curious, I wrangled an invitation to visit one of these secluded cabins. It was meticulously cared for, but lacked any creature comforts. I quickly realized that there was nothing to do and no one to see.

After a couple of days at the cabin I was a convert. It was marvelously relaxing, and I realized the Finns were on to something a form of luxury that had little to do with high-end products, the quest to acquire them, or the need to show them off. While some Finns pursue the material trappings of success, most seem to feel that the pleasures of time and solitude are more precious.

During my visits, I met some North American expats, including a Canadian who'd lived in the US for years. "I talk to friends back in North America," he told me, "and they tell me about all the latest toys they've bought. Here I'm just puttering away on my little house like a Finn, and that's about it. The pace of life is slower. I like that."

Americans in Finland shared similar sentiments. But they weren't naive about the place, and there was a reason they weren't buying the latest toys. "I'll never become rich in Finland," one explained, "the taxes are just too high." But for him it was a trade-off worth making. "Great healthcare, basically free. My kids get one of the best educations in the world, free." By the way, that includes college, free. He had no plans to move back to the States.

As I spent more time in Helsinki, my own notion of the luxuries available in Finland expanded to include more than just the quiet pleasures of a cabin getaway. Finnish cities are filled with universally well-maintained and high-quality schools, hospitals, buses, trains, and parks. While most Finns might never be able to own a well-appointed SUV or a big house, they value the less-tangible assets they do have, which add up to quality of life and peace of mind.

Finland doesn't pay lip service to providing a level playing field for all its citizens. It really does give the vast majority of its citizens a fair and equal chance in life, in a way that the US just doesn't, no matter how much Americans like to think it does.

Finland has its downsides, of course. The Finns I met described high rates of depression and alcoholism among their countrymen, and admitted that many Finns seem to suffer from low self-esteem. When I returned to the dynamic bustle of New York, I was happy to be back, even with the financial crisis decimating the economy.

Compared with Finns, Americans have qualities I admire and treasure: optimism, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a willingness to be opinionated, for starters. These qualities will help us fight our way back to economic health.

But let's face it: The single-minded pursuit of outsized material consumption helped get us into this mess. As we struggle to get back on our feet, perhaps we should pause for our own "Finnish moment."

Trevor Corson is the author of "The Secret Life of Lobsters" and "The Story of Sushi: An Unlikely Saga of Raw Fish and Rice."

What the Finns Can Teach the U.S.(?) (http://news.yahoo.com/s/csm/20090501/cm_csm/ycorson)

Steelman16
05-03-2009, 06:06 PM
He's right. America is a selfish nation.

Shoes
05-03-2009, 07:21 PM
Good find Fan. I lived in Sweden for 10 years and know what he means.

revefsreleets
05-04-2009, 08:43 AM
On South Park, Finnland tried to give the Space Cash back to the Space Cops, and the rest of the nations nuked her into oblivion for it.

steelreserve
05-04-2009, 10:24 AM
I don't know how well that would work for a lot of people.

I mean, I could only spend so much time relaxing in the woods before the novelty of it was overpowered by the desire to return to civilization and shoot the shit out of some zombies in Resident Evil 5.

Are those zombies, by the way? Or something else? I don't know whether it counts as being a zombie if you're infected by a parasite, but they sure act like zombies.

xfl2001fan
05-04-2009, 10:36 AM
I don't know how well that would work for a lot of people.

I mean, I could only spend so much time relaxing in the woods before the novelty of it was overpowered by the desire to return to civilization and shoot the shit out of some zombies in Resident Evil 5.

Are those zombies, by the way? Or something else? I don't know whether it counts as being a zombie if you're infected by a parasite, but they sure act like zombies.

That's the thing, their entire culture is now set that way...it would take a generation (or two) for the US to get to that point...and then there's the high suicide/alcoholism rate to consider.

beSteelmyheart
05-04-2009, 05:46 PM
I wonder if the high depression/suicide/alcoholism thing has anything to do with how people, no matter where they live, may not like those extended inner conversations with themselves, where they are forced to face the demons within.

tony hipchest
05-04-2009, 11:54 PM
that settles it!

fansince '76 really IS the Devil! :evil:

(nice read)

steelwall
05-04-2009, 11:58 PM
Why is it that all these countries that have all these things have such a high rate of depression and suicide? I was talking to a Sweedish (lol... SWEEEED) woman here, and she described life there much like this, but also made it a point to say depression and suicide is rampant.

tony hipchest
05-05-2009, 12:04 AM
Why is it that all these countries that have all these things have such a high rate of depression and suicide? I was talking to a Sweedish (lol... SWEEEED) woman here, and she described life there much like this, but also made it a point to say depression and suicide is rampant.it has to do with the weather. seattle has a super high suicide rate (not sure if it is still the highest). they also have the highest number of cloudy/rainy days.

they are still american. the seattle area is rich and uber capitalistic so evidence says it has much more to do with enviornment as opposed to taxes paid.

not that id expect YOU to believe that though. :coffee:

starbucks anyone?

steelwall
05-05-2009, 12:09 AM
it has to do with the weather. seattle has a super high suicide rate (not sure if it is still the highest). they also have the highest number of cloudy/rainy days.

they are still american. the seattle area is rich and uber capitalistic so evidence says it has much more to do with enviornment as opposed to taxes paid.

not that id expect YOU to believe that though. :coffee:

starbucks anyone?

I would think being around all the Swed women, one would be happy... :noidea: I could see killing yourself if you lived in Seattle......

tony hipchest
05-05-2009, 12:20 AM
I would think being around all the Swed women, one would be happy... :noidea: I could see killing yourself if you lived in Seattle......very interresting hypothesis... :scratchchin:

...but at this point, current studies show there is a direct correleation of suicide rates amongst those who live in warm sunny climates as opposed to the dark and gloomy ones.

Shoes
05-05-2009, 12:20 AM
Why is it that all these countries that have all these things have such a high rate of depression and suicide? I was talking to a Sweedish (lol... SWEEEED) woman here, and she described life there much like this, but also made it a point to say depression and suicide is rampant.

Depression and suicide are not rampant. I've lived there (Sweden)10 years and my wife of 29 years is Swedish. Still have lots of family and friends there and no one has killed themselves. Sweden is a beautiful country taxes are high but you get a lot for your tax dollar or krona

http://liftlab.com/think/fabien/2005/01/29/the-myth-of-swedish-suicide/

http://homepage.mac.com/jrc/contrib/sweden_suicide.html


shoes

steelwall
05-05-2009, 12:24 AM
Depression and suicide are not rampant. I've lived there (Sweden)10 years and my wife of 29 years is Swedish. Still have lots of family and friends there and no one has killed themselves. Sweden is a beautiful country taxes are high but you get a lot for your tax dollar or krona

http://liftlab.com/think/fabien/2005/01/29/the-myth-of-swedish-suicide/

http://homepage.mac.com/jrc/contrib/sweden_suicide.html


shoes

Yeah I have no idea the actual stats, but the way this lady talked it was high. I thought it was a bit starnge at the time, that she even said that...

steelwall
05-05-2009, 12:26 AM
very interresting hypothesis... :scratchchin:

...but at this point, current studies show there is a direct correleation of suicide rates amongst those who live in warm sunny climates as opposed to the dark and gloomy ones.

I've read that in many places before.

It reminds me of a prank call that I heard one time where the guy was calling shrinks, and claiming he was suffering from a "tropical depression" that was hilarious... :laughing:

El-Gonzo Jackson
05-05-2009, 12:36 AM
Yeah, I have relatives over there and cant think of anybody killing themselves. They work in the city as professionals and others are farmers. There is a universal love of the outdoors and things like boating, fishing and hunting. Kind of what I think Alaska is like.

Drinking good vodka just goes with boating, fishing and hunting rather well.

tony hipchest
05-05-2009, 12:38 AM
Why is it that all these countries that have all these things have such a high rate of depression and suicide? I was talking to a Sweedish (lol... SWEEEED) woman here, and she described life there much like this, but also made it a point to say depression and suicide is rampant.
just goes to show its better to trust actual scientists and their data as opposed to some random sweedish prostitute. :noidea:

especially when it comes to referencing sources in a mb discussion. (not sure if your friend/aquaintance was that. then again, im not sure this single person wasnt.) :noidea:


fwiw- drug addicted prostitutes tend to have a higher suicide rate than college educated professional business women.

thats not an opinion.... just the facts.

steelwall
05-05-2009, 12:41 AM
just goes to show its better to trust actual scientists and their data as opposed to some random sweedish prostitute. :noidea:

especially when it comes to referencing sources in a mb discussion. (not sure if your friend/aquaintance was that. then again, im not sure this single person wasnt.) :noidea:


fwiw- drug addicted prostitutes tend to have a higher suicide rate than college educated professional business women.

thats not an opinion.... just the facts.

It was the first time I ever met her, hense the reason I thought it was a strange comment.... But why prostitute?:noidea:

Edit: Actually she worked for the Swedish Consulate here in Guangzhou...

tony hipchest
05-05-2009, 12:52 AM
But why prostitute?:noidea:

...

just making a generalization... :noidea: (i thought that was ok around here).

when i think of a sweed in china, i immediately think of the hot buxom coors/miller/bud light girl as a fettish 'tute for the rich chinese. :hunch:

steelwall
05-05-2009, 01:04 AM
:point:
when i think of a sweed in china, i immediately think of the hot buxom coors/miller/bud light girl as a fettish 'tute for the rich chinese. :hunch:


Ohhhhh.... Toney thinks all female Sweed expats are prostitutes....shame on you!!!

tony hipchest
05-05-2009, 01:17 AM
:point:




Ohhhhh.... Toney thinks all female Sweed expats are prostitutes....shame on you!!!

ooooohhh... steelwall thinks that ex-pats arent prostitutes.

:shout: patriotluver!!! :busted:

:sign11:

plus, theres no deflecting from the fact that you quoted some random sweedish chick as a source, ESPECIALLY considering sweeden and finland are two different countries. :toofunny: :toofunny: :toofunny:

steelwall
05-05-2009, 01:23 AM
:point:



ooooohhh... steelwall thinks that ex-pats arent prostitutes.

:shout: patriotluver!!! :busted:

:sign11:

plus, theres no deflecting from the fact that you quoted some random sweedish chick as a source, ESPECIALLY considering sweeden and finland are two different countries. :toofunny: :toofunny: :toofunny:

:laughing: really???? wow.....

:laughing: Toney thinks 'expat' means a patriots fan!!!!! :laughing:

tony hipchest
05-05-2009, 01:53 AM
:laughing: really???? wow.....

:laughing: Toney thinks 'expat' means a patriots fan!!!!! :laughing:

WHOOOOOOSH!!!!!














(i really need to download that parrot pic.... either that or we REALLY need a sarcasm smiley)

steelwall
05-05-2009, 01:54 AM
WHOOOOOOSH!!!!!














(i really need to download that parrot pic.... either that or we REALLY need a sarcasm smiley)

No kidding...

Come on man you know I'm playin with you......

Or maybe you don't you sure have been real quick to jump the gun lately...

tony hipchest
05-05-2009, 02:00 AM
Come on man you know I'm playin with you......

Or maybe you don't you sure have been real quick to jump the gun lately...im pretty sure and think youre just messing....

but quoting a sweed chick on suicide rates in finland and a finland chick to debunk w. buffett DOES give me cause for concern....

steelwall
05-05-2009, 02:08 AM
im pretty sure and think youre just messing....

but quoting a sweed chick on suicide rates in finland and a finland chick to debunk w. buffett DOES give me cause for concern....

dang man you are serious... Ok Toney... I KNOW YOU KNOW WHAT XPAT MEANS. I ADMITTED I THOUGHT THE CHICK WAS STRANGE FROM THE START AND I DID NOT KNOW THE ACTUAL NUMBERS, SHE WORKED FOR THE SWEDISH GOVERNMENT.... Not some "random" chick or "prostitute". NOT THAT I REALLY CARE.... LOOK AT MY POST I SAID OTHER COUNTRIES MEANING "OTHER" NOT FINLAND.

Man what's wrong with you? Can't even kid around with you anymore...

steelwall
05-05-2009, 02:16 AM
Why is it that all these countries that have all these things have such a high rate of depression and suicide? I was talking to a Sweedish (lol... SWEEEED) woman here, and she described life there much like this, but also made it a point to say depression and suicide is rampant.


SORRY TONEY I SAID "ALL THESE" NOT "OTHER" ... MY BAD...

but quoting a sweed chick on suicide rates in finland and a finland chick to debunk w. buffett DOES give me cause for concern....

Edit:

AND PLEASE DIERCT ME TO THE POST WHERE "I QOUTED A FIN CHICK" TO DEBUNK WARREN BUFFETT???? lol....???<------ (another joke I... do actually know what you mean here even though you typed it wrong)

Vincent
05-05-2009, 07:15 AM
Why is it that all these countries that have all these things have such a high rate of depression and suicide? I was talking to a Sweedish (lol... SWEEEED) woman here, and she described life there much like this, but also made it a point to say depression and suicide is rampant.

Oh, I don't know. Could it be socialism? Hmmmm.

A friend has a relative in Sweden that owns a Ford dealership. They do decent business. After all is said and done he nets less than $40K. That's his source of depression. Scandinavia in freekin gorgeous and so are the people and everybody's depressed. If there's absolutely no hope of "getting ahead" one gets depressed.

http://tenerife-training.net/Tenerife-News-Cycling-Blog/wp-content/uploads/2008/09/world-suicide-rate.png

This map illustrates a lot of things. One thing that leaps forth is Mongolia. They seem to be a well adjusted bunch. :applaudit::wave::hatsoff:

With the notable exceptions of S Korea and Japan, the top of the suicide list is occupied by socialist countries.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_suicide_rate

Hey, we should try that here.

steelwall
05-05-2009, 08:56 AM
That list is pretty interesting ( and yeah Toney looks like the "prostitute" was right, Sweden is pretty high on the list :flap: ), but I think China would be higher (maybe not considereing the population) but ALL the time there is someone killing themselves here, hell a couple months ago there was a guy going to jump off the top of my apartment building (this is the most common method). I know it to be especially high among high school kids.

These kids are under SO much pressure to do well and get into college it is not funny. Especially with the limited number of entrances, you may have 2,000 different students vying for one spot.

tony hipchest
05-05-2009, 12:54 PM
AND PLEASE DIERCT ME TO THE POST WHERE "I QOUTED A FIN CHICK" TO DEBUNK WARREN BUFFETT???? lol....???<------ (another joke I... do actually know what you mean here even though you typed it wrong)

:chuckle: WHOOOOSH!!!! chill man, im just messing back at ya.

steelwall
05-05-2009, 12:59 PM
:chuckle: WHOOOOSH!!!! chill man, im just messing back at ya.


You got me... I thought you were trippin on acid again... :chuckle:

xfl2001fan
05-05-2009, 01:02 PM
I am assuming that Mexico's high homicide rate is what's keeping it's suicide rate down...or that they don't bother to check to see if it's suicide...and just drum their numbers up as homicide.

steelwall
05-05-2009, 01:08 PM
I am assuming that Mexico's high homicide rate is what's keeping it's suicide rate down...or that they don't bother to check to see if it's suicide...and just drum their numbers up as homicide.

I thought the same exact thing when I seen that....

fansince'76
05-05-2009, 01:10 PM
....I think China would be higher (maybe not considereing the population) but ALL the time there is someone killing themselves here, hell a couple months ago there was a guy going to jump off the top of my apartment building (this is the most common method). I know it to be especially high among high school kids.

These kids are under SO much pressure to do well and get into college it is not funny. Especially with the limited number of entrances, you may have 2,000 different students vying for one spot.

I have a feeling China's government might be less than forthcoming with any info that may cast its society as a whole in a negative light.

steelwall
05-05-2009, 01:15 PM
I have a feeling China's government might be less than forthcoming with any info that may cast its society as a whole in a negative light.

No doubt.... They still ranked pretty high, but if you notice Hong Kong is ranked higher. Surely because information flows more freely from there, and nothing to do with any sort of living standards.

Vincent
05-05-2009, 01:59 PM
I am assuming that Mexico's high homicide rate is what's keeping it's suicide rate down...or that they don't bother to check to see if it's suicide...and just drum their numbers up as homicide.

And our rates is probably skewed because many of the homicides in Arkansas in the 70s and 80s were booked as suicides. :chuckle:

xfl2001fan
05-05-2009, 02:09 PM
And our rates is probably skewed because many of the homicides in Arkansas in the 70s and 80s were booked as suicides. :chuckle:

If there was more than 10...wouldn't that have decimated the entire population though? :noidea: