“After the crash, many Icelanders turned away from the world and global trade. They began spending more time with their families and children, in the outdoors and with Icelandic books. Alcohol consumption dropped among young Icelanders, and the subjective feeling of happiness increased.” Spiegel Online
It seems that I am not the only one taking note of Iceland’s financial and wellbeing recovery. A few days after I wrote on Iceland Spiegel have also put pen to paper on Iceland.
“What happened in Iceland from 2008 to 2011 is regarded as one of the worst financial crises in history. It seems likely that never before had a country managed to amass such great sums of money per capita, only to lose it again in a short period of time. But Iceland, with a population of just 320,000, has also staged what appears to be the fastest recovery on record. Since 2011, the gross domestic product has been on the rise once again, most recently at 2 percent. What’s more, salaries are rising, the national debt is sinking and the government has paid off part of the billions in loans it received in 2008 from the International Monetary Fund ahead of schedule. It’s a sign of confidence.” Spiegel Online
In two referenda the people of Iceland chose to let the irresponsible private sector deal with the results of their actions rather than pay them out. Icelander, Jónsson, is excited about the country’s new opportunities, which are remarkably similar to the ones it has always had. “A hard-working populace. A healthy democracy. A high level of education. Tourism. Natural resources, such as wind, hydro-power and geothermal energy. And fisheries. What would we be without the fisheries?”
In my opinion, Iceland just applied good ol’ common sense. Like any household, you invest financially and emotionally in the people to create a solid wellbeing and it is this human wellbeing that translate into confidence and positive and constructive creativity that can take the present circumstances and make them work for the whole family, community, country. More countries, politicians need to hear the call instead of doing the opposite in demoralising their population and enslaving them as cheap labour, then bemoaning the state of the situation.
Long live Iceland and those that follow its example.