TMG: This Morning in Gardistan
This time of year, the government releases the annual personal tax information of everyone who lives in Norway. And as usual, the press is having a ball. The Norwegian national broadcasting station NRK is no different and has put up the "very important" new about our new government: Those who now leave office are worth 16 times more than those who enter.
NRK has been criticized by the (winning) right wing for being left-center-friendly. Perhaps this is an attempt to befriend the new right wing government - after all, NRK's license income is based on government decisions.
While the comparison is only made in the headline, and although it is factual, the comparison is not really fair. It has been made a small attempt to rectify this with small letters in the sidebar, telling that this raw tax data is not the full story. Some objects are not taxable. We don't know how large the exempts are. There might be plenty of hidden wealth.
But the most obvious reason why the comparison is not fair has not been mentioned: Eight years in government.
The intersting comparisons are:
1) The wealth of the previous government at the moment they stepped in eight years ago, compared to the wealth of the new government, and
2) How much did the personal wealth of the previous government increase in their first four years compared to how much the current government will increase its personal wealth in their first four years.
Of course, the second comparison will be available only in four years from now.