NYTimes: Happy ‘National Jealousy Day’! Finland Bares Its Citizens’ Taxes

This is for those who convinced themselves that Scandinavian countries are some sort of a paradise. N wouldn’t have lasted a year in such a country. He already perceives annual visits to Sheryl, our accountant, as deeply invasive and painful. Having his financial business made public for the purposes of shaming and gossip is not something his would enjoy.

I have no problem with exposure but I do resent the ideological implications of this approach. I’ve heard many accounts of Ukrainians who arrive in Sweden and Norway and realize that busting their asses at work (and Ukrainians tend to be among the more high-aiming immigrants) is utterly useless because seniority is the only way to get promoted. Hey, why do you think Swedes were so welcoming to African and Middle Eastern immigrants in recent years? They know that immigrants are fucked without seniority and would always be an underclass.

The strong welfare state of the Scandinavian countries comes at the expense of any form of social and economic mobility. Even in Canada it’s worse than here in this sense.

7 thoughts on “NYTimes: Happy ‘National Jealousy Day’! Finland Bares Its Citizens’ Taxes”

  1. Your salary is part of the university budget, which is in the public interest and is in the library, anyone can ask to see it. Mine, too & all faculty and employees of every state institution I know of.


    1. Mine is, absolutely. And I don’t mind because I don’t have much of a sense of privacy because of what my childhood was like.

      But poor N suffers mightily even when just this one accountant we’ve known for a decade sees his financials.


      1. ” poor N suffers mightily ”
        Were people in FSU countries financially nosy ? When I arrived in Poland I was met with a barrage of questions about how much I made and cost of living in the US (and about how much I paid for things in Poland).
        When I started understanding more I realized it wasn’t just me as a foreigner, they were doing the same thing with each other all. the. time. “Nice shirt? Where did you get it? How much did it cost?” “I hear you’re working at X now, how much do they pay you?” constantly.
        It slowly started fading around the turn of the millenium and now most people have some sense that blabbing about salaries and prices is not the most charming way to pass the day.


        1. I remember the shocked looks when I first arrived in the US and asked things like, “how much do you pay in rent? And how much did the car cost you?” :-))) So yeah, it’s a cultural difference. At least, unlike other Russian-speakers, I don’t cling to behaviors from the old country, so I stopped after the first stunned reactions.


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